ELZABETH - While it has rained everyday on the 54th annual Wirt County Fair, there have been years with more rain.
Brandy Sheppard, who has been a vendor with Siers Black Magic Angus Farm, said attendance has been off slightly this year.
"We've seen everything here," she said. "In past years we had torrential downpours that flooded the track area and we had to drag vehicles out."
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Hayvan Burt, right, waits her turn in the garden tractor pull while Jeff Hall, left, and Dale Clark, center, survey the track at the 54th annual Wirt County Fair Friday.
Sheppard said she has been coming to the fair most of her life, missing very few days. In those years, she said, she has seen the weather run the gamut from wet to dry and extreme heat to unusually cool.
"This has been one of the rainy ones as far as rain every day but we've had times when the water all came at one time," she said. "It has been down but the kids are still having fun."
Debbie Hennen, fair association chairwoman, said while attendance has been off she was encouraged by Friday's turnout. She said the scarcity of parking spaces was a good sign that attendance was not suffering from the wet weather.
* While it has rained on the Wirt County Fair every day this year, officials said they were encouraged by the attendance for Friday.
* Debbie Hennen, fair association chairwoman, said the livestock auction on Friday is a big draw for the fair.
* The talent show for 2013 had double the number of contestants from last year.
"We are on track for a good fair; it has been crazy here today," she said. "We had the livestock auction which is always a big event for us and we had the talent show."
Last year's talent show had 10 contestants and this year it was doubled with 20 entrants.
"It's an opportunity for local talent to come out and be seen," she said. "We have judges who will narrow it down and then the audience votes with tickets - it's sort of like 'American Idol' without the telephone."
Hennen said the mud did stop the ATV mud bog and the tractor pulls that were set for Friday.
Bill Huffman of The Photo Shack, of Parkersburg, said he was at the Wirt County Fair for the first time. He said the rain has been a problem at all the area outdoor festivals.
"We were at the City Park on the Fourth of July and then the Interstate Fair and the weather has affected all the vendors," he said. "The weather hurts. On a normal day we might average 10 to 12 settings and we have done up to 20, but today we had two and Thursday we had one."
Huffman said he and other vendors were encouraged that the forecast for Saturday looks to be rain free.
8 a.m. - Gate Opens
9 a.m. - Corn Hole Tournament
9 a.m. - noon - Registration - Mud Bog - Track
9-10:30 a.m. - Pretty Baby Contest Registration - Dining Hall
11 a.m.-1 p.m. - Pretty Baby Contest - Pavilion
11 a.m - Chicken Barbecue Begins
Noon - Bingo
Noon - Registration - West Virginia State Arm Wrestling Championships - Pavilion
1 p.m. - Carnival Opens
1 p.m. - Horseshoe Pitching Contest
1 p.m. - West Virginia State Arm Wrestling Championships - Pavilion
1 p.m. - Mud Bog - Track
3 p.m. - Youth Contest
3:30 p.m. - Registration - Kiddie Peddle Pull - Pavilion
3:45 p.m. - 100-foot Banana Split
4 p.m. - Kiddie Peddle Pull Contest - Pavilion
5 p.m. - Carnival Closes
5 p.m. - Skillet Throwing Contest
5:30 p.m. - Haybale Throwing Contest
6 p.m. - Nail Driving Contest
6 p.m. - Carnival Reopens
6:30 p.m. - Watermelon Eating Contest
8 p.m. - Matt Enik- Pavilion
9 p.m. - Claiming of Exhibits
10 p.m. - Fireworks
11 p.m. - Carnival Closes