Meadville Tribune

August 7, 2013

Competition, fun for kids hallmarks of Cochranton Fair

By Konstantine Fekos
Meadville Tribune

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.

You can go

The 85th annual Cochranton Community Fair continues today through Saturday. A day-by-day list of events includes:

- Each day — stage performances from 8 to 11 p.m. Upcoming performances include Chaz, Windy River, The Tim Whitman Band and Wild Card.

- Today — poultry judging at 9 a.m.; junior and open cattle show at 10; parade (float contest) at 6:30 p.m.; mini tractor pull at 7; and pedal tractor pull (ages 10 to 15) at 8:30.

- Thursday — Halter class horse judging at 1 p.m.; kid’s goat milking competition at 7; and people pull at 7.

- Friday — cow chip bingo at 8 p.m.

- Saturday — exhibitors and horse show at 10 a.m.; pet parade at 10; rabbit dress up contest at noon; pedal tractor pull (ages 4 to 9), kid’s waterbattle and following pedal tractor pull at 1 p.m.; garden tractor pull at 6; and fireworks at dusk.

Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kfekos@meadvilletribune.com.