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A continued tradition

August 31, 2017
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Members of the Poland United Methodist Church are continuing their tradition of operating a concession trailer at the Canfield Fair. They will be back this year with the apple dumplings and iced tea that have become fair favorites.

The church first started at the fair with a large tent where full dinners, pies and cakes were served. Most of the congregation helped with the intent of raising enough money to handle a mortgage on a new building. In the mid-1950s, a fire destroyed the former church and the concession tent was started to help get the new church built.

The tent had served the purpose and enabled the church to pay for the new structure. As for the concession, the decision was to keep it going and use the proceeds for missions.

"That tent was a big undertaking; it would be hard to do today," said church member Kitty Matteson.

In the late 1990s, the church went from the huge tent down to a huge trailer. That one was replaced with the smaller one about 19 years ago, and the church has been using it since.

"It is not a big money maker for us," Matteson said. "It is more for fellowship and outreach. Any proceeds go to our youth ministry."

The concession is not hard to miss. It is Poland Bulldogs blue and white and sits near the corner of Bishop and Smith drives in the southeast quarter of the fairgrounds. It has been at this location for close to 20 years.

Even though the concession has downsized and the menu shortened, the smaller trailer still takes between 50 and 60 people to set it up, staff it and tear it down during the fair.

The iced tea is the biggest seller for the church. Matteson said they have developed regular customers over the years.

"It is nice to see people coming back year after year," she said.



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