Photo button display showcases 46 years of memories at 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.
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. 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.
"When I first started I had hair. Now I don't have any," he said laughing.
It all started in 1972 when Chaney High School sweethearts Mike and Rocky were dating. The next year they were married and had Julieann.
"She was born July 14, so she was pretty young there. I just remember my mom, 'You took that baby to the fair!' She was not happy!" said Rocky.
"This one I was pregnant with Mike," she said. Their son Mike, who they call Mikey, is Youngstown Councilman Mike Ray.
"I remember as a kid coming and being pulled around in the wagon. My dad pulling us through the fair and it seemed like you parked so far away and we'd go visit the animals. It's fun now we're here with my nephew and going to do those same things as a family," son Mike said.
The photo button display is a trip down memory lane for the Rays. Documenting their kids' growth, different hairstyles and clothing from the era, when their grown children lived out of town and when they moved back, and the addition of their grandson Luke.
Now the kids are continuing the custom on their own refrigerators, inspiring the next generation.
Julieann's son Luke said that he also enjoys coming together to take these pictures.
"It just shows the commitment they (the parents) have to family and carrying on a tradition and spending time together and making sure that family is always the most important thing. That's one of the things those buttons do represent is our importance of family and togetherness and looking back we can see that tradition," Cheng said.
A treasured album of their lives showcasing what the fair is all about.
The Ray family has already inspired others to start the same tradition.
If you're interested — the photo booth is across from the rock climbing wall on Austintown Drive in between Smith and Springfield Drives.