BARLOW - Keeping with tradition as one of the largest, longest and most popular parades in the region, several miles of roads in Barlow were lined Friday evening with parents and candy-seeking children for the annual Barlow Fair Parade.
"It's just one of those things you go to every year if you live around here," said Eric Fullerton, 36, of Belpre, who was watching the parade with his two children, Eli, 8, and Luke, 6.
Fullerton said the parade and scheduled tractor pulls are big draws in his family and circle of friends.
Landon Plants, 5, of Coolville, tries his luck at a midway game Friday evening at the Barlow Fair.
BRAD BAUER The Marietta Times
"I've got some friends who pull, so I like to come and watch," he said.
Barlow Fair officials said they had a record crowd for their opening night Thursday and were hoping to continue the trend through the weekend.
Saturday's main events include the annual feeder calf sale and Nashville, Tenn. recording artist Jordan Carter. On Sunday, tractor pulls again take center stage. The fairgrounds are located in Barlow near the intersection of Ohio 550 and Ohio 339.
8 a.m. - Gates open, Feeder Calf Show.
9 a.m. - Mini Horse Show.
10 a.m. - Draft Horse Pull.
Noon - Garden Tractor Pull; Little Miss and Mr. Barlow, gazebo.
1 p.m. - Youth Horse Show.
5:30 p.m. - Feeder Calf Sale.
6 p.m. - Draft Horse and Mule Show.
8 p.m. - Jordan Carter, main stage.
8 a.m. - Gates open.
10 a.m. - Open Hunter Jumping Show; church services, gazebo.
Noon - Tractor Pull (13,000-, 11,000- and 9,500-pound classes).
1 p.m. - Kiddie Tractor Pull.
2 p.m. - Gospel music.
2:30 p.m. - 4-H contest.
4 p.m. - All exhibits released.
There was some concern early Friday that rain could put a damper on the parade and festivities at the fair, but the weather remained clear for the parade and evening tractor pulls.
"I don't think it would matter if it did rain, people would still put on their boots and come visit us," said fair board member Jenny Payne. "That's just the way people are out here."
This weekend marks the 140th year for the fair, making it one of the oldest and longest running fairs in the state.
Payne said more than 1,700 people came through the gates Thursday night, the opening day for the fair. The fair averages about 10,000 to 12,000 in total attendance. The fair wraps up Sunday.
Judy Lantrip, 66, of Little Hocking, said she attended her first Barlow Fair in 1950. She claims she hasn't missed one
"Really, it's just a big homecoming and I love coming and meeting new people or catching up with old friends," she said. "It's just a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere and there's really nothing not to like."
Larynn Cutshaw, 16, of Waterford, has rabbits at the Barlow Fair as part of her 4-H project.
"My favorite part of the fair is just to exhibit and learning how I've done with my animals," she said. "That's what this is all about."
Landon Plants, 5, of Coolville, had different thoughts on what's important at the fair. He was digging in his father's pocket hoping to get some money to try to win a goldfish at one of the midway games.
"This is what the kids like, but I really enjoy the tractor pulls and the animals," said the boy's father, Andrew Plants, 33, of Coolville. "Everyone has fun, though."