The Times West Virginian

July 18, 2013

Paw Paw Fair begins Tuesday

By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — What says summer fun more than a fair?

The Paw Paw Fair is coming up next week, beginning Tuesday and continuing through Saturday, July 27.

“I just like for the people to have a good time,” said Shirley Bragg. She and her husband Kenneth have served on the Paw Paw Fair Association for about 40 years.

The fair itself was started in 1949, more than 60 years ago. Originally located on the grounds of Rivesville Middle School, the festival quickly outgrew its borders and moved to its own designated fairground, where it’s been ever since.

Today, it probably looks a little different, but the community still comes out to support it just like they always have.

The fair begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday with the Paw Paw Fair Parade, organized by the Rivesville Volunteer Fire Department. At 8 p.m., they’ll have an ATV “pull,” separated into utility and racing categories, as well as a garden tractor pull. Signups are at 7:30 p.m. Basically, each ATV or tractor will be attached to a sled, which it will try to pull as far as it can. Weights will be added to the sled until the machine can’t go any farther.

The ATV pull is a returning event, but Bragg said they’ve never done the tractor pull before.

“It’s for fun,” she said, as they figure out what they want the contest to look like. “We’re open for suggestions down there that night,” which they’ll use to change and improve the contest as it continues in coming years.

The Miss Paw Paw and Miss Teen pageant will also be Tuesday evening.

Wednesday will have all-day barn judging for livestock being displayed. That evening, 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) kids will have a special livestock show for the animals they’ve been raising over the year.

At 7 p.m., the Junior Miss and Pre-Teen pageant will begin, and at 8 p.m., the ATV and dirt-bike “mud bog” will kick off.

“They have this little pit they drive through, and it’s full of water with a little bit of mud for them,” Bragg said.

Thursday, July 25, will see the Tiny Miss and Little Miss pageant as well as a four-wheeler “pull.”

Friday, July 26, features Streetwise, a “country, classic rock ’n’ roll and a little mix of everything” kind of band, Bragg said. They take the stage at 7 p.m.

At 8 p.m., the Paw Paw Fair Demolition Derby kicks off, an ever-popular attraction, and at 9 p.m. the band will play again.

Finally, the last day of the event, Saturday, July 27, has the fair’s biggest attraction: the truck mud bog at 7 p.m. It’s the only one of its kind in the area, Bragg said.

“The purpose is to see how fast they can get through this mud pit,” she said, and the more trucks go through, the muddier the ground — and trucks — get.

The New Silver Eagle Band will play at 7 p.m. on stage. They’re a modern country band with oldies and southern rock mixed in with their repertoire.

And of course there’ll be rides, games and refreshments all day throughout the entire fair.

Tickets are $8 per day at the gate and cover all the rides, parking and attractions — basically everything but food and games.

“We have a huge building,” she said, which will have a lot of exhibits and commercial vendors as well.

Email Jonathan Williams at jwilliams@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @JWilliamsTWV.