The 97th annual State Fair of West Virginia kicked off on Thursday, Aug. 11, and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) will play a big part in the 10-day event. From the livestock shows to the dairy birthing center, the Produce Safety Trailer to the West Virginia Country Store, agriculture is at the heart of the State Fair.
“The State Fair is a reminder of the proud place agriculture has in the history of our State. But it also shows how important agriculture is to the security and health of our citizens today,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “As we continue to face rising inflation, supply chain issues, recover from a pandemic and experience higher energy prices, we as a State must embrace and celebrate our agricultural industries and its farmers.”
“We have a great 10-days lined up and cannot wait to open the gates,” State Fair CEO Kelly Collins stated. “Whether you are here for the rides, food, concerts, shopping or just plain fun – there is something for all ages to enjoy!”
The 2022 Concert Series features a sold-out Zach Bryan with special guest Charles Wesley Godwin on Aug. 18. Unfortunately, due to illness, the Cody Johnson concert with special quest Randall King scheduled for Aug. 11 was canceled.
Tickets are still available for the Buckin’ B Bull Ride on Aug. 12, Foreigner on Aug. 13, Clay Walker and Tracy Byrd on Aug. 14, Restless Road on Aug. 15, Chris Tomlin on Aug. 17, and Walker Hayes with special Guest Tigirlily on Aug. 20. WV-Native Kathy Mattea will also take the stage on Tuesday, Aug. 16, as a free show!
True to its roots, the SFWV will feature a full 10-days of livestock shows including the WV High School Rodeo, Junior 4-H and FFA livestock shows, horse shows, and of course, the fan-favorite Draft Horse Pull on Friday, Aug. 19, at 9 a.m.
To help mitigate the potential spread of H3N2v (Swine Influenza), the swine barn at the State Fair will be closed to fairgoers.
“Like every year, Department staff will be checking in every animal who attends the State Fair. But due to recent positive results for swine influenza at another fair, we will be stepping up our effort to ensure a safe environment,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “I want to make it abundantly clear, the State Fair is safe to attend, and we encourage folks to support this honored tradition.”
Fair officials and the WV Department of Agriculture Animal Health will be performing regular checks throughout the barn. Fairgoers are asked to continue to wash hands after visiting any animal exhibit, and those with weakened immune systems should be extra cautious.
Gate specials throughout the week include First Energy’s Magic Monday (8/15), Senior Citizen’s Day (8/16), the Early Bird Special sponsored by Diversified Energy featuring $1 admission from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (8/17) and Military Discount Day (8/17). Children age 10 and under will once again get in free all day, every day.
The week is also filled with free entertainment for all ages including Swifty Swine Pig Racing, the Bears of Bearadise Ranch, the Hot Glass Academy, Kidbuck$ Game $how, the Nerveless Nocks, Zuzu African Acrobats, and a packed schedule on the U.S. Cellular Free Stage!
The West Virginia Country Store in the Gus R. Douglass Annex will be filled with WV Grown products from all across the state. From jams and jellies made with West Virginia berries to honey collected from Mountain State hives, the Country Store will feature more than 40 vendors who proudly call West Virginia home.
“Not only will visitors be able to taste-test these products, vendors will be on hand to talk about how they find and source their ingredients. Whether it’s maple syrup for the always popular maple cotton candy or red peppers for a spicy salsa, our vendors will share what makes WV grown products so special,” Leonhardt said. “We encourage everyone to check out everything our WV Grown County Store has to offer.”
Also in the annex, you’ll find the WVDA apiarists who will explain how honeybees help make agriculture possible. They’ll have a demonstration hive behind glass so folks can get up close and see the bees at work. WVDA Plant Industries staff will also be on hand to talk about invasive pests impacting our forests.
The WVDA Produce Safety trailer and tent will be set up directly across from the beer garden and feature new, interactive games. In addition, growers will be able to sign up for free On-Farm Readiness Reviews or on-site visits to determine improvements to their growing and processing operations.
Next to the Dairy Birthing Center, the WVDA Dairy Display will be stationed where children can spin a wheel and win prizes while they learn about West Virginia’s dairy industry. Because of the on-going Avian Influenza (AI) outbreak in surrounding states, the Poultry Building will not feature live birds during the fair. However, fair goers may stop by, between 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., to visit educational displays and to sample poultry products.
Much of the action at the State Fair takes place at the livestock barns. Hundreds of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, llamas and horses will be on display. The WVDA Animal Health staff will be on hand throughout the fair checking in animals, making sure there are no signs of communicable diseases. They also make sure all testing requirements have been met and the proper movement documents are in place. If you have animal health questions, you can contact the WVDA Animal Health Division at 304-558-2214.
The WVDA is looking forward to showcasing all thing agriculture at the fair.
For more information or questions, contact Crescent Gallagher at 304-380-3922 or firstname.lastname@example.org