MORGANTOWN — The Monongalia County Fair was in full swing after the kick-off parade held Monday (July 30) night on High Street.
School marching bands, politicians and pageant contestants filled the lineup as spectators lined the street, welcoming the fair into its busy week.
Deborah Rinehart, the parade’s marshal, is the longest-serving active female firefighter in Monongalia County. When she was asked to be the parade’s marshal, she said it was awesome, and she was excited to be leading the procession. She usually attends the fair one night every year.
Rinehart has been a firefighter for 31 years. She started out in Granville, spent time in Westover, and plans to finish out her career at River Road. She said she’s seen a lot of crazy things as a firefighter, but Monday she sat comfortably in the firetruck, waving at the throngs.
“I just think it’s a good thing for the community to come together. You know we don’t have lot of community support sometimes, so when they come out and come together, it shows that the community support is good,” she said.
Atop a red horse buggy straight from a fairy tale was 2017 Monongalia County Fair Queen Alex Shaffer and 2017 Monongalia County Fair Teen Queen Jessie Walker. The two, alongside the 2017 Junior Miss, were the first to lead the parade down High Street after the marshal.
Shaffer said the Mon County Fair is a family tradition, and she attends every year.
“I had a blast representing the fair all year long, and I’m just excited to attend this year,” said Shaffer.
Both girls will give their titles away this year, but both are excited about the pageants and the fair.
“It’s been a big honor representing my hometown. I’ve grown up going to the Mon County Fair, and it’s been an honor representing where I live,” Walker said.
Shaffer, sitting proudly on the horse carriage, said she was a little bit scared, but put a lot of faith in her buggy driver to keep her safe.
Shaffer’s favorite part of the fair is the food and hanging out with her family and friends all week long. Walker’s favorite part of the fair is the pageant.
“I have really enjoyed meeting different people and seeing where people come from and making new friends,” said Walker.
The festivities are just getting started. A complete list of events is available at moncounty fair.org.
Today’s (July 31) Schedule
- 5 p.m., Fairgrounds open
- 5-9 p.m., Rock Crawl Pit opens.
- 5-10 p.m., Quilt/Ag Exhibit/Craft Show (Hazel Ruby Building).
- 6 p.m., Carnival opens
- 7-9 p.m., BINGO (Tent on grounds).
- 7 p.m., Queen’s pag-eant (Hazel Ruby Building).
- 7:30 p.m., Kent Family Circus (Midway).
- 9 p.m., Professor Bubblemaker (Midway).
- 10 p.m., Carnival, fairgrounds close.