Streets of Columbiana won’t be empty tonight as 132rd fair opens

Morning Journal/Katie White Raelynn Macklin, 4, of Columbiana, was excited to see this Ferris wheel set up on Wednesday in preparation for the Columbiana Street Fair that begins today.

COLUMBIANA — It was high noon and the heat was rising.

Like a western movie, a section of the main street through town was quiet and empty, but anticipation was in the air as the beginnings of the 132nd annual Columbiana Street Fair took shape on Wednesday.

Street Fair manager Jacob Sevek didn’t let the heat get to him as he directed the 28 food vendors to their specific locations along South Main Street in preparation for the fair that starts at 5 p.m. today.

Rides provided by Kissel Amusements also began lining the streets, providing a bit of a tease for this year’s event to children like Raelynn Macklin, 4, of Columbiana, who couldn’t help but get excited to see the rides while on a quick trip to the local post office with a relative.

Sevek said that this year’s fair includes a few newer and bigger rides, like the Music Express and Shooting Star.

“We try to deliver some new rides every year when we can to keep it fresh,” he said.

In addition to the variety of rides and food vendors, a 240-foot merchants tent will house several different organizations and business vendors.

The fair will kick off with the parade at 6:15 p.m. that is organized by the Columbiana Fire Department and led by the American Legion Benjamin Firestone Post 290 color guard.

The Street Fair is sponsored by the local Legion each year, and has been since 1920, shortly after the national organization was established, Sevek said.

It will be open to the public from 5-11 p.m. Thursday and Friday and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s a lot of fun, a lot of anticipation. I put a better part of a year’s worth of work to make each fair better in some way than the year before,” he added.

Something that hasn’t changed over the years and is a popular staple of the fair is the famous Legion Street Fair hamburger.

Sevek said the Legion has 500 pounds of hamburger prepared for the event. The burgers will be sold from the Legion “eats trailer” located along the midway.

The 33-year-old trailer may be replaced in the future, based on funding.

Sevek said all money raised outside of the ticket trailer during the fair goes into the Legion’s operating budget, and is used for different veteran needs or upgrades at the post.

A percentage of proceeds from the ticket trailer goes through the Legion’s charitable organization.

Tickets for the cash prize drawings that will be held each night of the fair can be purchased at the Legion headquarters trailer.

Thursday’s drawing is $500, Friday’s is $1,000 and Saturday’s grand prize drawing is $5,000.

Live musical entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the stage in the AAA parking lot and will feature Brent Bregar and Blame the Whiskey.

Entertainment on Saturday will be at 3:30 p.m. with Kim “Big Daddy” VanKleeck, and Hat Trick at 7 p.m.

Sevek said that unfortunately, the anticipated Marine helicopter landing in the Harvey S. Firestone Park will not take place this year, but plans are on for next year’s fair.

“We look forward to seeing everybody up here,” he said.