Meadville Tribune


August 7, 2013

Competition, fun for kids hallmarks of Cochranton Fair

COCHRANTON — When fair week hits Cochranton each summer, Kathy Klink knows to expect a consistently good time.

“You can count on doing the same work, eating the same food and seeing the same people,” she smiled, sitting with her family in the cattle barn on the second day of Cochranton’s 85th annual Community Fair Tuesday morning.

Klink has logged years of experience with the fair, being the daughter of Clark Duncan, fair association president, and Elaine Duncan, dairy cattle chairperson.

While Tuesday’s crowd started slow, the fairgrounds on River Street was a hive of activity with local residents pitchforking hay, grooming cattle, riding horses and involving their children in as many activities as possible.

“The main reason we come to the fair is the kids,” Klink said. “They can bring their calves and have fun.”

Cochranton’s fair offers several junior competitions throughout the week for the area children and young 4-Hers, some of which are fourth generation, according to Elaine Duncan.

Contests include a junior and open cattle show, pedal tractor pulls and even a kid’s goat-milking competition, run by four-fair department chair Regis Reash.

Reash operates dairy goat departments in the Cochranton, Mercer, Jamestown and Crawford County fairs and has brought many of his own goats to each one for upwards of 10 years or more.

“These smaller fairs are social and laid back,” he said. “I think the public gets to view the animals and get a little better understanding of the animals here.”

Adults and children are allowed to approach the gentler animals, making his tent a popular petting zoo of sorts.

“The kids like to play with the goats; they like to come in and touch the animals,” Reash said. “We also have two milking contests this week to see how much milk they can get out of a goat by a certain time.”

The kid’s goat-milking competition is consistently popular, attracting as many as 30 children each summer, he said.

Reash also has positive expectations for the fair at large, predicting bigger crowds as the weekend approaches.

“I think this year will be good; we had a nice number of people (Monday) night,” he said. “I like the small fairs. They’re more of a social event.”

Tuesday’s fair activities included sheep and rabbit judging, craft and produce fair exhibits, goat judging, a horse pull, a baked goods sale and the adult goat-milking competition.

The Cochranton Community Fair features a variety of vendors and booths representing local churches, organizations and civic groups.

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