SPARTANSBURG — Ten-year-old Spartansburg resident Logan Saborsky, his eight-year-old brother, Lucas, and his bestfriend, Tristen Bolk, 8, were working feaverishly late Sunday afternoon to put the finishing touches on their shadow boxes at the 88th annual Spartansburg Fair.
The shadow boxes are wood constructions located in Home Show Building No. 2 open to children to decorate according to the current year’s theme or themes. This year, the children could either decorate their shadow box in a fair theme or a school theme. The boxes are then judged later in the week with the winners receiving ribbons.
The shadow boxes are just one of many exhibits geared toward children at the Spartansburg Fair, and for Sonny Blakeslee, 73, fair director for over 45 years, one of the reasons he has continued to serve as the director for so many
years is the satisfaction of watching a young boy or girl awarded a trophy or ribbon for their work.
“You take a little boy or girl who just won a trophy or a ribbon,” he said. “They have a huge smile on their face. You look at dad and he has a big smile. Then you look into the stands and there’s mom with tears rolling down her face. That’s great. That’s what makes this place great. That’s why I do this.”
The 88th annual Spartans-burg Fair kicked off Sunday evening with a vesper service and continues through Saturday, which begins with the fair’s parade at 11 a.m. and concludes with a fireworks display at 11:15 p.m.
People from all over Crawford County, Erie County and New York visit the Spartansburg Fair every year. Some, like the Saborskys and hundreds of others attend to showcase their exhibits, where its an arts and craft project like the shadow boxes or quilts, a prized rabbit or a delicious strawberry-filled pie. Others visit the fair as a way to reconnect with friends and relatives.
“We call it a fair,” Blakeslee said. “But I call it an old homecoming. People take their vacations during the fair. It’s an easy way for everyone to see all their friends and family at one place.”
The fair is also an easy way for the Boy Scouts, the local fire department, the mennonite church and others to raise funds for their organizations, Blakeslee said.
A total of nine fair board members help make the weeklong Spartansburg Fair a reality, but Blakeslee said if it wasn’t for the 75 or so individuals who donate their time through the week, whether they’re in the office selling tickets or taking exhibit entries, the fair wouldn’t be what it is.
Admission to the Spartansburg Fair is $4 per day or $9 for the week. Children 12 years old and under are free.
Lisa Byers can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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