There are many reasons to attend a county fair-agriculture displays, livestock, amusement rides, track activities, visiting with neighbors and stage entertainment.
But it's the latter that changes the most from year to year and helps entice people to attend.
That is certainly the case at the Tyler County Fair, Aug. 4-9.
Tyler County Fair Aug. 4-9
Located along W.Va. 18 three miles south of Middlebourne, the Tyler County Fairgrounds provide ample space for the events and wonderful facilities to make the experience much more than fair-enjoyable!
The covered stage pavilion will be headlined by The Marshall Tucker Band, music veterans, on Friday night, 9 p.m., and country newcomer Eric Paslay on Saturday night, 9 p.m. The Paslay concert, and the fair itself, will be capped by a fireworks display.
Rising to stardom in the 1970s, The Marshall Tucker Band has had hit singles such as "Heard It in a Love Song," "Fire on The Mountain," "Can't You See" and "Take The Highway." The Marshall Tucker Band earned seven gold and three platinum albums while they were on the Capricorn Records label. During the 1990's, the MTB scored four hit singles on Billboard's country chart and one on Billboard's gospel chart. Their music has also been featured on the soundtracks of movies such as Smokey and the Bandit, The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, Shipwrecked, Crank 2, Don't Mess with Zohan, Stop Loss, Swing Vote, Taking Chance, and many others as well as many TV Shows.
"The buying public never really cared whether we were country or rock and roll," said founding member and longtime lead singer Doug Gray. "They called us a Southern rock band, but we have always played everything from country, jazz, blues, Rock & Roll and all things in-between. As we've become older," Gray grins, eyes twinkling, "our Southern heritage seems to come out even more. But no matter how old we get, we can still rock your socks off." Gray also notes that people have gotten "married and buried" to classic MTB songs like "Desert Skies" and "Can't You See". After 41 years, The Marshall Tucker Band continues to be played on classic rock and country radio, and they have never stopped touring. This year that tour will include a stop at the Tyler County Fair.
Paslay may not be a household name to many, but his song "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," made famous by Jake Owen is familiar to many. He also wrote "As Deep As It Is Wide" that can be found on Amy Grant's latest project. Other songs by him have been recorded by Lady Antebellum, Eli Young Band, Love & Theft, and Rascal Flatts. Though appreciative of the songs that others have recorded, Paslay will be the first to admit he didn't move to Nashville to be a songwriter, but to be an artist. Now he is getting that opportunity.
When country music fans see Paslay perform, they want to take his music home and make his songs the soundtrack of their lives. Whether he's performing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry or taking his place this summer on the Country Throwdown Tour sharing his new hit, "If the Fish Don't Bite," Paslay always knows how to reel a crowd in. His music has substance and depth, but his debut album is every bit as entertaining and accessible as it is meaningful, and therein lies Paslay's charm. "It's hopeful music," he says describing his style. "There's only one sad song on the whole record and that's 'Amarillo Rain,' but there's still a beauty behind it that makes people feel alive somehow."
But one could argue that another facility at the Tyler County Fairgrounds is a major focus-the Tyler County Speedway. The quarter-mile oval known as The Bullring hosts racing nearly every Saturday night during racing season. During the fair the ring sees action every day, including ATV four-wheeler drag racing on Monday night, truck and tractor pulls on Friday, and mud bog on Saturday.
Every day at the Tyler County Fair will offer carnival rides with Swank's Steel City Shows, arts and crafts, Bingo, flea markets, 4-H exhibits, and karaoke, as well as horticulture, livestock, and photography exhibits.
Designated days at the fair that include related activities are Youth Day on Tuesday, Ladies Day on Wednesday; Senior Day on Thursday, and Mountaineer Day on Friday.
The gates will open daily at 8 a.m. beginning Aug. 4.
For more information contact the fair office at 304-758-4932 or 304-758-2349; fair information, 304-758-2227 or visit them online at www.tylercountyfair.org.