FORT ASHBY - The blistering 90-degree heat Monday may have kept some of the exhibitors from coming out by mid-day to set up their displays in the Mineral County Fair exhibit hall, but it didn't stop the 4-H and FFA youngsters from coming out in full force to register their livestock.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
FORT ASHBY - The blistering 90-degree heat Monday may have kept some of the exhibitors from coming out by mid-day to set up their displays in the Mineral County Fair exhibit hall, but it didn’t stop the 4-H and FFA youngsters from coming out in full force to register their livestock.
“We have more hogs than we’ve ever had,” said long-time fair participant Howard Page Monday morning, noting that some of the youngsters had to “double up” with their animals sharing space in the pens because they had run out of room.
According to Carol Webb, ag teacher and also a long-time participant in the fair, there are a total of 50 hogs, 30 market goats, 30 market lambs, six steers and 10 feeder calves registered for competition.
Once those animals are judged, they will be put up for auction at the annual 4-H and FFA Livestock Auction slated for Friday at 6 p.m. in the main arena.
Monday, one of the areas  in high demand was the new wash rack and stalls, where the 4-Hers and FFA members could wash down their animals and get them spruced up.
Webb said the new stalls were a joint effort of ag teacher John Ritchie, long-time fair participants Barb and George Miller, and the Livestock Association.
Also new this year will be a program organizers have dubbed “Down on the Farm,” where the public can attend livestock demonstrations and exhibits, including a duck pond with live ducks, thanks to the West Virginia State Fair; a live bee hive provided by the Beekeepers Association of Hampshire County, and interactive displays such as learning how to shear sheep on a wooden sheep with shaving cream and learning how to milk a simulated cow.
The fair opens to the public tonight at 6 p.m., with the Mineral County Fair Queen Pageant slated for 7 p.m.
Fair favorite Josh Oldaker will provide musical interludes during the pageant, and the Diamond J. Rodeo will dust things up at the grandstand.
Wednesday events include music by 28 Speedway at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and the 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby, also at 7 p.m. at the grandstand.