At the Barbour County Fair Thursday, both the night's special entertainment and the fair's perennial attractions attracted a crowd.
Fairgoers were drawn to motorcycle and ATV drag races, as well as musical performances in the John Loyd Entertainment Center. Meanwhile, others climbed the hills to enjoy the food, carnival rides and games.
Wednesday's heavy rains turned the dirt track to heavy mud, but this didn't stop the fair's drag racing event Thursday evening.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Michael Green Fonte
Dwayne Nestor, chairman of the Barbour County Fair’s motor sports events, points ahead to guide two participants in Thursday night’s drag race at the Barbour County Fairgrounds.
"We worked the track all day," said Dwayne Nestor, chairman of the fair's motor sports events. "This is all for the kids. I like to see people come out to support them."
Nestor explained that the drag races start with battery-powered vehicles and eventually move up to 200 cc vehicles. While there are placings, Nestor said all racers get participation trophies.
As the drag race was finishing, the action on stage in the entertainment center was just beginning. Musician Jeff Frey kicked things off. Nashville recording artist Greg Bates later took over and finished off the night.
People traveled from beyond Barbour County for the fair's concert.
"We came to listen to the music," agreed Raymond and Barbie Reynolds of Tucker County. Also in their group was Tessa Reynolds and Jimmy Simmons.
This was Simmons' first time at the fair.
"I'll definitely come in the future, and next time catch the demolition derby," he said.
Other fairgoers mentioned the attractions that can be counted on to return each year.
Thad and Emily Knight of Philippi made the evening a family affair with their children, Sophia and Sullivan.
"We come for the kids. They enjoy the rides," said Emily Knight. "We also played the dart balloon game and pickup ducks."
A group of high schoolers cited camaraderie as their connection to the fair.
"It's a tradition," said Todd Lawrence.
Jesse Moats said, "It feels like a vacation."
"It's a friendly get together," Zach Haddix said.
The fourth member of their group added that you can't forget the food.
"I came for the corndogs," said Dilbert Weaver.
The food and the rides drew nearby out-of-towners, as well.
"I came for the food," said Brealynne Williams of Grafton. "I like the deep-fried oreos and funnel cakes."
William's sister Brittney Williams, of Fairmont, said she enjoyed the food, but came primarily for the rides.
The fair will continue today and close at 11 p.m. Saturday.
Today's featured events include adult ATV races at 7 p.m., the 4-H/FFA Market Steer and Feeder Calf Show and Showmanship Contest. Also, at 7:30 p.m., Nashville recording artist Charlie Worsham will perform.