Rain soaks West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition

MINERAL WELLS – Although the second night of rain at the 41st annual West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition may have delayed things, the show went on as planned on Saturday.

After a sunny start, the last day of the annual fair on Butcher Bend Road was hit by a rainstorm that delayed some events and kept away a number of visitors.

Russ Collins, vice president of the fair board, said the rain hampered attendance on the final night.

“This was a not a good night for us,” he said. “The rain did hurt us.”

Collins said some who had planned to be part of the truck pull set for 6 p.m. were calling to check if the event had been canceled.

“We got calls from people who were north of Marietta asking if we were hit as hard as they were,” he said. “We told them we would have the pull but it would be delayed.”

Collins said fair organizers were able to get a bulldozer to scrape away a layer of mud to give competitors a good dry surface for the truck pull.

As for the concerts by Chase Liken and Greg Bates, the old show business adage “the show must go on” applied.

“We had to delay them about 15 minutes,” he said. “Everything went well.”

When the gates opened Saturday it looked like a good day for a fair, but around 2 p.m. the clouds began to roll in and by 3 p.m. the rain was pouring. Many fairgoers were forced to run for shelter as the rain began to pour.

Two at the fair made a quick run from the midway to the culinary and domestic arts building and then on to their cars.

Alyssa Dawson said getting caught in a sudden downpour was not a good day at the fair.

“This is not very fun, it’s too wet,” the Marietta resident said. “It just came all at once, there wasn’t a warning and we were out there for a short time and we got soaked.”

“We were trying to get to our car with our funnel cakes and leave,” said her friend Alexandra Jones, also of Marietta.

One vendor said the second day of rain did hurt business.

“Tuesday was our best day, but Wednesday and Thursday were not too good,” said Cathleen Dash, of Sprankles Concessions. “Friday wasn’t too bad and the rest of today may be good.”

Dash said the weather is always a factor at events like the fair.

“You have to take the good with the bad,” she said.