West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition kicks off

The West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition drew hundreds of visitors on Tuesday. (Photo by Chad Adkins)

MINERAL WELLS — The warm temperatures didn’t hamper the kickoff to the 2019 West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition on Tuesday.

Even though temperatures peaked just under 90 degrees, hundreds of people gathered together for fun in Mineral Wells.

A big part of the exposition is the junior livestock competition held in the livestock area of the fairgrounds. Laekyn McLaughlin, 13, of Walker, was there to show her lamb, Sassy. Before the competition, McLaughlin was giving Sassy one last scrub down to help catch the judge’s eyes.

“She never had her ears cleaned before, but today is her lucky day,” she said.

McLaughlin said she had to feed and water Sassy, and even took her on two walks a day. Her grandfather, Tim McLaughlin, said Laekyn really took the responsibility of raising Sassy seriously.

Thrill seekers gathered for the opening day of the 2019 West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition on Tuesday in Mineral Wells. (Photo by Chad Adkins)

“I helped her some,” he said. “But she did most of it.”

Walking into the fairgrounds, one of the first thing that draws most people’s attention is the midway’s flashing lights and screams of terror and joy. Attendees stood in lines waiting to be thrilled by the rides offered at the fair. Susan Thompson, 34, of Parkersburg, was riding with her daughters Emily, 7, and Katie, 4, on the merry-go-round.

“They love coming to fairs and having fun. The breeze on the rides feels really good, too,” she said.

Fairgoers had plenty of chances to beat the heat on Tuesday with sno-cones, ice cream, and other frozen drinks that enabled people to feel a few degrees cooler. Tim Jones, 57, of Parkersburg, was there for one reason, the fair food. With over a dozen food vendors at the fair, Jones was sure to find what he liked best.

“I love funnel cakes and deep fried Snickers,” he said. “I guess you could say I got a sweet tooth.”

Giovanni Minervini, 4, of Parkersburg, uses chocolate ice cream and shade to beat the heat in Mineral Wells on Tuesday. (Photo by Chad Adkins)

As the day stretched into evening, visitors were entertained by ATV drag races, a demolition derby and closed with the songs of Ryan Cain and the Ables.

Today’s schedule of events:

Kids Day

∫ 10 a.m.: Youth Poultry Show & Showmanship (Livestock Area)

∫ 4 p.m.: Ticket Gates Open; Pretty Baby Registration (13-36 months) (Open Shelter); Kids Day activities begin (Age 12 and Under) Inflatables, Face Painting, Balloon Animals, Games, Magic Show

Laekyn McLaughlin introduces her lamb Sassy to her first ear cleaning on Tuesday at the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition. (Photo by Chad Adkins)

∫ 5 p.m.: Pretty Baby Contest (13-36 Months) (Open Shelter)

∫ 5:30 p.m.: ATV/ UTV Mud Bog Registration

∫ 6 p.m.: Carnival Opens; Jr. Swine Showmanship (Livestock Area); Jr. Swine Show (Livestock Area) immediately following

∫ 7 p.m.: ATV/UTV Mud Bog and ATV/UTV Rodeo (Track Area); Premium Karaoke (Main Stage)

∫ 11 p.m.: Fairgrounds Close.

The West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition lasts through Saturday in Mineral Wells. For a complete schedule of activities and events, visit the web page at wvinterstatefair.org.

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