JULIA ROBERTS GOAD
MATEWAN - A Tug Valley tradition will continue next month when the 63rd Annual Magnolia Fair opens.
The fair runs Aug. 13 through 18 this year, with the rides and entertainment that are the staples of the fair, plus some new features, according to Keith Blankenship, Chairman of the Fair Committee for the Matewan Rotary, who present the fair.
“The Miss Magnolia Fair pageant has been officially sanctioned by American Elegance Pageants,” Blankenship said. “We are sending the winner to the national competition in Chicago.”
Also new this year is a show by the National Wrestling Association.
“We haven’t had wrestling before,” Blankenship said. “We are really excited about that.”
The entertainment starts on Monday with Confederate Railroad, Tuesday is professional wrestling, Wednesday, Earl Thomas Conley, Thursday is the Ms. West Virginia Pageant, Friday Kentucky Headhunters, and the final show is A Mile to Nowhere on Saturday night. All shows are free with gate admission of $10.
A fireworks show will conclude the Fair Saturday night at 11 with a show by pyrotechnician Stephen Casey, in conjunction with American Fireworks, a 110-year-old company from Hudson, Ohio. Casey said the company has offices in West Virginia and he hopes the Magnolia Fair show will encourage other organizations to add a fireworks show to their celebration.
Keith Blankenship said the Magnolia Fair is the longest running fair in southern West Virginia, and that all the funds generated by the fair are used for community projects and programs.
The Magnolia Fair will be held at the fairgrounds on US 49. Parking is available, and a shuttle will run from Matewan to the fair. For more information visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/magnoliafairinc.