WELLSBURG - Matches between the Black Diamond Independent Professional Wrestlers, amusement rides and inflatables for children and a variety of food and crafts were among the multitude of events and activities offered at the Brooke County Fair Friday and a sample of the weekend to come.
Held at Brooke Hills Park, the three-day fair continues today with the annual tug of war between Brooke County primary schools and a truck mud bog, both at noon; the Brooke County Fair Idol singing contest at 2 p.m. and music by vocalist Catherine Losey at 12:30 p.m., the Frontroom doo wop singing group at 4 p.m. and the Cross Creek country and southern rock band at 7:30 p.m.
There also will be a demonstration of remote controlled airplanes and helicopters by the Hill Hoppers Flying Club, beginning at noon; a mud volleyball tournament between high school students at 1 p.m., a contest at 5:30 p.m. inspired by the "Minute to Win It" television show and various eating contests during the day.
FAIR FUN — Madison Rujak, 5, of Louise, center, held a baby chick, one of several animals brought to the Brooke County Fair by Dr. Holly Kossuth, a local veterinarian, left, while Rujack’s friend — Raegann Pellen, 9, of Louise, waited her turn Friday during the fair’s opening night. The fair continues today with amusement rides and inflatables for children, the annual tug of war competition between Brooke County primary schools, a truck mud bog, music by the Frontroom doo wop singing group and country and the Cross Creek country and southern rock band. -- Warren Scott
Among the many on hand Friday were leaders of the Brooke County 4-H program, who brought duct tape, sponges and other materials for children visting the fair to make various crafts and displays of projects undertaken by 4-H members.
Liz Gatts, 4-H program assistant, said leaders and members today will demonstrate their skill with archery, air pistols and air rifles.
A shooting sports team has joined the 4-H program, which includes five clubs and three Cloverbud clubs, which are for younger children.
Visitors to the 4-H tent also may cast votes for children in the cutest baby and baked good contests held by the group.
Fairgoers also may vote for their favorite entries in the chili cook-off coordinated by Jeff Wise.
Disc jockey Jack Carbasho will be conducting karaoke at the fair's main stage during the day also.
Since it was revived, following a 20-year hiatus, several years ago, the fair has offered many nonprofit groups an opportunity to raise money and make themselves known.
A booth manned by Rhonda Stubbs, executive director of A Child's Place Court-Appointed Special Advocate Program, and volunteers offered a duck pond and golf game for children as well as an opportunity to learn more about the group, which trains volunteers to represent the interests of children involved in abuse and neglect cases in Brooke and Hancock counties.
Members of Wellsburg First Church of God and Wellsburg Church of Christ see the fair as an opportunity to reach out to the community.
They brought nothing for sale. Instead, the First Church of God brought free hot dogs and bottled water, Bibles and Christian music and videos and accepted prayer requests from fairgoers.
Members of the Church of Christ invited visitors to test their knowledge of various aspects of the Bible with a computer game inspired by television's "Jeopardy."
Many manning booths at the fair are regulars who enjoy interacting with visitors as much as selling food or goods.
Follansbee business owner Robert Wolfgang sells funnel cakes, pretzels and other food at fairs as a sideline, which he said allows him to get out and see people.
"It's not just making money," he said.
Wolfgang said he participated in the original fair and noted how it has changed, including the addition of electrical lines.
"We were powered by a generator then," he said, adding, "It seems like they have a lot more vendors. It's a real family-oriented event."
Opening ceremonies for the fair Friday included a welcome from Jancie McFadden, manager of Brooke Hills Park; a flag raising by Boy Scout Troop 737 and Cub Scout Pack 737, the national anthem performed by Nikki Mitchell and Rachel Kirchner, and the release of butterflies supplied by local butterfly breeder Heather Ness.
The butterflies were released by Parker Gagich, the 3-year-old grandson of fair co-chairs Paul and Patty Lish, with the help of his cousin, Rhiannon Macom.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)