FAIRLEA, W.Va. — It’s time for some fun at the fair. The State Fair of West Virginia kicked off Friday. It’s a special year for the event. It was back in 1924, 90 years ago, that the fair debuted.

Back then, it was all about the crops and the livestock and Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, the CEO of the State Fair of West Virginia, said that hasn’t changed.

“We’re all about agriculture and that’s what we focus on,” said Pierson-Jolliffe. “We’ve done more this year than in year’s past with the education story and efforts. We want people to understand how food gets on the kitchen table.”

While there’s lot of mid-way rides and games, the CEO said it’s what’s in the barns that are the most attractive to fair-goers.

The livestock competitions are still at the heart of the fair.

“We’re fortunate that our livestock competitions are still very strong. We’ll have thousands of variety of breeds of animals here. That’s surely what sets the fair apart from other events,” explained Pierson-Jolliffe.

From cows to sheep and everything in between, it’s a bit wooly in those barns. There are competitions for adults and children, even scholarships given away. Pierson-Jolliffe said the fair is a unique place where families can gather and enjoy traditional West Virginia.

“Days are crazy and technology is everywhere, but the fair is about real things and real people and all the things that make West Virginia special. I think we need that. I think we crave it everyday and passing that tradition on through generations,” she said.

Pierson-Jolliffe said she’ll see a lot of grandparents with their grandchildren at the fair. That’s how it’s been for the past 90 years.

You don’t want to forget the food while you’re at the fair. From sweet corn to funnel cakes to candied apples, many of the ingredients come from right here in West Virginia.

This year’s entertainment line-up includes Little Big Town, Foreigner, Hunter Hayes and Scotty McCreery.

For more information on all the fun, click here.

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  • Dumb Liberals

    Beer now sold in the concert venue. Gotta keep the drunks drunk it appears.

    A special sheep "tent" for the muslim attendees.

    Bottled water supplied from a down stream source on the Kanawha River.

    A little bit of everything for all.

    Do they have a fighting cage for all the domestic fights that will occur?

  • JD

    I drink beer with my family all the time. It is a family event.

  • just sayin

    Disappointed that the fair gave into the almighty dollar and will sell beer during the concerts....doesn't say much for the "family atmosphere".......