West Virginia Interstate Fair weathers storms, forecast of excessive heat

Photo by Chad Adkins Storms moved over the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition on Wednesday.

MINERAL WELLS — Evening thunderstorms tried to dampen the spirit of the 2019 West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition on Wednesday, but the fairgoers celebration in Mineral Wells continued after the rain stopped and continued into the night.

The rain and storms at the fair stopped the midway rides for a time, but the activities and events continued without much interruption on Wednesday. Shaun and Sarah Smith of Parkersburg brought their son Sanderson, who is just over a year old, to compete in the 13- to 18-month-old cutest baby contest.

“It was my wife’s idea. It wasn’t mine,” said Shaun.

Sarah didn’t confirm or deny that she was the originator of the plan, but did say Shaun was a good father and husband to both her and Sanderson.

“He was just willing to do it,” she said. “He was willing to go out there on stage with him.”

Photo by Chad Adkins Brent Bosley, left, tries to keep his pig Hammy cool by spraying water on him before the Junior Swine Showmanship Competition on Wednesday in Mineral Wells.

Sanderson ended up taking first place in his division.

Also on slate for Wednesday was the Junior Swine Showmanship and Show competitions. Matt Bosley was there with his son Brent who entered his pig Hammy.

“I fed, watered and had to work him to get him ready,” said Brent.

“(The judges) want you to walk the pig in front of them so they can see the muscles better,” said Matt.

For the competition, Brent tried his best to guide Hammy in front of the judge with the other contestants in the event. His efforts weren’t good enough and Hammy failed to make it into the final round of judging.

Photo by Chad Adkins Sanderson Smith charms the judges into a first place finish for his class in the Pretty Baby Contest at the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition on Wednesday.

As the showmanship contest was wrapping up, the rumbling of thunder could be heard in the distance as it approached the fairgrounds. Soon after that, the first of many drops of rain began to fall, forcing people under cover.

Matthew Burns, 27, of Parkersburg was waiting in the Beef Barn for the rain to pass.

“It wouldn’t be the fair without rain,” he said.

Attendees will be wishing for rain over the next three days of the fair as the National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for the area starting at noon on Friday and lasting until 8 p.m. on Saturday, the final day of the fair.

Highlights today during “Armed Forces Day” include junior dairy goat and dairy cow shows beginning at 9 a.m., pretty baby contest at 5 p.m., events in the mud bog (track area) at 7 p.m., and at 8:30 p.m. Rick K and the Allnighters will perform on the Main Stage.

Photo by Chad Adkins Fair attendees run for cover as the heavens opened up on the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition on Wednesday in Mineral Wells.

For a complete list of each day’s scheduled events, visit the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition’s website at wvinterstatefair.org.

Chad Adkins can be reached at cadkins@newsandsentinel.com.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Collins Kenzie Eakins won the Tiny Tot Pageant on Tuesday at the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition in Mineral Wells.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Collins Top left to right, West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition Queen Ellie Yeater and the fair’s Teen Queen Garrah Lindsey present the top three of the Little Miss Pageant. Front row from left to right, third place finisher Kalianna Stewart, runner-up Addison Hartley and winner Alyssa McCartney. Other pageant winners include Junior Miss winner Emilee Moyers, Tiny Tot Boy winner Maddox Cottrille and Little Mister winner Carter Feist.