Families flock to the State Fair of West Virginia, and Vicky Reed wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We are here every year. I wouldn’t miss it, because it is all about us. This is our state fair,” she said, smiling as she watched others on the midway standing in line to purchase tickets.
“We’re about to do the same thing because this young man is ready to do some ride riding.”
“This is our state fair.”
Another family member William Guthrie, who had nephew Brinon Tyler on his shoulders, agreed it’s more fun to share this experience with youngsters.
“That way it ends up being a kind of family reunion, but a good one,” he said with a laugh.
There’s a lot to do, and something for everyone – especially the youngsters who can get up close and personal with animals ranging from pigs to horses.
Six-year-old Kyndrea McKinney couldn’t wait to see the critters, and she had a special destination in mind.
“I want to go see the bunny rabbits, because they are cuddly. And then I want to go to the rides, and go on the Merry Go Round,” she said.
But that was only part of the family’s fair visit, because her mother and father also enjoy the midway food offerings and game booths.
“We love the fair, and we come here every year. I have been coming since I was a little girl and it has always been a family thing for us,” said Kim McKinney.
It’s also a place for West Virginians to feel good about themselves and their state.
“When you look around at all the things people have brought for the competitions, you see that people really love the fair and want to bring special things to it,” said Kim McKinney.
One of her favorites were the colorful quilts displayed overhead in the West Virginia Building – the same spot where people browsed other exhibits that included photographs, flowers, baked goods and even special occasion wreaths.
Making the trek from Fairmont with her mother has become a family tradition for Janet Smith, who said she values this special time more each year.
“This makes memories, and without them we aren’t the people we’d like to be. It’s all about taking time to be together and to listen to one another. And places like the state fair are a great place to share experiences so they can be part of your memories for the rest of your life,” she said.