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Fair fun about to begin

By Staff | Aug 17, 2018

Youth bring all types of animals to the fair to show, including goats as seen here. Photo by Toni Milbourne.

KEARNEYSVILLE — The 66th annual Jefferson County Fair officially opens on Sunday, with a flag raising ceremony at 1 p.m. But there are many reasons to head out to the fairgrounds on Leetown Road prior to the ceremonial kick-off.

The fair runs Aug. 19-25, with events beginning most mornings at 8:30 a.m. and the last ride shutting down by 11 p.m. each night.

Saturday marks the day for Jefferson County residents to bring their exhibit entries to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. From 10 a.m to 3 p.m., each exhibitor can enter up to 20 items in the hand-craft competitions, including everything from baking to photography. Livestock entries begin as early as 7 a.m.

On Saturday evening, the annual Miss Jefferson County Fair pageant will begin at 6:30 p.m. The 2018 victor in the contest will join the Little Miss Jefferson County Fair and the Junior Miss Jefferson County Fair, both of whom will be crowned Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively. The fair queens will be on-hand throughout the week to help judge contests and present various awards.

Sunday begins with the Summer Cruise-In, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring a variety of both old and new cars. Other special events at the fair will include food eating contests for watermelon, corn, ice cream and marshmallows; a corn hole tournament Sunday at 3 p.m.; lawn and garden tractor pulls Thursday at 6:30 p.m.; and mutton busting and greased pig contests Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.

Canned goods are only one of the many handcrafted entries one can make for fair competition. Photo by Toni Milbourne.

Also on tap for the week is a sheep dog demonstration Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.;the Figure 8 Demolition Derby Tuesday at 7 p.m.; the Tuff Truck and Car Thursday at 7 p.m. Tractors and 4-wheel drives pull Friday at 6:30 p.m.; and the horse pull Thursday at 6:30 p.m., followed with magic in the show barn brought by Michael T at 7:30 p.m. After the magic show is finished, Michael T will host Cow Chip Bingo. Stop at the Jefferson County Parks and Rec booth on the midway throughout the week to purchase a “deed” for the bingo.

Local businesses and individuals wanting to support young exhibitors and youth organizations — FFA, 4-H and FCCLA — can bid during the livestock auction at noon on Aug. 25 in the show barn, or at the annual bake auction Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“The bake auction has become a very popular event,” said Todd Wilt, fair manager. “It gives businesses and individuals in the county the opportunity to support an entire group with their purchase.”

According to Wilt, carnival rides are open every night with Monday and Wednesday evenings being “family nights” where riders can ride all night for the low price of $25. For the second year, the final Saturday of the fair will provide an opportunity for discount rides, with a $15 price tag for the unlimited ride band.

Nashville artist John King will take to the stage on Wednesday at 7 p.m. King’s debut single, “Tonight Tonight,” was released in 2014. King’s recent release, “Never Wanna Be,” debuted on Spotify’s “New Boots” playlist and continues to rise in popularity. Price of admission into the fair covers one’s ticket to the show.

The midway lights draw crowds to the carnival rides. There are three opportunities for unlimited rides this year. Photo by Toni Milbourne.

Early in the week the bands from both high schools and the county’s four middle schools will play for fair-goers. Shepherdstown Middle hits the stage Monday evening at 6 p.m. with Jefferson High School’s field drum ensemble playing at 7:30 p.m.

Entry into the fair comes at a cost of $5 per person ages 16 and older; $3 for those 6-16 and free for all under 6. There is no gate fee on Saturday.

For more information about competitions and exhibitor times and guidelines, pick up a copy of the 2018 fair bank at any Jefferson County bank or library, or visit www.jeffersoncountywvfair.org.

Entries in the youth exhibit building are covered with plastic to prevent damage after judges award prize ribbons. Photo by Toni Milbourne.