Finally: Fair time once again

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Gracie Jones of Burlington gives "Tippy," her Boer goat, a bath Monday in preparation for the week's livestock shows at the Mineral County Fair. This is Gracie's first year exhibiting as a 4-Her in the Klover Krusaders Club, although she had previously shown animals in the fair when she was a Cloverbud. She says raising and showing animals at the fair is fun, and she also enjoys spending time with her friends during the week. The fair continues through Saturday.
Timothy Ritchie shares a laugh with grandson Elijah Thomas Rohrbaugh as the two enjoy some french fries at the Mineral County Fair Tuesday. For more on the fair, see inside today's paper or visit www.newstribune.info.

Finally: Fair time once again

FORT ASHBY - It was the perfect recipe for a successful opening night for the 72nd annual Mineral County Fair, which opened Tuesday night in Fort Ashby.

It was one-part people celebrating no longer being cooped up with COVID restrictions, and one-part perfect weather.

In any event, throngs of Mineral County and surrounding area residents flocked to the Fort Ashby Fairgrounds beginning a 6 p.m. to take in the ever-anticipated activities of fair-going.

There was fair food, boy was there ever fair food. Be it from the Fort Ashby Volunteer Fire Department, Mineral County 4-H, or a host of private vendors, there were funnel cakes, deep fried Oreos, cured ham sandwiches, frozen lemonade - everything to please the palate, so long as you ignore the calorie count.

There was entertainment both on stage and in the grandstand. If the country and gospel sounds of Josh Oldaker struck your fancy, you had opportunities at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to catch him in action. If a professional wrestling show was more your cup of tea, Championship Pro Wrestling was available in the grandstand, bringing smiles, and a few good-natured jeers from the crowd, young and old.

There were rides - soft and somewhat gentle rides for the young and less adventurous, and fast paced, up and down, side to side rides for the daredevils and thrill-seekers among us, provided by Cole Amusements.

There were games of course. Whether winning a giant stuffed animal, bottle of Pepsi, Van Halen mirror, or money was your desire, games of chance ranging from the ring toss, dart throw, and basketball shot were widely available.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there was the livestock, raised locally by area youths. Cows, pigs, goats, sheep, you name it, big and small, was available to be observed and judged.

The feeling of excitement was in the air. You could sense a great feeling of relief, maybe even of newfound freedom, as fair-goers seized the opportunity to enjoy life in a normal way for a change. It didn’t hurt that an unseasonably cool night for June in Appalachia made the weather an absolute delight.

The great news is that the Mineral County Fair is just getting started. Tuesday was just the start; activities to include Bull Riding and Barrel Racing, the music of Highland Bluegrass, a demolition derby for four and eight-cylinder cars and mini-vans, the music of Piano Whiz Milo Allman, mud bogs, and the music of Almost Famous and 28 Speedway on slate through Saturday.

And of course, the fair food, amusement rides, games, and livestock will be available all week as well. Take advantage of mostly great weather forecasts, get out and amongst them, and most importantly, show your support for a great institution that supports many great organizations and our area youth - the Mineral County Fair.