Last updated: August 15. 2014 1:49AM - 250 Views
By Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

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In West Virginia, we enjoy taking time to celebrate our rich heritage and traditions. Each year, the West Virginia State Fair brings many of these traditions to life and our state’s communities closer together. Celebrating its 90th year of blue ribbon traditions, this year’s state fair is already shaping up to be even better than the last. Joanne and I are honored to invite you to take pride in our state’s heritage and celebrate its culture with us through August 16 at the state fairgrounds in Fairlea, Greenbrier County.

The first recorded state fair was held by the Greenbrier Agricultural Society in 1854, in what was then Greenbrier Valley, Virginia, to showcase local farmers’ agricultural accomplishments. In the years following, the fair was held in different locations across the state - changing and adapting to the fads of the times, but keeping with the traditional features of household items, produce and livestock from farms throughout the surrounding area.

Just short of 100 years later, the State Legislature passed an act in 1941 declaring the fair the official State Fair of West Virginia and mandating its home be located within the Greenbrier Valley. Eventually property was purchased, facilities were built and the state fair came to call Fairlea its permanent home. Today, the fair holds true to its traditional roots but also makes sure to reflect and accommodate the ever-changing interests of those who have come to love all it offers.

This year, as with every year, fair-goers can expect the same great traditions associated with this summer pastime. There will be livestock competitions of cattle, hogs, sheep and goats, just to name a few, as well as open horse show competitions.

While you are waiting for a food, produce or needlework competition to announce winners, I encourage you to explore the fairgrounds and see all the sights the state fair has to offer. You’ll be sure to find carnival rides, games, food, great music and arts & crafts vendors around every corner, and it wouldn’t be a fair without snacking on a funnel cake!

From the beginning, the state fair has kept its traditions of honoring the best of West Virginia by remaining committed to agriculture and family values. Whether you are coming for a day or spending the week, you can expect to be immersed in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. With the events you love and exciting new contests and activities, each year the fair serves up a unique experience. The 90th State Fair of West Virginia is sure to be one not soon forgotten.

We hope you and your family will meet us there!

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