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For the next two days, the streets of Columbiana will look a little different as the 127th annual Columbiana Street Fair kicked off Thursday with a parade through the town square.
Organizers said it is the second largest street fair in the state of Ohio. There’s plenty of the usual food, fun and rides, but organizers said part of the longevity of the event is how Columbiana residents, both past and present, view the festival.
Many take it as an opportunity to get together by holding family reunions, visiting family and organizing class reunions.
“It’s three class reunions going on this weekend. Class of ’63’, ’68 and ’58,” said Richard Simpson, who graduated from Columbiana High School in 1963.
Darlene Bauschatz and her husband, Roy, drove 500 miles for her 50th class reunion.
“I’m a little bit nervous if I’m going to recognize them or not. Yeah, there’s a lot of old people who showed up for this class reunion,” she said.
“It’s one of the things I most look forward to. It’s hard to walk down the street and not run into 5 or 6 people you may not have seen since last year or in quite a few years,” said Columbiana Street Fair manager Jacob Sevek. “You come down here and you’re going to feel a sense of home and you relax because you won’t feel that tension that you may feel somewhere else.”
Sevek said the fair is put on by the American Legion and organizers strive to ensure each food vendor is offering something different, which is one of the things that makes the street fair unique. One of the staples is the American Legion burger.
“I have one fellow that comes and gets a dozen of them and takes them home and freezes them so he can enjoy them,” Simpson said.
Sevek said the fair goes through about 4,000 pounds of hamburgers and about 1,000 pounds of onions.
In addition to the food, there’s also rides for the kids, games, a $5,000 cash raffle and numerous vendors.
The fair is free and runs through Saturday night. It opens at 5 p.m. Friday and at noon on Saturday.