Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 31, 2011

Bland County Fair is a good time for all

BLAND, Va. — Shade was a hot commodity Saturday afternoon at the Bland County Fair, and a crowd of more than 100 people gathered beneath the roof of the new pavilion on the fairgrounds to enjoy the performances at the talent show.

“This is the second year we’ve had the talent show,” Goldie Kiser of the fair board said. “The pavilion fills up with mommies, daddies, brothers, sisters, cousins, family and friends. We all have a great time.”

“This is one of the truly wonderful things about Bland County,” Eric Workman, Bland County administrator said. Eric and his wife, April, brought their two sons out to enjoy the fair. “Everybody knows each other here. We’re all like family.”

Matt Harman, who serves as co-chair of the fair along with his wife, Drema, only looked toward heaven when asked if everything was ready for the horse show.

“I don’t like to have the horses out here on the track when it’s this hot, so we’re delaying the start of the show (Saturday) evening until it cools off a little,” he said. “I didn’t know how this would work out with racking and pacing horses here. A little while ago when there weren’t any horse trailers in that field, I didn’t know how it was going to work out. Now that the field’s full, I don’t know we’ll park more trailers. But Ralph Mullins said there will be more here.”

Mullins, who lives in Ceres, Va., brought the expertise to show racking and pacing horses to the Bland Fairgrounds track. “These people want to show horses,” Mullins said. “We have people coming in from Kentucky, North Carolina and Grundy, Va. If this works out, we could be having some more horse shows here in the future.”

Matt Harman said that the horse pull on Friday night drew a huge crowd. “We had 13 teams out here and the crowd really enjoyed it,” he said.

“It was a great show,” Sharon Payne of McDowell County said of the horse pulling contest.

“I think it’s good that they’ll be starting a little later because it is so hot,” Gracie Payne said. “It can be hard on the horse when it’s too hot.”

At night fall, the crowds were starting to gather at the show ring with Myers Amusements rides swinging into action and the pavilion preparing for the Southern Nights Band. The Bland County Fair was swinging Saturday night.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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