Let’s Go to the Fair

MINERAL WELLS – With sunny skies throughout the day and warm weather, people came out to enjoy themselves and have a little fun Tuesday during the opening of the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition.

The 42nd annual fair got underway at the fairgrounds on Butcher Bend Road Tuesday with the 4-H Rabbit Show, Still Exhibit Judging, pageants, the Junior Market Sheep and Goat Showmanship and Show, ATV drag racing, and a performance by The Roys.

Russ Collins, first vice president of the fair board, spoke about the good weather they were having on the opening day and hoping it would continue during the opening ceremonies.

”We hope to have days like this all week long,” he said. ”It is just a blessing.”

”We have a lot of stuff for you to see. We hope you come back every night this week and see everything we have.”

Delegate Tom Azinger, R-Wood, spoke about the importance of farm families to the character of the region. Many farm families were showing animals this week with their children engaged in responsible activities in raising animals and getting them ready for the fair, he said.

”It is the people that you produce that is just as important as the food you produce,” he said. ”Farm families are among the most solid people we have in this state.”

Collins said organizations like 4-H help teach young people about responsibility.

”It is kids learning good citizenship,” he said. ”If you go down (to the livestock barn) and watch those kids show their animals, it is just amazing.

”They work those animals. They have to take them out and walk them everyday and feed them. They are hard workers.”

Along with the carnival, vendors, mud bogs, ATV drag races and crafters, there is something for everyone, Collins said.

”There is a lot of stuff to do and it is family oriented,” he said. ”It is a place where you can go and have fun.”

Mike Deem of Parkersburg said he came out to the fair for his kids as well as his niece and nephew.

”We usually come out for the week,” he said. ”The kids like the (4-H) animals and the rides the most.”

Shawn Strothers of Parkersburg brought his kids out and were having fun playing some of the carnival games.

”I try to bring them out anytime there is something local,” he said.

Mister Bruce of Youngstown, Ohio, was one of the vendors with a booth set up at the fair selling shirts and novelties.

”I have been here 6 to 7 years,” he said. ”We like the fair, we like the public with all the different personalities.”

April Morgan of Parkersburg said her family was at the fair to have some fun.

”It was something fun for the family to do,” she said.

She wanted something to take her 2-year-old daughter, London, to.

”We wanted to get her out of the house and playing and riding the rides,” Morgan said.

Collins said people often say there is nothing to do locally.

However, the fair is geared toward families.

”It is all about the families,” he said. ”I hope people see this is a family atmosphere.

”I hope they realize there is lots to do here at the fair.”

Today:

* 10 a.m.: Youth and Open Poultry Show and Showmanship (Livestock Area)

* Noon: Ticket Gates Open; Pretty Baby Registration (13-36 months) (Open Shelter)

* 1 p.m.: Pretty Baby Contest (13-36 months) (Open Shelter); Carnival Opens; Kid’s Day Activities (ages 12 and Under)

* 2 p.m: Granpa Cratchet Show

* 5 p.m.: Carnival Closes (dinner break); Granpa Cratchet Show

* 5:30 p.m.: ATV Mud Bog Registration

* 6 p.m.: Junior Swine Showmanship and Show (Livestock Area)

* 6:15 p.m.: Carnival Opens

* 7 p.m.: ATV Mud Bog (Track Area); Karaoke (Main Stage)

* 8 p.m.: Granpa Cratchet Show

* 11 p.m.: Fairgrounds Close