Delaware County Fair officials seem to know good vendors when they see them.
Many of the vendors at this year’s fair have been coming back for decades.
“My family has had games here for over 80 years,” said Michael Albanese, owner of Albanese Amusements.
Albanese said the nice thing about the fair is it’s good for the games his company offers. He said he offers games of strictly skill, which is unlike some other vendors.
“We don’t have those types of games that others offer,” he said. “We do a family business.”
Albanese said he doesn’t even allow trading of the prizes.
“You get, what you get,” he said.
The Build Your Own Half-Pound Steak Burger is a family-owned booth that has been part of the fair for many years as well.
“I’ve been at the fair for the immediate 15 years, but my family has been running the booth for 40-plus years,” said Jim Severance.
Severance said he is the current owner and operator of the booth that has been passed through his family for many years.
“My older brother started it. He passed it to my sister-in-law. She passed it to me,” he said.
Severance said the family has been occupying the same spot so long that the Fair Board allowed them to pour a concrete slab instead of having to stand in the mud.
However, after this year, he would like to pass the booth on to someone else, but this may be the last year that Build Your Own Half-Pound Steak Burger is at the fair because there’s not anyone in the family willing to take it.
Severance said he’d like to pass it to his son, Dan, but he has other priorities. He’s joining the United States Navy.
“I had a family friend who has helped for years and I thought I’d see if she wants it,” Severance said.
From 6 a.m. to midnight in four hour shifts, many Buckeye Valley Local School District students will man the BV Restaurant located just off of the midway.
Chris Lydy said he first started working the old-fashioned lunch-style counter in the 1980s as a student, but for the past 10 years he has been one of the co-managers.
“I just love the kids. I love the building,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Lydy said all of his kids went to Buckeye Valley and worked every year at the restaurant. Even though they have participated for many years, “they’ll be back this weekend to help out dad,” he said.
The Delaware County opens Saturday, Sept. 16 and runs through Saturday, Sept. 23. For information, visit www.delawarecountyfair.com.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.