Friday, August 16, 2013

State Fair in Fairlea, West Virginia - Population 1700

The West Virginia State Fair is held in the little town Fairlea next to the slightly bigger place Lewisburg.  It gets somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000 people during the ten day run of the fair so it's quite the sight to behold.
I found it really interesting that in Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia the Departments of Tourism aren't the ones who dictate the start of the school year.  All of these states already have school in session even though their state fairs are on and even though it's only mid August.  Strange that they don't follow Saskatchewan's model of having a totally non-educational group decide the school year.  Whoops!  Was I making political commentary?  I digressed.
Let's get back to the West Virginia State Fair.
I was reading a commentary about state fairs and a quote from the article is "There is zero pretension at a state fair.  Come as you are."  It's true, you know.  And the West Virginia State Fair may be the best example as people come out of the hills to have some fun.  I had no pretension myself as I was there without any makeup on, but I'm not going to show you that.  Instead, here are some photos of some "mountain people" I spotted.

It comes as no surprise that one booth, one huge booth, was selling nothing but "Duck Dynasty" products.
The internet suggested the must-have food at this fair is the cinnamon buns.  Lots of people were lined up at that booth even at 9 a.m.
Bob and I have been at this fair enough times to be wiser than any internet article; we headed straight for the Paul Bunyan burgers, but not at 9 a.m.  The booth selling them has been there for more than 40 years and Bob had
his first one about 40 years ago.
Bob's brother from Florida works this fair with his staging business so Bob and he got a quick visit in.
An advantage of visiting backstage was that Bob got to meet the reigning beauty queen for the Associated Fairs of West Virginia.  What a charming young woman.  She started competing when she was 16 so she hasn't taken the route of "Toddlers and Tiaras."
I was off to see the quilts, gardening stuff, the carnival, and the animals.  The quilts are at
The prize winning flowers were very wilted as the fair is almost over but the heirloom tomatoes still looked great.  The fair had a garden area of about 6000 square feet that was filled with great flowers and vegetables.  Vanessa, this swiss chard photo is for you.

It was perfect carnival weather.
Bob and I got the chance to be nostalgic when we spotted the carnival bingo.  In the early years of our marriage we would go out with the Thomas Shows to work for Bob's folks who managed the bingo on that carnival.
Here are some of my favorite animals from this fair:
What's the expression? - happy as a pig in ... sawdust?
At first I thought these sheep had formed a chapter of the KKK, but then I realized they were just keeping clean before they were shown.
The next is my favorite photo from the entire trip.

Ah, memories of the eviscerating plant in Wynyard.

Let me end with a few randoms of this wonderful state.


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