Family’S Love Of Bingo Brings Game To East Coast Fairs


Cotton candy. Chili cook-offs. Ferris wheels. And now you can add Bingo to the list of county fair staples. If you happen to hit various fall county fairs across the US over the next month or two, you might come across a red, blue, and yellow tent.

Quiet on the outside, you can’t help but feel the energy as you step through the tent’s entrance-way. It’s a traveling Bingo hall – and the oldest one at that.

Over the last few weeks, Harry’s Bingo has crisscrossed the United States, traveling to Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Vermont, and Maryland. Right now, they’re in Cleveland, but soon they’ll pack up the tent, bingo daubers, and cards, and head to South Carolina and Georgia.

For a minute there, it looked like Harry’s Bingo, which had been a Cleveland County Fair attraction for the last 35 years, wasn’t going to be back for 2014. Marlin Coch, the former owner, passed away last year so there was some uncertainty.

But Ohio-native Ralph Flack put those concerns to rest by purchasing Harry’s Bingo and make sure that it remained part of the county fair experience.

For Flack, Bingo is natural His moth, Greta Linder, owned a Bingo company for nearly 15 years. Flack wanted to keep the Bingo experience alive, let the old Bingo generation enjoy the game, and introduce the game to new generations of players who might be discovering the game for the first time.

And many seem to be attracted to the Bingo tent. Flack points out that many people attending the fair for the first time showed up not to ride the rides, but rather to play Bingo.

As someone who works at, that makes sense to me. Many people who have discovered online Bingo seek out land-based Bingo opportunities. It’s just like any other online game. It doesn’t replace the real-life experience. It complements it.

The Bingo tent is exactly as it was for the last 35 years. Same daubers. Same cards. Same table and chairs. And the same tent, too. The only difference between then and now is that when Harry’s Bingo moves onto the next town, locals can still enjoy the experience online at virtual Bingo halls like this one.