WELLSBURG - Organizers of the Brooke County Fair have been working to fill each of the event's three days with a variety of activities, contests and entertainment.
A contest inspired by television's "Minute to Win It" game show, a re-enactment group inspired by American Revolution, a demonstration of Native American drum-making and playing and scenic helicopter rides are new additions to the fair, which will be held from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., 10 a.m. to dusk Sept. 10 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 11 at Brooke Hills Park.
Paul and Patty Lish, who co-chair the fair board, said the event will again include a variety of food,crafts and musical entertainment, carnival rides and inflatable attractions for children, a demolition derby, mud bog for trucks, chainsaw carving, tomahawk tossing and blacksmithing demonstrations; and fireworks display.
Admission is $5 each day and includes carnival rides and inflatable attractions. A three-day pass is available for $10 at the park's clubhouse no later than Monday.
Fairgoers also may take a scenic helicopter ride, provided by Snowy Owl Aviation, for $30 each.
Also new to the fair are members of the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, a re-enactment group that will share what it was like to serve in George Washington's Army during the American Revolution on Saturday and Sunday; and the Mesa Creative Arts Center of Burgettstown, Pa., which will demonstrate Native American drum making and playing on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. only.
The fair is known for its many competitions, including a chili cookoff, amateur photo, baked good and cutest baby contests; Fair Idol and Guitar Hero competitions, Brooke County Queen Pageant, mud volleyball and horseshoe tournaments, bingo and contests testing participants' ability to quickly consume ice cream, pizza and other foods.
The Twins Day event also will return at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, with awards going to those who look most or least alike, are the oldest or youngest present, traveled the farthest, live closest or fall into other categories.
Some of the contests require pre-registration and forms can be obtained at the fair's Web site at www.brookecountyfair.org or by calling the park at (304) 737-1236 or West Virginia University Extension Service at (304) 737-3666.
This year a team from Beech Bottom Primary School, winner of last year's primary school tug-of-war, will defend the school's right to display the traveling trophy at their school for another year.
Children from nearby Franklin Primary School will share some history of the 176-year-old tollgate house at the park's entrance at an open house at 3 p.m. Sept. 9.
Everyone is invited to attend and see exterior renovations made through a $160,000 grant from West Virginia Division of Highways and secured by the Brooke County WVU Extension Service.
For many years money was collected at the site from travelers carried by wagons, carriages and horses on a toll road between Washington, Pa. to Wellsburg.
Friday's festivities also will include an opening program at 6 p.m. involving a flag raising by local Boy Scouts, the national anthem performed by Kassidy Wells, a welcome by Janice McFadden, the park's manager; and butterfly release, courtesy of Butterflies from Heather/AH-HA Butterfly.
On Sunday at noon, state Sen. Jack Yost, D-Wellsburg, will lead a remembrance of the tragedies and heroism of Sept. 11, 2001.
The fair offers a variety of local churches, school groups and others to raise funds through the sale of food, crafts and other items.
At their tent, leaders and members of Brooke County 4-H clubs will be selling coffee and doughnuts just before the fair opens on Saturday and Sunday, displaying projects completed over the year and offering free activities for children.
The Lishes said the fair is supported by more than 30 sponsors.
This year Chesapeake Energy has joined the effort through a donation supporting the construction of a new shelter on the fairgrounds.