Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 4, 2013

Good weather brings out big crowd to fair

GARDNER — The weather was absolutely beautiful for the Mercer County Fair on Saturday, as hundreds of people turned out for the final day of the three-day event that seems to be growing along lines more closely aligned with the county’s pre-industrial heritage.

“During the last few years, I have encouraged people associated with the fair committee to find one thing that they can really get excited about and start working on that,” Dusti Snider, president of the Mercer County Fair Association said. “I tell them to find something that really lights their fire, and then, go after it.

“For me, it’s these show tractors,” Snider said pointing to the restored tractors surrounding him. “Joe Stafford had interest in the rodeo, and now it’s really taken off and Steve Johnston’s love is livestock, and now he has developed that into a real attraction. If everyone can find just one thing, I think we can start moving the fair into a positive direction.”

Of course, elements that have made the fair a huge success through the years were still there — the car show, cooking and crafts exhibits, vendors and entertainment remain a big part of the annual event. However, the rodeo show ring, tractor-pulling venue, stock pens and even several carnival-style rides appear to be growing in popularity.

“You’ll notice that my granddaughter, Lindsay (Belcher) Jackson, is not entered in the antique tractor pulling competition this year,” Jerry Belcher said after regrading the tractor-pull track after a competitor finished her pull. Belcher, a member of the fair board of directors, said that his granddaughter, and her husband, Tyler Jackson, are expecting their first child in September.

“They already know that it’s going to be a girl and they have picked out a name — Blakely Avery,” Belcher said. “The Avery part of her name comes from BF Avery toy tractors. I just thought your readers might be interested in an update.” Lindsay has been the subject of a few articles during the past several years due to her wish to become a professional antique tractor-pull driver.

While the tractors were churning on the hillside above the PikeView High School Panther football field, Molly Flanigan, was busy attracting visitors — young and old — to her scientific display.

“Allow me to demonstrate Newton’s first law of motion,” she said as she positioned an egg atop a small cardboard paper roll and placed that on a pie tin that was positioned on top of a glass of water. She quickly pulled the tin from beneath the egg and stated: “A body at rest tends to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.” The egg fell into the water glass without breaking.

Pat Davis and several other model aircraft enthusiasts were busy flying fixed wing model aircraft and model helicopters. “We’re going to stir up some interest or stir up some dust,” Davis said. “Maybe we’ll do a little of both.”

Several civic organizations including the Mercer County Beekeeper’s Association, Mercer County Historical Society and many more were providing information along with delicious food.

“We’re the Appalachian Hoedowners from Crockett, Virginia,” Melissa Eversol said after a group of 20 or more put on a precision flatfooting demonstration on stage at the fair. “The more you clap, the more we’ll dance,” Eversol added.

“We have at least two generations that don’t know what a county fair is,” Keith Circle, vice president of the fair association, said. “I think that everyone here is having a good time. I tell people that come here, walk around for a while, find a shady spot, just sit down for a while and take it all in. A county fair isn’t the kind of a thing where you can park your car, get out, walk around for a few minutes and then leave.”

Circle expressed his appreciation to Meagan Iddings for working her first year as association secretary, but added his thanks to long-time secretary, Anna Johnson who worked in the background to make the event was a success. He also thanked Gail Hill, fair treasurer, “and all of our board members.”

Snider said that despite some unforeseeable disappointments, he was pleased with this year’s fair. “I have gotten more of a feel in the past three or four years that we’re headed in the right direction,” he said. “Of course, we welcome constructive criticism if it will help us have a better fair next year.”

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • new water treatment facility Officials break ground on new waste water facility

    Rain didn’t dampen enthusiasm Thursday when ground was broken for a wastewater plant that will double both the treatment capacity and opportunities for economic development in the Claypool Hill and Wardell communities.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Absentee voting lagging

    Absentee balloting is off to a slow start in a closely-watched Southwest Virginia Senate race that will determine which political party controls the General Assembly.  
    Three candidates are vying to succeed former lawmaker Phillip Puckett, who resigned in June. A special election is set for Aug. 19. The candidates are Republican A. Benton “Ben” Chafin Jr. Democrat D.M. “Mike” Hymes and independent Rick A. Mullins.

    July 25, 2014

  • Civil complaint filed against GM alleging defects caused local woman’s death

    The estate of a young Mercer County woman and her unborn child have filed a civil complaint in Mercer County Circuit Court alleging that a defective ignition switch in the woman’s 2005 Chevy Cobalt led to her death as well as the death of her unborn child.
    Keisha Dawn Vest, 26, of Princeton, the wife of Jason Vest, and mother of a (then) 3-year-old son, was driving to Mt. Airy, N.C., on May 2, 2006, when the brakes on her vehicle failed. Mrs. Vest was working in Mt. Airy as an MRI technician. Without brakes, Mrs. Vest lost control of her vehicle and entered an intersection into the path of a tractor-trailer. She died as a result of the injuries she received in the wreck.

    July 25, 2014

  • ‘Overwhelming:’ Area fans supporting Saints trip to West Virginia

    The community response to the New Orleans Saints’ three-week visit to The Greenbrier for training camp can be described best in one word that Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and Saints head coach Sean Payton all used Thursday when discussing the team’s first 24-plus hours in the Mountain State.
    “Overwhelming,” they all agreed.

    July 25, 2014

  • Police continue to search for suspects in local robberies

    Three robbery suspects remain at large in Mercer and Tazewell counties.

    July 25, 2014

  • Construction begins ... Ground broken on Tazewell County wastewater treatment plant

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Absentee balloting underway in closely watched 38th senatorial district contest

    July 24, 2014

  • Princeton man sues GM over wife’s crash death

    July 24, 2014

  • Press conference ... Son gets life for murders

     After pleading no contest in Tazewell County Circuit Court to charges of capitol murder-robbery, a Virginia man was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for the murder of his own parents.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Search continues for suspect impersonating a police officer

    The deputy who is leading the investigation into last weekend’s incident involving an individual who made a traffic stop while impersonating a police officer said she has stepped up the search, and hopes to have a sketch artist work with the victim to get a description.

    July 24, 2014

National and World
Newspaper Deivery Routes Available
Sister Newspapers' News
Facebook
Local News Videos