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Interstate Fair to benefit local fire company

May 14, 2002|BY SARAH MULLIN

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

BEDINGTON, W.Va. - Snakes, tigers, rides with names like Zipper and Spider, live bands, funnel cakes and cotton candy are all part of the 2002 Interstate Fair sponsored by the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department.

The purpose of the fair, which runs through Saturday, is to help the fire department purchase a $400,000 heavy rescue truck that will be a key component in auto extrication and provide additional revenue to the department coffers, said Scott Schill, chairman of the fair's organizational committee.

Schill, an active firefighter who also serves as a board member for the department, said the Interstate Fair, located off Exit 20 of Interstate 81 on the grounds of Sam Pannuti's flea market, is the largest ever held in eastern West Virginia.

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There are 34 rides for children and adults provided by Powers Great American Midways, numerous food trolleys and games.

There is also a rock-climbing wall and a riding bull.

Schill said the fair wouldn't be possible without volunteers and donations.

"Everything is volunteer from the fair to saving lives," Schill said.

He said Pannuti donated the use of the land and volunteered his employees to help the fire department with maintenance of the grounds.

The fair takes up about 150 acres of the grounds, Schill said.

Neighboring fire departments have volunteered their time to run Bedington's emergency calls during the fair, he said.

"People need to come to the fair and support it any way they can," he said.

The Bedington Volunteer Fire Department receives a portion of the revenue generated from all the activities and food, Schill said.

The gates open at 6 p.m. on weekdays and at noon Saturday.

Bands begin performing at 7 p.m. every day, and on Saturday there will be a bluegrass band performing at 3 p.m.

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