Vendors and visitors will spend more than $6 million during fair week — outside of the fair.

by: Amanda Smith

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Over 600 vendors will be set up for the Canfield Fair and the economic activity they will bring won’t be limited to Canfield.

The 173rd Canfield Fair starts next week, but vendors and fair employees are already hard at work getting everything ready to go.

Dante DiRusso knows what it takes to get ready for the fair.

“A lot of sweat, a lot of hard work and as many people as you can get involved,” he said.

Vendors started setting up Thursday and will continue to roll in for the next few days.

The DiRusso family will be operating seven sausage trailers.

“We have supplies stocked all throughout the fair in a couple properties that are close by,” DiRusso said. “We start working on getting things ready months ahead of time, planning out who’s going to be where, getting our schedules together.”

For the DiRussos, selling at the fair is a fine science. They study each trailer’s sales and figure out how much of each product is needed, and all of their supplies have to be bought in advance — most of them locally.

Vendors and visitors will spend more than $6 million during fair week outside of the fair, including for lodging, transportation, food and drink and shopping.

“It’s economic development for the whole community,” said George Roman, III, a member of the Canfield Fair Board. “It’s not just the fairgrounds, it’s all of Mahoning County and that includes Columbiana County, Trumbull County, Ashtabula County and western Pennsylvania.”

The vendors know they’ll make good money, too, but they’re going to have to work for it.

“All day, all night. This is definitely the highlight of our year,” DiRusso said.

The first day of the Canfield Fair is Wednesday.

Link to Article

Next Press Article

21 WFMJ Canfield Fair For many, the Canfield Fair is a time to get together with family and create new memories. One Youngstown family has made it their annual tradition over the last four decades to have their picture taken there.

by: Leslie Barrett

What started as one photo button has now turned into 46 — capturing treasured moments of their lives.

Every family has their Canfield Fair favorites.

For the Ray family, DiRusso’s Sausage is on the list but their annual family photo takes the cake.

“It’s a great tradition that we have. We look forward to it every year,” said Julieann Ray Cheng.

The family has had a photo button made at the fair for 46 years and they have only missed one year.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said the father, Mike Ray.

Link to Article

Next Press Article

WKBN 27 First News The Canfield Fair opens in one week and every vendor knows it’s a hot ticket for food sales.

by: Alexis Walters

Thursday was the day for vendors to pick up their paperwork and the line was long. Some lined up an hour ahead of time. There are 500 vendors this year.

Lemonade, funnel cakes, and stromboli are just a few of the offerings along with businesses from around the area. You can find it all at the Canfield Fair.

“I would say 90 percent have been here 10, 20, 30, even 50 years. Most of our attendees know where their favorite concessionaire is,” said Fair Director George Roman.

Some vendors, like DiRusso’s Sausage, have been coming for 53 years.

“My uncle started a concession business in the 60s – Auggie DiRusso and Canfield was one of the first spots he worked,” said Robert DiRusso.

Vendors do have to pay a fee to set up at the fair, but the business they will do during that one week keeps them coming back.

“Even if we get one job it pays for the event so it is definitely worth it.

It’s not just the sales during the week; it’s the marketing that lasts year round.

“I mean the Canfield Fair itself is pretty much our biggest marketing event of the year,” DiRusso said.

Roman said getting ready for the fair is like building a city of 600,000 people in six days and there are some challenges, but it all comes out fine in the end.

“You have your issues but where are you going to go to meet this many people in this short period of time,” Roman said.

The fair begins Wednesday, August 29 and runs through Labor Day (Sept. 3). Ticket information and show dates and times can be found at

Link to Article

Big plans are underway for the Canfield Fair.

by: WKBN Staff

It was media day on Tuesday, and board members were anxious to announce what’s in store. 

The big news right now is a deal with a new amusement ride company. 

The Canfield Fair is bringing in Florida-based Reithhoffer Shows.

Board President Dave Dickey said everyone will be surprised when they come to the fair this year. 

“Nobody’s seen these rides in Ohio. We are very excited about them. They are Cedar Point-quality rides, so it’s going to be very exciting,” Dickey said.

For 30 years, the fair has gotten rides from the Bates family, who retired after last year.

Also on tap this year are the shows you’d expect, like the demolition derby, tractor pull and exhibits. 

And of course, Toby Keith is the headliner in the grandstand. Already 6,000 tickets have been sold for the show. 

For more information and a schedule of events, go to

Link to Article

the_business_journalYOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – DiRusso’s Sausage Inc., a longtime company in the Riverbend Business Park, is expanding its building here to increase its storage capacity and improve operating efficiency.


“It’s been in the planning for awhile,” said Robert DiRusso, president. “We’re more than halfway done, so it should be finished by mid-April before the grilling and fair season starts.”

DiRusso’s is adding another 2,900 square feet to its manufacturing plant on West Rayen Avenue. The expansion will accommodate dry storage and packaging products and connect directly to the manufacturing area.

“It will improve our operational efficiencies,” he said. “We’ve probably needed this for the last five years.”

Adolph Johnson & Son Co., Mineral Ridge, is the general contractor and the project is the fourth expansion the builder has done for DiRusso’s, said Paul Johnson, president of Adolph Johnson.

“The first expansion was in 2004,” he noted. “The company has since grown steadily and they have nice controlled growth.”

The $250,000 expansion is the latest in investments the company has made over the past dozen years, DiRusso said. Recently, DiRusso’s added a new grinding and mixing system to its manufacturing operations.

And, three years ago, the company bought the property across the street where a dilapidated garage stood. “It was a real eyesore,” DiRusso said. Since then, the company has spent more than $60,000 in renovating the old garage and turning it into a storage site, while spending additional money to reclaim the land.

“It’s worked out pretty well,” DiRusso said. “Between the two projects, we’ve probably spent $500,000 over the last two years.”

DiRusso, one of the founders of the Riverbend Business Park Association, said his cleanup effort is one aspect of a concerted drive that began 10 years ago of businesses reclaiming the entire Riverbend district. “The only eyesore in the park that’s left is the Cavanaugh Co. Building, and we’re trying to get the city to demo it,” DiRusso said.

Copyright 2016 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio