MEDINA – With the 174th Medina County Fair underway, fair and county officials are already gearing up for the big milestone next year.

During opening ceremonies at the Medina County Fairgrounds pavilion the evening of July 29, County Commissioner Bill Hutson considered this year’s festivities to be the official kickoff for next year.

He also stumped the entire audience with a little lesson in Latin.

“Does anyone know what a 175th anniversary is called?” Hutson asked, drawing silence. “It’s the ‘dodransbicentennial.’”

Commissioners Pat Geissman and Colleen Swedyk were also on hand to offer well wishes to fair-goers, exhibitors and officials. Swedyk then served as a celebrity judge during the Royal Court competition.

“Come back several times this week,” Geissman said, warning attendees that the aroma of all the delicious food might make you want to “eat your way down the midway.”

Jason Sulzener, a fair director, said opening day – the theme of which saluted veterans – saw an “extremely good crowd” as he traversed throughout the grounds on a golf cart.

“This might be a one-day record for a Monday,” Sulzener speculated.

Sulzener also pointed out a fairgrounds-wide beautification project involving several local landscaping companies. Sulzener, who owns Precision Outdoor Creations, said more than $57,000 of landscaping work – everything from new floral arrangements to water features – was donated to spruce up the exteriors of about a dozen buildings ahead of fair week.

As the demolition derby was warming up the grandstand audience, this year’s fair royalty was crowned and promptly paraded through the fairgrounds, an old-time tradition revived this year by Royal Court Committee Chairman and Fair Director Stuart Neal.

Crowned as queen this year was 19-year-old Ashley Stroud, of Medina, and king is Quade Mainzer, 17, of Hinckley. They will spend the next year appearing in parades and making other public appearances and Stroud will go on to compete for the state title at the Ohio Fair Managers Convention next year.

Runners-up for queen are Cecilia Mainzer, 18, of Hinckley, and Grace Winrod, 17, of Seville. King runner-up for the second consecutive year is Whalter Briggs, 17, of Medina.

New this year was a junior division of the Royal Court competition where the fair princess and prince were crowned. They are, respectively, Isabella Thiel, 7, and Brentley Garnes, 5.

The fair continues this weekend and concludes with fireworks Sunday night at 10 p.m.

As of press time, it did not appear Jake Owen’s headlining performance at the grandstand Aug. 1 would be a sellout. Last year, Kane Brown became the first Medina County Fair sellout concert in more than 25 years.

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