Get Ready for the Roosters: Statues Will Raise Money for Canfield Fair

CANFIELD, Ohio – Twenty giant rooster statues, each with its own uniquely colorful and artistic look, will start appearing in June around the Mahoning Valley.

On Wednesday night at the Canfield Fairgrounds, 20 local and national artists were selected by sponsors to paint a rooster as part of the Canfield Fair’s “Flock to the Fairgrounds” public art project to help commemorate its 175’s anniversary. 

The fair was canceled last year because of the pandemic, but is scheduled to return Sept. 1 through 6, depending, of course, on state regulations regarding gatherings.

“With the happenings of the past year, hopefully this will reunite our community and bring everyone back to the Canfield Fair,” said George Roman, who directs entertainment, concessions and events for the fair.

Roman said that he and the other fair board members are frequently asked if there will be a fair this year. He can’t say for certain but he is optimistic.

The rooster statue project is a fundraiser that is modeled after one presented by Youngstown State University several years ago that used statues of the school’s penguin mascot.

A panel of judges narrowed down the more than 35  submissions that were submitted. At Wednesday’s event, the sponsors took turns selecting their artists. Each sponsor paid $3,500, which covers the cost of the statue and $2,000 for an artist’s stipend.

Each rooster is about three feet high and sits atop a pedestal, which will also be painted. When the artists are finished, their sponsors will display the roosters at their businesses or other locations.

The full flock of 20 roosters will return to the fairgrounds in September, where they will be displayed. In November, they will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the fair.

Eric Ryan, president of JAC Management and one of the sponsors, selected a design by Matt Liptak of Alexandria, Va., that had an appropriate message.

“I chose this one because it says ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemon shakes,’ ” Ryan said. “That’s my 2021 motto, being in the concert industry.”

JAC Management operates Covelli Centre, the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre and Packard Music Hall, and books shows at each venue, although almost every event had to be canceled since March 2020 because of the pandemic.

Ryan has a long history with the Canfield Fair.

“I’ve always loved the fair and I’ve been coming here for as long as I can remember,” he said. “I used to work at Leroy’s sausage stand with my dad. My family worked here and now I’m booking the entertainment.”

JAC has booked all of the grandstand acts at the fair for the past few years. Ryan said he has already booked two major acts for this year but cannot announce them until he’s certain they can be staged.

“We have a big concert confirmed for [Sept. 5] but we’ll need more than 30% capacity,” he said. “We have another show ready to confirm for Monday [Sept. 6]. If the governor opens it up and allows us to do it, we’ll have a great 175th year. I think we can have two sellouts. But I need it to be close to 100% capacity because it won’t work without it.”

The grandstand at the fairgrounds holds about 7,000 for concerts.

The other rooster statue sponsors, followed by their artists and hometowns, are:
Dave and Dawn Dickey: Alexis Morozov, New Springfield
Dickey Electric: Bob Barko Jr., Youngstown
Western Reserve Village: Emily Dunlap, Canfield
DataCom Inc.: Mari Ann Cann, Youngstown
One Hot Cookie: Felicia Moss, Ravenna
Paige and Byrnes Insurance: Erin Rivello, Poland
42 Event Production: Jody Lee Dean Abrigg, Canfield
Window World: Mary Ann Mihaley, Lowellville
Canfield High School Class of 1961: Kate Antal, Boardman
Bernard Daniels Lumber: Linda Clark, Hubbard
Farmer’s National Bank: Susan Dexter, New Castle, Pa.
Cocca’s Pizza: Vance Stevens, Girard
Hill Barth and King: Stefania Marcinak, Canfield
WKBN-TV 27: Dave Buehrle, Austintown
Canfield Rotary: Mark Shohayda, Cortland
The Bob and Mildred Hendricks family: Eric Sobek, Washingtonville
The Vindicator: Rick Muccio, Warren
Basinger Auctioneers: pending
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC: pending

Pictured: Eric Ryan of JAC Management holds the poster for the rooster art design by Matt Liptak of Virginia, which his company is sponsoring. He is standing next to a sample of the rooster statue, which will be painted by Liptak and 19 other artists.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.