CANFIELD - Attendees came with fingers crossed to the closing day of the 167th Canfield Fair, hoping that the rain would stay away for the final festivities.
They were in luck on Labor Day. The gray blanket of looming clouds dissipated just in time for the sun to set and Sheryl Crow to take to the stage.
"Who's Sheryl Crow?" joked Bill Richards.
Waiting in line at the Grandstand for the week's headlining concert with Richards were his wife, Paula, and her mother Nancy Hendricks.
"I'm a big Gary Allan fan. We all are," Paula said.
A recipe for the perfect concert she said would, of course, be "no rain," and as she later let on, Crow would not be not too bad either.
A tired fairgoer is carried through the busy rows of concession stands on closing day of the Canfield Fair. Attendance was up for the fair’s 167th year with more than 250,000 attendees in the first five days.
Tribune Chronicle / Margaret Thompson
"I love it. I'm out here all the time," said fair adviser Bob Wilson.
Chatting with him near the Western Reserve Historical Village were Robert Wyant and "Gray Wolf," who was dressed in a full Cherokee wardrobe.
"Elk hide gets heavy in the rain, wearing deer skin is bad enough," he said noting his attire.
The men discussed "Gray Wolf's" outfit and watched as Wilson showed off his knot-tying skills. "I've been teaching for, well, since I started tying my fishing tackles. My wife calls me the knotty old man," Wilson said.
With only a few random drops of rain, there was no wet dog smell to ruin the fair's final 4-H event, a dog demonstration. In the stands of the corral sat Patrick and Jodi Fernholz, watching their two children with the Youngstown Tailwaggers.
"The weather is too hot and humid today to bring out our dogs, but there are plenty of others," Patrick said.
On Friday during the agility competition he said his daughter Shelbi, 10, took first place in her age division.
Waiting nearby was Tailwagger member Maggie Dangerfield with her collie Nikki.
"This year's fair was great. We took first place in rally," she said, "It's basically fast-paced obedience. If you've been doing it for a while it get easy."
Number-wise it has been a good week, though totals on attendance won't be available till later today.
"It's been a good fair. It just depends on if the weather holds off," said Don Rudibaugh.
He spent the day working in the treasurer's office and said this year's fair attendance is going to be a tight race to beat last year's 293,067. By Sunday night the total had reached 250,375, about 4,000 more than last year at the same time.
"It's going to be close," he said.