55th Annual Berkeley County Youth Fair

July 30, 2002|by EDWARD MARSHALL

The Berkeley County Youth Fair will celebrate its 55th year of festivities Monday Aug. 5 at the Harry D. Shelley Park in Martinsburg, W.Va.

The annual event will last all week ending on Saturday, Aug. 10.

The fair features a wide array of livestock shows ranging from rabbits and steers to horses with cash prizes and ribbons awarded to those judges deem the best in show.

Two sisters from Gerrardstown, W.Va., are hoping to repeat garnering grand champion spots this year at the horse show on Thursday, Aug. 8.


Dani Webber, 17, will accompany Paylex, a quarterhorse, in hopes of once again claiming the first place trophy.

"I've been looking forward it to all summer," said Webber.

Webber has been a member of the 4-H Club for the past eight years and has participated in the youth fair for the past seven years.

"It's a lot of fun. It's going to be a great week," she said.

Ginny Webber, Dani's younger sister, also hopes to go home a winner this year.

Ginny will be entering Jumping Jack Flash, a Pony of the Americas, into competition in an attempt to win the Grand Champion trophy for her third straight year.

"I'm really excited. I like the English and Western divisions the best," said Ginny Webber, 14.

Ginny Webber has been with the 4-H club for seven years and has taken part in the youth fair for the past six years.

"There are going to be 62 horses at the show this year, and I think that will be a big deal," she said.

There are also a number of academic-based competitions in categories such as wood science, aerospace and rockets, natural resources and environmental stewardship, health and safety, management, and leisure and cultural education.

"It's definitely a learning experience for kids and it's good family fun," said Dawn Thomas, the chairperson for the advertising and publicity committees for the youth fair.

Participants must be active members of youth organizations that are represented on the Youth Fair Executive board.

Groups such as the 4-H Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Future Farmers of America, the FCCLA, and the Boys and Girls Clubs are all eligible to enter the events.

In addition to carnival rides and funnel cakes, entertainment has been scheduled throughout the week, including the 42nd Miss Youth Fair Contest, tractor pulls, eating contests, bull riding, concerts and a destruction derby just to name a few.

Also new this year to the fair is Jack Fullerton's figure eight derby, which will be held Friday at 8 p.m.

"There are about 100 to 150 volunteers helping us put on the fair this year," said Thomas.

The country western band Ricochet will perform at the park's amphitheater Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m.

Berkeley Springs natives, Possum Holler, who have opened for the likes of Randy Travis and Mary Chapin Carpenter are also scheduled to perform.

General admission is $3; children 12 and younger are admitted free. There are separate fees for carnival rides with all-you-can-ride specials costing $10 on Tuesday, Aug. 6; $8 on Saturday, Aug. 10, and $12 other evenings.

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