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W.Va. State Fair Day One: Competition, Exhibition, Tradition

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Randy Yohe
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Mya Workman grooms her pole horse Bugs, getting ready for State Fair competition.

Competition, exhibition and tradition are three key components to the State Fair of West Virginia. But it’s the people - and their animals - who make this annual event a must see for so many.

Mya Workman’s pole horse Bugs is ready for competition. Just back from the nationals in Wyoming, the Hillsboro teen is preparing to compete in barrel racing, pole riding and team roping. Workman said to go fast and win, she and Bugs endure years of slow, deliberate training.

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Randy Yohe
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
The Zuzu Acrobats come from Kenya and Tanzania.

“Doing barrel patterns slowly is what it’s all about,” Workman said. “Rodeo is such a humbling sport. You can be doing so great and it'll humble you so quick. These animals are like family.”

From the heart of Africa, the high flying Zuzu Acrobats come to the fair just off a world tour. Performer Amdul Dora said they are here to entertain and extend a message of global unity.
“My intention is for people to enjoy our show,” Dora said. “We want them to enjoy themselves and for all of us to make the world a better place.”

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Randy Yohe
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
The Halstead family from Boone County comes to the fair every year.

In the Zuzu audience, there are about a dozen members of Boone County’s Halstead family. Patriarch Jeffery said he’s brought his clan to the fair every year for at least a decade.

“We like it up here,” Halstead said. “We like looking at animals and watching the shows and all of the free concerts. Sometimes we watch a paid concert.”

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Randy Yohe
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Mountain State expatriates Steven and Felecia Elliott come back home to the State Fair every year.

Coming in from Thaxton, Virginia, Mountain State expatriates Steven and Felecia Elliott said they never miss a West Virginia State Fair.

“We grew up in southern West Virginia. We've been coming here since we were little people,” the Elliotts said. “We love going through the animal barns, especially the goats because they have so much personality. It just brings back wonderful memories.”

The State Fair in Fairlea, West Virginia, runs daily through Saturday, Aug. 20.

Government Reporter, ryohe@wvpublic.org, 304-634-8123

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