County fair begins Sunday

August 14, 2003|by KATE COLEMAN

The Jefferson County Fair is 51 years old. J.P. Burns Jr. missed the first fair but has been involved for the last 50 years.

In five decades, he's missed only one day - that was a few years ago when he had a minor stroke and had to be checked out at the hospital.

He was on the grounds the next day.

Burns, who has been president of the fair's board of directors for 37 years, farms 2,000 acres in Jefferson County. His fair experience began when he was a 4-H youngster.


"It's grown to be a nice county fair," he says.

He says his favorite part is putting on the fair for the people to enjoy. He's proud that organizers have been able to keep admission prices low so that more people can attend it.

The week seems to offer just about everything a county fair could.

More than 1,000 participants - youth and adults - will participate in 20 fair events.

They include livestock competitions - sheep, goats, beef and dairy cattle, poultry, swine, rabbits, cavies (similar to guinea pigs) - and a horse show.

The annual fair is the chance for kids involved in

4-H, Future Farmers of America and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America to strut their stuff.

Other competitions perhaps involve less discipline and long-term hard work but could prove to be a lot of fun. There are watermelon, pie and ice cream eating contests, a milk drinking contest, egg, water balloon and hay bale tosses, a three-legged race, greased pig and pig calling contests.

There will be tractor pulls and three pageants - Little Miss Jefferson County Fair, Junior Miss Jefferson County Fair and Miss Jefferson County Fair.

"Timber sports" - including log cutting and log climbing - will be demonstrated, as will the fine art of threshing.

The carnival area opens at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18, and Monday is Family Night - pay one price to ride the amusement rides all night.

The fair board is expecting a good crowd. More than 35,000 people usually attend.

Area school bands will perform Monday, Aug. 18. Shepherdstown Middle School Band takes the lead at 6:30 p.m. followed by Harpers Ferry Middle School Band at 7:15 p.m., Charles Town Middle School Band at 8 p.m. and Jefferson Ninth Grade and High School Band at 9 p.m.

The Figure 8 Demolition Derby will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19

Country music artist Tammy Cochran will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, and unless you want to pay $5 for track seating, you can hear her sing simply by paying admission at the gate, a ticket that entitles attendees to all that the fair has to offer.

Colin Dunbar & Sleepy Creek will perform bluegrass music at 3 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23. Later that evening, the fair will end with a bang - fireworks.

If you go

Jefferson County Fair

1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, through midnight Saturday, Aug. 23

Jefferson County Fairgrounds
Leetown Pike, W.Va. 15 (three miles west of Charles Town, W.Va.)

Gate admission costs $3 for ages 16 and older; $1 for ages 6 to 15; free for those younger than 6.

Free parking.

For information, call

1-304-724-1411 or go to on the Web.

Tammy Cochran in concert

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20

Track seats cost $5. There is no additional charge for bleacher seats.

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