Mineral County Fair returns in 3 weeks

Special to the News Tribune
An exhibitor readies her cow for the 2019 Mineral County Fair. As the fair returns this month following a year's hiatus due to COVID, the livestock will once again be on exhibit, but the annual livestock sale will be handled virtually.

FORT ASHBY —The Mineral County Fair is back after a year’s hiatus, kicking off the summer season on June 22 with a week packed with pro wrestlers, cowboys and some of the region's best musical entertainment.

COVID-19 forced cancellation of last year’s event and organizers are hoping for a “return to near normal” this year.

Weekly passes are now on sale for the 72nd annual fair, which runs June 22-26 at the fairgrounds in Fort Ashby. They can be purchased for $45 at the Mineral County Extension Office, Keyser; M&T Bank, Fort Ashby; Grady’s One Stop, Fort Ashby; and the Mineral County Fair Office.

Grandstand attractions include pro wrestling, bull riding and barrel racing, a demolition derby and two nights of the four wheel drive Mud Bog.

“We’ll maintain social distancing where we can,” fair chairman Bill Bradfield said. “Fairs and festivals were given a green light by the governor on May 1, so we’re hoping to kick things off on Tuesday, June 22.”

Cole Amusement Company is returning and will be sanitizing rides and offering sanitization stations throughout the fairgrounds. The Exhibit Hall will be open as well, Bradfield said.

The fair begins on June 22, with a return performance by country-gospel artist Josh Oldaker of Harrison County. Oldaker takes the stage at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. along with young women vying for the title of Mineral County Fair Queen. At the grandstand, the bell rings on Championship Pro Wrestling at 7 p.m. The main event features WWE superstar El Conquistador pitted against The Patriot.

On June 23, Highland Grass will perform on the stage at 7 and 9 p.m. and the popular Diamond J Rodeo returns for a night of bucking bulls, clowns and barrel racing at the grandstand beginning at 7 p.m.

June 24 will see the demolition derby featuring 4- and 8-cylinder vehicles at 7 p.m. along with 17-year-old piano wiz Milo Allman performing on the fairgrounds stage at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The stock and modified class Mud Bog is set for June 25, along with The Voice talent competition. Both events begin at 7 p.m.

28 Speedway band will round out fair week on June 26 with shows at 7 and 9 p.m. along with the super stock and super modified classes of the Mud Bog at the grandstand. The grand feature parade will line up beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday on Dan’s Run Road. The parade will start at 4 p.m.

Gates and rides open June 22-25 at 6 p.m. On June 26, gates open at 5 p.m. after the parade with rides running at 5:30 p.m.

A pay-one-price fee of $12 includes gate admission, parking, all rides and stage and track entertainment. Fairgoers 62 and older are admitted each night for half price.

This year’s fair grand drawing takes place June 26 at 10 p.m. Tickets are available from any member of the Fort Ashby Volunteer Fire Company and at the grand drawing booth.

First Energy will have a demonstration trailer on the grounds this year to educate the public about electrical hazards.

Organizers recently extended the pig barn to accommodate more animals. The renovation was made possible with donations from the FFA and livestock association. The livestock will once again be exhibited on the fairgrounds, but this year’s livestock sale will be handled online.

To register for The Voice, visit http://www.mineralcountyfair.org/registration/voice-competition-registration/

For information on the Mud Bog, call Jack Fullerton Promotions at 814-634-0916. For information on the Demolition Derby, call Larry Humbertson at 301-697-0142.

For additional information or to reserve commercial space in the exhibit hall, contact the fair office at 304-298-3712. More information also is available at www.mineralcountyfair.org or on the fair’s Facebook page.

Members of the fair board are Bill Bradfield, chairman; Matt Batchelor, assistant chairman; Helen Cheshire, secretary-treasurer; and John Dodrill and Darren Puffinburger, directors.

The Fort Ashby Volunteer Fire Company sponsors the fair.