For the Cumberland Times-News
FORT ASHBY, W.Va. — It’ll be homegrown favorites at this year’s edition of the Mineral County Fair as much of the week’s stage entertainment hails from the Mountain State.
From gospel to bluegrass to country to oldies, fairgoers will find a brand of music that appeals to their tastes along with popular grandstand events like the Demolition Derby and Mud Bog.
Making a return to the 64th annual event, which runs July 29 to Aug. 3, is “The Voice” singing competition, which features some of the best talent Mineral County has to offer.
“The talent show went over big last year and we’re hoping for even more participants this year,” said fair chairman Scott Turley. “We’re also bringing in the FMX Motorcycle Stunt Show that should be a real crowd-pleaser.”
The fair opens with the queen pageant on July 29 at 6 p.m. with stage performances by gospel-country artist Josh Oldaker of Ouiet Dell in Harrison County. Oldaker will provide fill-in music during the pageant.
Gambill Amusements rides open July 30 along with area favorites the Chinese Bandits on the fair stage at 7 and 9 p.m. Figure 8 Racing also kicks off at the track at 7 p.m.
On July 31, The Voice competition kicks off at 7 p.m. The competition features county residents 5 and over vying for one of three cash prizes.
The popular demolition derby returns on July 31 at 7 p.m.
The Aug. 1 entertainment slate includes Frankfort Middle School’s Teal Steel band, which will perform shows at 7 and 9 p.m. The Four-Wheel Drive Mud Bog is set for Aug. 1 at the grandstand and continues Aug. 3.
Romney-based Lonesome Highway will perform bluegrass tunes on the midway stage Aug. 2 at 7 and 9 p.m. with the Motorcycle Stunt Show kicking off at 7 p.m. at the grandstand.
Mineral Wells native Matt Enik will round out fair week with his country sounds on Aug. 3 with shows at 7 and 9 p.m.
Fireworks will light up the Fort Ashby sky Aug. 2 beginning at 10 p.m.
Free performances by the Great Lakes Timber Show will occur on the midway during the week.
Mineral County 4-H and FFA students also play big roles in the fair each year. On Aug. 1, a Junior Livestock Show is set for 6 p.m. The 4-H Horse and Pony Show is planned at 11 a.m. Aug. 2 and will be held in the ring on the state Route 28 side of the fairgrounds. The Ag Field Day begins that day along with the Livestock Sale, both at 6 p.m.
The grand feature parade will line up beginning at 3 p.m. Aug. 3 on Dan’s Run Road with a 4 p.m. starting time.
Advance sale season tickets will again be offered and provide a half-off savings on the nightly gate fee. Tickets can be purchased for $30 prior to 5 p.m. July 29 at the Mineral County Extension Office, Keyser; M&T Bank, FNB Bank, BB&T Bank and the Mineral County Fair Office, all in Fort Ashby.
Gates open at 6 p.m. with Saturday’s opening set at 5 p.m. A pay-one-price fee of $10 includes gate admission, parking, all rides and stage and track entertainment. Fairgoers 62 and older will be admitted each night for $5. This year’s fair grand drawing takes place Aug. 3 at 11 p.m.
Tickets are available from any member of the Fort Ashby Volunteer Fire Company and at the grand drawing booth.
For additional information or to reserve commercial space in the exhibit building or participate in the parade, contact the fair office at 304-298-3712.
To register for “The Voice” competition, email firstname.lastname@example.org. All entries must be registered by July 20.
For information on Figure 8 Racing, the Destruction Derby or Mud Bog, call Jack Fullerton Productions at 814-634-0916.
Members of the fair board are Scott Turley, chairman; Bill Bradfield, assistant chairman; Melissa Turley, secretary; Helen Cheshire, treasurer; and Matt Bachelor, John Dodrill and Darren Puffinburger, directors.
The Fort Ashby Volunteer Fire Company sponsors the fair.