An Update on the 2021 Highland County Fair

The Highland County Fair is back this year.  With a long history and tradition, the fair provides fun for all.

Kathy Beverage is the co-secretary of the Highland County Fair Board and she has an update.

For music, we have Karl Behrens.  He’s going to sing Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  We have Hank Williams IV to sing on Friday evening.  Bluegrass Music on Saturday by Southern Rail Express, South River Strings, and Franklin Station and Vapor 4:14 will provide a gospel show this year on Saturday.

In addition to that, we have an Ag Education focus for youth 5-8 years old and which would be also fun for the entire family.  This will be in the former vegetable barn.

Following the Kiddie Show on Friday, Mr. Ben’s Bubble Bonanza will be held near the Big Tent, which should be a fun event.

Two nights of derbies and two nights of Truck and Tractor Pulls at the grandstands.

The new Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent, Becky Gartner, will offer an introduction to Home Food Preservation and answer food preservation questions on Friday from 11am until noon.

And our 2021 Fair is dedicated to Wick Hooke of Monterey and Sonny Varner of McDowell for all of their past and present efforts helping to make our fair special.

We’re proceeding with caution due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the new variants.  We held an informative meeting with our local Virginia Department of Health official and are striving to make the fair as healthy as possible.  More hand sinks will be on the grounds, in addition to hand sanitizers at various places.  The fair will follow CDC guidance.  Due to the closeness of indoor registration entry in the Elementary gym, masks will be required for Tuesday and Wednesday for judging while in the gym.  At other times, masks are highly recommended.

The Highland Medical Center plans to be on site.  They may offer the COVID vaccine if supplies are available during fair week.

Finances are a big factor in the fair board’s decision to move ahead, but so is the desire to preserve community and family traditions. Due to not holding most fair events in 2020, our budget is really tight.  We are excited to hold the fair, but know we have to cut costs anywhere we can.  We are very fortunate to have the Community Foundation Little Swiss Fund support; otherwise, we may not be holding a fair this year.  We have addressed several expensive safety issues on the grounds since the last fair.  Each year, the grounds get a bit better.  We would love for other groups to use the grounds for various events throughout the year.  Our goal is to work toward that.

The fair is for the people, by the people.  It’s a county event that has been a tradition for 70 years.  Most of us grew-up with the fair and can’t wait to see our friends, former classmates, and other visitors to the county.  Our theme, “Through the Eyes of a Child” is well suited.  Memories are made at the fair. The Highland County Fair offers a good-family oriented event that we hope to pass on to the next generation.  In addition to the spirit of volunteerism, which is people working together to make a successful event possible and I think that sums up our fair.

There’s always good food on the fairgrounds.  Please patronize our non-profit food vendors…we have the best food options! And, the fair is very thankful for the many volunteers, sponsors, and supporters.  It’s only as good as the people behind it. And, we have a great support system from those in the county and those outside the county.  We appreciate them all!  And we look forward to seeing everyone at the fair!

The Horse Show is scheduled for Saturday, August 28, beginning at 10am.  The parade begins at 6pm on Wednesday, September 1.  Fair week is Wednesday, September 1 through Saturday, September 4.

For more information visit the newly updated website, and on Facebook, Highland County Fair Virginia.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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