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State Fair

Local Wares Highlight What W.Va. Offers

If the theme for this year’s West Virginia State Fair is not enough to convince you to make the trip to Lewisburg, perhaps the entertainment selection will. Fair organizers appear to have knocked this one out of the park with a theme of “Mountain Grown Fun” that gives the state a chance to show off a little.

Running through Aug. 20, the fair features shows from the likes of Foreigner, Clay Walker and Tracy Byrd to our own Kathy Mattea. Should all go according to plan, the music alone would make it worth the drive.

But state Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt is right, there really is no better event for showing off a side of the Mountain State that often gets overshadowed by the intense focus on our “energy heritage.”

Agriculture, agri-business and the food available here are not only a vital part of who we are; but what we produce matches or exceeds that anywhere in the country.

Leonhardt is right to be proud of the 36 vendors who will tout their wares under the “WV Grown” banner at the fair with products including jams and jellies, maple syrups, sauces and salsas, honey and even artisan soaps.

And while organizers are vigilant against the spread of avian and swine flu, State Fair leadership made the right decision to restrict access to the livestock barn but to let the young people who have worked so hard continue to show their animals through the West Virginia High School Rodeo, Junior 4-H and FFA livestock shows, horse shows, and draft horse pull.

What visitors will see at the State Fair is a look at some of the best West Virginia has to offer. We don’t talk enough about the culture that produces outstanding musicians, artisans and agriculture, but that’s who we are. In Lewisburg for the next several days, we get to brag about it not just amongst ourselves, but to the rest of the world, too.

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