The 17th annual West Plains Community Fair kicks off Aug. 7
By DAVID TELLER
The West Plains Community Fair makes its 17th appearance at the Bi-Mart Arena this weekend with some new attractions and a few familiar ones.
The fair's board of officers' president MaryAnn Swift said the biggest attraction of the fair is still the horse show, which is Saturday morning.
“That's probably our biggest draw,” Swift said.
Other popular fair attractions are baking, canning, arts, crafts, photography, sewing, handiwork and exhibiting fruit and vegetables.
This year the fair is presenting a “Wizard of Oz” theme. Swift said the fair board is using the “over the rainbow to the Emerald city” topic to decorate the arena. On Saturday there is a scarecrow-making contest too.
She said this fair is an opportunity to see a bit of the country and to see and appreciate the hard work that went into the entries as the people showcase their talents and skill.
The brother and sister team of Swift, and her brother Luke, organize the fair. MaryAnn said this year is going to be a fun, family-oriented weekend. The Swifts oversee about 12 volunteers who coordinate and set up the free event. Despite small numbers, Swift said last year was a good turn out.
Fair activities like the 4-H youth dog rally begins Friday morning. The day ends with a new event for this year the tug of war. Swift said the activity is for anyone who wants to show up. People turning out for the tug-of-war will be divided into teams once event organizers determine how many are participating.
On Friday evening there will also be a pie-eating contest, which continues on Saturday. A barbecue is later in the evening, followed by a dance.
Also on Saturday evening is the West Plains Fair Royalty ceremony, which begins at 6 p.m. is actually the pageant for the 2010 fair. The girls will compete in speeches and interview with West Plains Community Fair board of officers. There may even be a talent portion of the contest too, though Swift said she needed to confirm some details first. The queen of the West Plains Fair this year is Amanda McCoury
Sunday morning starts off with a pancake feed. There is no admission charge, but donations to the fair are appreciated. Cowboy church is at 9 a.m.
Another “just for fun” dog show is Sunday afternoon with dogs being judged in categories like tallest dog, shortest tail, longest tongue and most wrinkles. Another pie eating contest and tug-of-war rounds out the afternoon.
Swift said other vendors with arts and crafts are scheduled to be at the fair this year.
The West Plains Community Fair runs Aug. 7 through Aug. 9. It begins at 10 a.m. on Friday and at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
David Teller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org