PARKERSBURG - A dozen structures were damaged Friday night at the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition where organizers are working to have the buildings and grounds ready for the show on July 17-21.
The five-day festival on Butcher Bend will go on despite the damages to the roofs of 10 buildings and the total destruction of two trailers, one used for the entertainers as a break area, said Russ Collins, vice president of the fair board.
"We got hit pretty good," Collins said.
Damage in front of the horse barn at the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition in Mineral Wells caused by the storm on Friday night.
A derecho, a storm of extreme strength and longevity, went through Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia toward the Atlantic Seaboard, causing widespread damage. Hundreds of thousands of electrical customers are without power.
The trailers, one donated by DuPont, were demolished when they were picked up and tossed around by the wind, Collins said.
"They're in a dumpster now," he said.
If You Go
The Marshall Tucker Band is a headline act at the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition July 17-21 in Mineral Wells.
Damages to the 10 permanent structures, which included the main show barn and the horse barn, were primarily to the roofs, Collins said. Metal roofing is being delivered this week to the fair grounds, he said.
Past storms have caused damages to the fair, but not to this extent, Collins said.
"This is the worst that I can recall," he said. "This really did some substantial property damage to us."
Volunteers have been repairing damages and cleaning debris from the grounds, Collins said. Contractors are also making repairs, he said.
"We're going to make everything right before fair time," Collins said.
Generally at about two weeks before the fair, organizers are getting the facilities ready, festival spokesman Christina Smith said. However, that task is now coupled with cleaning up and making repairs and more volunteers would be appreciative, Smith said.
"It's putting us a little behind," she said.
Phone service to the fair has been sporadic and Smith and Collins recommend using the website, www.wvinterstatefair.org and email to reserve tickets. The emails are checked every several hours, Collins said.
Among the entertainers for this year's fair are the Davisson Brothers, Randy Houser, Hunter Hayes and the Marshall Tucker Band, which will close the festival at 8:30 p.m. July 21. Formed in the early 1970s, the Marshall Tucker Band's greatest hits include "Heard it in a Love Song," "Can't You See" and "Fire on the Mountain."