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Hancock County Oldtime Fair offered family friendly weekend

Large crowd attends popular weekend event at Tomlinson Run State Park

OLDTIME FAIR — Area residents browsed more than a dozen local food and craft vendors set up at Tomlinson Run State Park over the weekend as part of the Hancock County Oldtime Fair. -- Craig Howell

NEW MANCHESTER — It was a weekend of family friendly fun at Tomlinson Run State Park over the weekend, as the Hancock County Oldtime Fair made its return.

Vendors set up shop around the pool of the state park, with fair board President Buddy Stewart noting a variety of foods available for purchase. The Tomlinson Run State Park Foundation, for example, served breakfast in the mornings, and pulled pork, Sloppy Joe’s and other sandwiches in the afternoon, while the New Manchester Volunteer Fire Department provided fish, chicken and other selections.

Buena Vista Honey Farms set up its tent with a selection of honey and candy, while others sold ice cream.

“We have various kids’ games and the Barnyard Olympics here both days,” Stewart noted, explaining many of the activities reflect more traditional games and the area’s agricultural history.

Among the events lined up this year were the skillet toss and rolling pin toss, a tug-of-war and stick-horse races, along with a tractor obstacle course. This year’s pie-eating contest featured 4-inch pies, with participants selecting from apple or cherry pies.

“We do those throughout the day Saturday and Sunday,” he said.

A bike night helped to kick off the fair Friday, with a car show wrapping it up Sunday. The fair also featured a weekend of entertainment, with performances by Cartoon and Honky Tonkin on Saturday, and Express Your Talent Dance and Performing Arts Studio and Keith Williams on Sunday.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department operated a dunk tank, while New Manchester firefighters held a stuff-a-truck, both aimed at raising money and collecting toys for Hancock County’s Shop with a Cop campaign.

For those unable to make the fair and looking to contribute to the Shop with a Cop fundraiser, Stewart said Debbie Lawton, owner of Country Delights and Gift Galeria in Weirton, has offered to serve as a collection point for donations.

Stewart said the board works to make sure everything offered at the fair is unique, so multiple vendors aren’t offering the same product.

“One thing we pride ourselves on is we don’t double up on things,” Stewart explained. “We’re here for everyone.”

It’s the sense of community, noted Carole Scheerbaum of the Hancock County WVU Extension Office, that makes the Hancock County Oldtime Fair special.

“The fair has always been a way for us to reach out to the community with educational and recreational opportunities,” she said.

The Extension Office was set up in a large tent near the fair’s entrance this year, with a variety of games and activities, as well as information on 4-H and other programs.

“For family friendly fun at a family friendly price, and the Hancock County Fair is the place to be in September,” she said.

Stewart took time to express the board’s appreciation to all the vendors, performers and partners of this year’s fair, including to Weirton Transit Corp., which provided a shuttle service.

With this year’s fair coming to an end Sunday night,” Stewart said the fair board will take a month off to rest before beginning plans for next year’s event.

“We’re always looking for volunteers,” Stewart said, noting the board will meet the second Tuesday in November to start its preparations.

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