ELIZABETH - The Wirt County Fair has been experiencing higher than normal attendance this week due to sunny- but not too hot- weather, the fair's president said Friday.
"The first two days have been incredible, our crowds have been up," fair president Debbie Hennen said of the event, which began Wednesday and concludes today at Camp Barbe 4-H Camp along West Virginia 14 in Wirt County.
"We've had great weather and it has not been miserably hot," she said. "Our food vendors have sold completely out and we've got a huge variety of food this year, along with craft booths.
Wirt County resident Emma Wyer, 11, prepares her calf for Friday’s livestock sale at the Wirt County Fair. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
Lydia Smith, 8, of Wirt County, slides along a zipline Friday at the Wirt County Fair. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
Daisha Allen, left, 8, of Elizabeth, Skylar Hutcherson, center, 7, of Elizabeth, and Little Mr. Wirt County Fair Wade McIntyre, right, 7, of Palestine, speed down the slide Friday during the Wirt County Fair. The fair concludes today at Camp Barbe 4-H Camp off West Virginia 14 between Mineral Wells and Elizabeth. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
Visitors to the Wirt County Fair can enjoy carnival rides, games, activities, live entertainment and contests from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. today at Camp Barbe 4-H Camp near Elizabeth. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
A variety of domestic arts, handicrafts and other projects are on display at the Wirt County Fair through today. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
"The weather being cooperative makes a big difference," Hennen said.
The fair opens at 8 a.m. today and runs through 11 p.m. Tickets are $6 a person, with children ages 2 and under admitted free. There will be activities, carnival rides, entertainment, a 100-foot banana split and a variety of contests.
Hennen said during the mud bog which kicks off at 1 p.m. today in the track area, the cast of the Discovery Channel show "Mountain Monsters" will be present to talk with people and sign autographs.
The 4-H and Future Farmers of America livestock projects remain a strong part of the Wirt County Fair, Hennen said. Leading up to this year's fair, a new addition was built for the livestock barn at the fairgrounds to accommodate the number and variety of livestock projects which continue to be part of the annual event.
Among those who raised animals large and small was 11-year-old Emma Wyer of Wirt County. This is her third year raising a calf for the fair, putting in a lot of time and work on the project.
"I like showing them," she said.
Wirt County resident Jessica Archer was at the fair Friday with her daughter, Haley Archer, and niece, Daisha Allen, to enjoy the rides and activities. Haley Archer was participating in Friday night's livestock auction.
Archer said she is a lifelong Wirt County resident and has been coming to the fair since she was a child herself and likes bringing her family to the event, especially as a final enjoyable event before the new school year begins at the end of August.
"It's homey, it's hometown," she said of the fair. "You come and meet everybody that you haven't seen all year long."
Today's schedule for the Wirt County Fair includes:
* 8 a.m.: Gate Opens
* 9 a.m.: Corn Hole Tournament
* 9-10:30 a.m.: Pretty Baby Contest registration (Dining Hall)
* 9 a.m.-noon: Registration for Mud Bog (Track)
* 11 a.m.: Chicken barbeque begins
* 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Pretty Baby Contest (Pavilion)
* Noon: Bingo; Registration for West Virginia State Arm Wrestling Championships (Pavilion)
* 1 p.m.: Carnival Opens; Horseshoe Pitching Contest; West Virginia State Arm Wrestling Championships (Pavilion); Mud Bog (Track)
* 3 p.m.: Youth Contest
* 3:30 p.m.: Registration for Kiddie Peddle Pull (Pavilion)
* 3:45 p.m.: 100 Foot Banana Split
* 4 p.m.: Kiddie Peddle Pull Contest (Pavilion)
* 5 p.m.: Carnival Closes; Skillet Throwing Contest
* 5:30 p.m.: Haybale Throwing Contest
* 6 p.m.: Nail Driving Contest; Carnival Reopens
* 6:30 p.m.: Watermelon Eating Contest; Austin Grimmett (Pavilion)
* 8 p.m.: 64 to Grayson (Pavilion)
* 9 p.m.: Claiming of Exhibits
* 10 p.m.: Fireworks
* 11 p.m.: Carnival Closes