West Virginia Mountain Dreams

State Fair of West Virginia brings western Virginia along for the ride

What would the West Virginia State Fair be, each year, without all of the Virginians in attendance? Would you believe…A lot less crowded? But the crowds are one of the things that make state fairs fun…


Every August, thousands of people flock to the State Fair of West Virginia, and many of them don’t even call the Mountain State their home.  The summer tradition has become a favorite for folks on the other side of the state line.

Whether you crave the thrill of a carnival ride, the speed of harness racing or the unique sound of a one man band,  there’s something for everyone at the State Fair of West Virginia. Between 20 and 25 percent of fair goers come from Virginia.

“It’s geography and travel distances,” said Chief Executive Officer Marlene Jolloffe. “We’re a good family destination and we’re two hours from Roanoke. We’re really dialed into the Virginia market and we love having everyone here.” ~ State Fair of West Virginia brings western Virginia along for the ride.

The State Fair of West Virginia traces it’s history back to 1854 when it was the Greenbrier County Fair. That first Fair was organised by the Greenbrier Agricultural Society and held in Mr. Nesmith’s Grove. You can read the history of that first fair at the State Fair’s website.

LEWISBURG, WV (08/29/2012)– The 88th annual State Fair of West Virginia, themed “Memories that Grow…Year After Year,” proved to be a success, while providing thousands of great memories for fairgoers! “I think people needed to exhale and have fun!” stated Chief Executive Officer, Marlene Jolliffe. “It was a long challenging summer and we are grateful that people decided to celebrate the end of summer by visiting the fair. Good weather combined with a strong free entertainment program, and a popular grandstand concert series proved to be a winning combination.”

Final audited gate attendance is not available, however, attendance is projected between 185,000 and 190,000. Ticketed grandstand events drew over 25,000 with one sellout and one “near” sellout. Fairgoers boosted food sales by 3% setting another food gross record and the Reithoffer carnival midway saw a 1% increase in carnival revenue despite rain on opening day.

via 2012 State Fair of West Virginia a Success | The State Fair of West Virginia.

And while it’s too late to attend this years fair…It’s not too early to start planning for next years Fair. Mark your calendars – August 9-17, 2013


West Virginia Mountain Dreams

Flying W Farms

Reading through my rss feed today I saw this article about a local food purveyor in West Virginia. The piece had some nice things to say about Flying W Farms…

I’d heard about Flying  W Farms in Burlington, West Virginia from my parents, who regularly bought butchered meat from them over the years. However, I’d never been to their store.  This summer, I got that chance when my dad suddenly decided he wanted a lamb.

Flying W is a local meat butcher and seller located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia in an area that used to be very agriculturally based.  When I was a child and visited West Virginia, we could regularly get local meat and usually experienced amazing home cooked food both from relatives and family friends we visited, even small stores. As the decades have passed, most small farms have gone out of business, traditional dishes are scarce and chains are dominant and any local restaurants in the area usually serve frozen and processed foods with zero local flavor or tradition.

via Looking for Local in a Rural Food Desert: Flying W Farms | Flavor Magazine: The only independent publication dedicated to local food, Virginia wine, and sustainable agriculture in the Capital foodshed..

West Virginia Mountain Dreams

Could A National Park Be In West Virginia’s Future

The National Park Service is beginning the process of making parts of West Virginia’s Monongehela National Forest a national park, something the state does not have currently. The process starts with a survey, scheduled for next month and planned to be complete in September 2012, to determine if the area is viable for a national park. Specifically, the survey would, “determine whether the historic, natural and recreational resources in the project area are ‘likely’ or ‘unlikely’ to meet Congressionally-required criteria for a national park.” That statement is per a press release from the National Park Service. The survey was requested by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin D and the proposed park is being referred to as High Allegheny National Park. The proposed area would also include parts of Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley state parks and well-known sites like Seneca Rocks, the Dolly Sods and Spruce Knob.

via The process to bring a national park to West Virginia has begun — Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.