FAIRLEA, W.Va. — The 2017 State Fair of West Virginia in Fairlea began on a wet Thursday afternoon.

Despite the rain people still came to enjoy the rides, food, crafts and live music.  State Fair CEO Kelly Collins said the first day can be among the roughest, but is glad it went well regardless of the weather.

“We have so many indoor activities and people are always getting fair food,” she said.  “There’s so much going on that’s underneath a tent or inside.  So there’s stuff for people to do even if it is raining.”

The highlight of Thursday was the first of many headline concerts.  Country music starts Aaron Lewis and Ray Scott took the Grandstand Stage in front of a full house.  On Friday, more country music will echo through the fairgrounds from Martina McBride and Josh Turner.

Collins said she feels one of the most understated aspects of the State Fair is the educational value it holds.  Even if children aren’t participating in one of the fair’s competitions, spectators can learn a lot just by walking around.

“There’s a whole educational aspect to the fair that a lot of people might not know about.  Just learning the story of agriculture…we’re really encouraging people to get out on grounds and see the educational side of the State Fair.”

One of the improvements to the State Fair in recent years is the addition of a free smartphone app for those attending.  Available for Apple and Android phones, the app includes several features to help fair goers navigate the crowds.

“You can see a map of where you are and where you need to go,” Collins said.  “The schedule is wonderful, but the best part may be that you can buy tickets directly from that mobile app and scan them off of your phone.”

To download the app, search “State Fair of WV” in your phone’s app store.  For more information about the fair and upcoming events, visit statefairofwv.com.


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