64th Jefferson Fair opens this Sunday
This week marks the opening of the 64th annual Jefferson County Fair. Located at the Fairgrounds on Old Leetown Pike, the week-long event showcases craft projects, canning, baked goods and livestock that have all been fine-tuned, packaged, cooked and brushed to create the best possible appearance for judging.
This Saturday marks the day for exhibitors to bring their entries to the Fairgrounds. Entries can be submitted between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Judging takes place at various times throughout the week depending upon what entry one brings. All crafts, photos, food items and plant entries will be judged Saturday evening so that winners will be known when the Fair officially kicks off on Sunday at 1 p.m. with the flag raising ceremony.
On Saturday evening, lovely contestants will take to the stage to vie for the title of 2016 Miss Jefferson County Fair. On Sunday at 1:30 p.m., Little Miss contestants will parade across the stage to earn that title while Junior Miss Jefferson County Fair will be crowned Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m.
Another crowd favorite, the Summer Cruise-In, will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Stop and see some beautiful cars, both new and old.
The fair is a way to recognize the significant impact agriculture has on the community as well as celebrate the heritage of that agricultural lifestyle. Members of 4-H, FFA and FCCLA will participate by showing their projects and animals throughout the week. On Tuesday at 7 p.m., these groups will participate in a huge bake auction to raise money for their respective groups and clubs. Their livestock entries will be auctioned off next Saturday, Aug. 27 at the annual livestock sale beginning at noon. Youngsters use the fair to develop leadership skills, show their ability to raise and show their animals and to raise funds to projects.
The work of showing animals and entering exhibits is offset by the many fun and entertaining parts of fair week. 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 $22.
Eating contests featuring everything from watermelon to corn on the cob, to milk drinking are happening evenings in the show barn. A complete schedule can be found in the fair catalog available at local banks or on schedule cards which can also be picked up at the banks.
Fair manager Todd Wilt shared that there is a new addition to the contests this year as folks can try their hand at corn hole during a tournament on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m.
Wilt, serving in his 13th year as fair manager, said that this year, the fair board decided to bring in country music recording star Daryle Singletary who will perform on the stage Wednesday evening 7:30 p.m. This is a change from offering only local performers and is sure to be a big draw. Price of admission into the fair covers one’s ticket to the show.
Also on tap for the week is a sheep dog demonstration taking place Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday has the ever-popular Figure 8 Demolition Derby at 7 p.m. as well as the Singletary concert; while Tuff Truck and Car is Thursday at 7 p.m. Tractors and 4-wheel drives pull on Friday evening at 6:30. For those who prefer a little quieter “pull” the horses will pull on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. follow that event with some magic in the show barn brought by Michael T at 7:30 p.m. Michael T will then play host to “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.
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 5:30 p.m. with Jefferson High School’s jazz band following at 7.
Whatever one’s pleasure might be, there is sure to be something from timber sports to hay bale tossing to grab the attention of attendees of all ages. The fair runs Aug. 21-27 with events beginning most mornings at 8:30 a.m. and the last ride shutting down by 11 p.m. each night.
Wilt says about the fair, “It’s fun!” He said this despite putting in nearly 100 hours at the fairgrounds during the week.
Of course, when asked what his favorite part of the fair is, he laughingly (and rightly so] said, “The last day.”