Brooke Fair offers variety of food, fun

FAIR FUN — Christopher Kafton, 4, of Beech Bottom enjoyed a ride with his 11-year-old sister, Sandra, at the Brooke County Fair Saturday. Held at Brooke Hills Park, the fair continues from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today with a variety of food, contests and entertainment, including a circus stunt show, the Twins Day competition and a demolition derby.

WELLSBURG — From sword-swallowers and fire-eaters to carnival rides and a zipline, the Brooke County Fair offers a variety of entertainmnent and activities this weekend.

Held at Brooke Hills Park, the fair continues from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today. Admission is $5 and includes carnival rides, which open at 11 a.m.; and admission to Worlds of Wonder and Escape Explosion, a collection of circus stunts and magic acts that includes jugglers, contortionists and a female escape artist who will escape from a straitjacket while hanging 25 feet above the ground and other precarious situations.

Held downhill from the fairgrounds, the Escape Explosion performances are set for noon, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and the Worlds of Wonder shows are slated for 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Other highlights of today’s full schedule include a demolition derby at 1 p.m., the Twins Day competition which has been expanded to include triplets and other products of multiple births; a corn hole tournament at 3 p.m. and music by Easy Street at 1:30 p.m. and Stevie Lynn at 4 p.m.

Competitions have been a big part of the fair in recent years. Many turned out Saturday for the tug of war between teams from the county’s seven primary schools and sponsored by the Brooke County Commission.

Teams with three boys and three girls each, in grades 3 and 4, displayed strength and determination as they gripped the rope and planted their feet into the ground. Even the teams’ alternates got to demonstrate their resolve as they were divided up for a few rounds against each other.

The Franklin Primary School team emerged the winner of the event, defending the trophy they won at last year’s event. Coached by physical education instructor Dave Secrist, the team was comprised of Dixie Louthen, Grace Haught, Cole Durbin, Brady Yost, Karson Drumm and alternates Mallory Parks and Deegan Halstead.

It was the third victory for the school.

The festivities also included the Brooke County Queen of Queens Pageant. Placing first, second and third, respectively, for ages 3-6 were Chloie Black, Kaylee Burdette and Chloie Black; while first-, second- and third-place winners for ages 7-10 were Alexa Loy, who also was the overall winner; Ella Burdette and Sky Palma.

There also were more than 40 vendors of food, crafts, toys and other items.

Among them was Rhonda Stubbs of A Child’s Place Court-Appointed Special Advocates, a nonprofit group that trains volunteers to represent the interests of children involved in abuse and neglect cases in Brooke, Hancock and Jefferson counties.

The CASA booth, which offers children a chance to win prizes through a duck pond and golf putting game, is a way to get the group’s name out and recruit potential volunteers, which always are needed, Stubbs said.

She said another training session will begin Sept. 25 and anyone interested may call (304) 737-4444 or visit the group’s website at

At another booth Becky Moore was selling chili, soup beans and cookies to raise money for Food 4 Ewe. Started by Moore several years ago, the charity sends about 100 children at Colliers Primary School home with backpacks filled with food each weekend.

Moore said the effort has received a boost from ArcelorMittal, which has donated food and money; and Dan Hukill, who has provided space for her to store it.

Another Brooke County Fair regular is Ruth Brown who, with her neighbor, Debbie Boniutto, serves up breakfasts to early fairgoers while also selling assorted pies and cookies. Boniutto said Brown makes many of the baked goods the night before each day of the fair.

It’s a busy time for Brown, who appears at many other festivals as well as the Brooke County Farmers Market.

Next door was Paula Summers-Milliner of Follansbee, who sold Mexican and other assorted food, including home-made pizzelles.

“We’ve been coming here every year since they started it back up. It’s a nice event,” she said.

She said Friday night’s rainfall only temporarily dampened business and it produced a pleasant natural attraction, a double rainbow.

At another booth Kira Phillips ,a chiropractic assistant working for Dr. Tara Wood of HealthSource Chiropractic, was offering a 5-minute massage for $5, with proceeds going to Kim’s Walk for Neurological Diseases.

The annual walk raises funds for area residents with neurological diseases and scholarships for Brooke High School students with a family member who has such a disease or planning to pursue a related career.

Elsewhere Daniel Ruegg, pastor of Wellsburg Church of Christ, was spinning a wheel as part of a free contest testing Bible knowledge. The questions range from difficult to easy and are just a way to get out the Christian message in a light way, Ruegg said.

Everyone who passed by the booth was invited to enter a drawing for a Bible-themed gift basket by answering the question, “Who built an ark in the book of Genesis?”

Janet Crawford of Wellsburg, one of many volunteers with the fair, said she enjoys the event for the same reason as many of the attendees– The food, the entertainment and the people she meets.

(Scott can be contacted at