Thursday, July 01, 2010
An insider’s guide to the State Fair of West Virginia
The State Fair of West Virginia has always been a part of my life. As far back as I can remember, my family made the short drive down Route 219 to the fairgrounds each August. Fair week meant staying up far past our normal bedtime, walking for hours while taking in the many exhibits and shows, riding the Scrambler and the double Ferris wheel, and buying a candy apple for the road.
Like me, Ronnie Hess of Moneta has fond fair memories, including attending horse races and concerts.
“As a kid growing up, my favorite things were the games and rides,” said Hess, a native West Virginian. “But as I got older, the best part was seeing all my friends just before school started and catching up.”
As a boy, Hess said he and his family “spent every fair week there, staying in our camper. As kids we would spend our time running around with friends there in the barns. It was just a great family time.”
fair is scheduled for Aug. 13-21 in Fairlea, near Lewisburg in the southeastern
part of the state, approximately 2½ hours from
the fair attracts more than 200,000 visitors and is the largest multi-day
you’ve toured the midway, take some time to cool off in an entirely different
part of the fairgrounds – the livestock exhibits. Side-by-side barns showcase
the state’s best specimens of horses, sheep, dairy and beef cattle and swine.
Each animal is raised by
Also near the livestock barns are the cute and furry (but potentially unfriendly as the many signs will warn you) rabbit exhibits. Tiny bunnies that will fit in a teacup can be found here as well as rabbits larger than you ever imagined. Short-haired, long-haired and virtual fluff balls round out the extensive breeds on display.
The Heritage Village Marketplace Pavilion is an area of the fair that showcases traditional artisans and their hand-made arts and crafts. Artists often demonstrate their craftsmanship right in the pavilion. It’s a bit of a hidden treasure - tucked away in a side area of the fairgrounds, in the corner area of the barns and the commercial exhibit area.
respite from the heat, head up to the air-conditioned
There are many other things to see and do at the fair, so plan to get there early and stay late. From commercial exhibits to national recording and entertainment acts to the unbelievable variety of food and treats, the fair has something for everyone to enjoy.
For more information, hours, tickets and directions, visit wvstatefair.com or call 304.645.1090.