May 16—JEFFERSON — The steady clucking noise emanating from the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds provided clear evidence that the Western Reserve Poultry Show was officially in session.
The annual event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but people from all over the East Coast returned Saturday to celebrate a bit of normalcy and show their birds.
"We have people from Maine," said Erica Elliott, secretary of the show.
At least four rows of poultry were spread out through a show area at the fairgrounds. Judges walked from cage to cage grading the birds while participants prepared for competition by fluffing the birds' feathers.
Elliott said people were happy to be back together again. "Everybody has missed the shows. We are family here," she said.
She said 82 people participated in the show with a total of 700 birds being shown.
Nationally known children's author Jan Brett was on site at the event and even donated some copies of her books to the show, Elliott said.
Brett came all the way from Boston.
"I need my chicken fix. In New England, a lot of our shows are [on hold]," Brett said.
Greg English made his way to the fairgrounds from his home in Delaware.
"I just like showing chickens and one of my friends judges [here], so I drove out here with him," he said.