Washington County Fair adds new events, sees bigger crowds

The long, rich tradition of the Washington County Fair continued this weekend as fairgoers flocked to the Washington County Fairgrounds for the animals, entertainment, midway rides, children’s activities, tractor pulls and fair food.

The Washington County Fair will conclude on Tuesday.

“The weather has been great,” said Fair Board Secretary Lisa McNish. “The turnout has been better than expected, better than last year.”

Another positive this year for the fair organizers is that they’ve had a lot of volunteers. They’ve also added a few new activities.

New this year is the Cake Eating Contest that was held Saturday, Sunday and today. The competition had two categories; ages 18 and under and ages 18 and over. Trophies were given for first and second place in each division. Competitors couldn’t use their hands and the first one done, wins. The cake used was donated by the Village Cakery in Vincent.

“This is the first year for this free activity,” said Morgan Smith McCoy, Chairman of the children’s activities. “We wanted to try something different.”

Saturday’s Cake Eating Contest winner was Lane Schaad, 14, of Marietta.

“It feels good to win,” said Schaad, smiling with cake all over his face. “It was pretty hard to get into the cake at first because you have to get through the icing, but it tasted really good.”

Dawson Layton, 14, and brother Denay Layton, 11, both of Whipple also competed.

“We’ve been talking about this event all day,” said their mother Tammy Layton. “My kids were excited to try it. Denay is my youngest and she has three older brothers so she’s used to competition.”

Dawson thought it was a lot of fun. Part of his strategy was to distract his sister and go right into the middle of the cake while his sister Denay went from one side to the other.

Another new event this year is the Farm Chore Relay which involves carrying bales of hay, flipping tires and carrying buckets of water.

This year’s Washington County Fair Little Miss Princess is Evelyn Bauer and the Little Prince is Jack Allen.

The fair offers a little bit of something for everyone. One main reason is an opportunity for 4-H and FFA members to show their animals.

Jake Lang, 15, of Marietta, has been working hard preparing his dairy feeder steer for the fair.

“I walk him, feed and take care of him every day,” said Lang. “I’ve been doing this since I was 9.”

This is the first year for Frontier County 4-H Group member Sophia Bauman, 10, of Reno, who showed her chicken named Neon.

“I’m getting used to chickens,” said Bauman, who gets some help and advice from her Pa Paw and friends who have had chickens.

“This is new to Sophia, she’s learned a lot,” said her mother Kaylei Bauman. “This is an awesome program.”

The midway carnival rides have been a popular draw during the fair.

“We’re having a good time,” said Amy Hall, of Parkersburg, as her daughter Palmer Hall, 1, was sitting on a carousel horse enjoying a ride on the Merry-Go-Round with her grandmother, Lisa Forshey. “We’re glad that there’s a lot of kids rides for Palmer. We came to check out the rides and get some food.”

Jackson Plumley, of Pt. Pleasant, comes to the fair for the tractor pulls

“I’ve been coming here for 12 years,” said Plumley. “They have the best tractor pulls I’ve been to. I’m an old farm boy and I like watching them.”

A special feature this year is the “Spirit of Americans Story Wall” which is a traveling exhibit visually showing the county’s history and fight for freedom. It is sponsored by the Veterans Service Commission. Many veterans volunteered at this year’s fair. On Tuesday, all veterans and active servicemen get in the fair at no cost.

Today’s schedule includes:

– 8-10 a.m.: 4-H Pancake Flippin’ Breakfast and Show – Jr. Fair Bldg.

– 10 a.m.: Jr. Fair Dairy Showmanship – Multi-Purpose Bldg.

– 11 a.m.: Jr. Fair Dairy Breeding Judging – Multi-Purpose Bldg.; followed by Pee Wee Showmanship

– Noon: Midway Opens; Horse Harness Racing – Track; Phase 2 – Entertainment – Midway

– 1-7 p.m.: Election of Fair Board Directors – Home Arts Bldg.

– 1-3 p.m.: Cloverbud Activities – Jr. Fair Bldg.

– 1 p.m.: Cake Eating Contest – Multi-Purpose Bldg.

– 3 p.m.: Coin Hunt (12 and under) – Petting Zoo

– 5-6 p.m.: Midway shuts down for Inspection

– 5 p.m.: Farm Chore Relay

– 6 p.m.: Overall Showmanship Contest – Horse Arena and Multi-Purpose Bldg.; ATV Drag – Grandstands

– 6-9 p.m.: $1 Skate Night – Roller Rink

– 11 p.m.: Midway Closes

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