WIND RIDGE – This week’s Jacktown Fair will feature a new dirt drag race for UTVs and ATVs Wednesday night.
President Walter “Buck” Burns said the increasing use of the off-road utility vehicles went into the decision to organize a new event for them this year.
“They’re more popular than the motorbikes,” he said.
Burns, 79, has organized the fair for the past 31 years.
“Our family’s always been involved,” he said. “I was born and raised up there in Jacktown.”
He said the fair brings in about 8,000 to 9,000 people each year, which he partly attributed to the beautiful area.
“It’s a pretty setting up there,” he said. “You’ve got the big trees, and we have benches set up in the shade. There are pretty sunsets up there.”
He also attributed the crowds to the variety of livestock shows, for which he holds a special appreciation, being a cattle raiser himself.
Burns retired from Burns Tire Service in Waynesburg and became a full-time farmer, raising beef cattle.
“We’ve raised cattle for probably 50 years,” he said. “The livestock people love that fair real well.”
Most of all, Burns said after running the fair 31 years, his favorite part is visiting with people.
“For years, all the people in that end of the county – that was their vacation almost,” he said. “I enjoy seeing the same people keep coming every year from West Virginia and different places, that you don’t see them the rest of the year.”
Burns said he may soon want to find someone to take over his duties with the fair.
“One of these days I’ll probably pass it on, but I don’t know who yet,” he said. “It takes a good bit to get it together. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
This year marks the 152nd edition of the fair, which began Sunday night with a queen and princess competition. The rest of the fair events begin Tuesday and run through Saturday.
Tuesday will feature a 6:30 p.m. parade followed by the crowning of Miss Jacktown Fair and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Along with the new dirt drag race at 7 p.m. Wednesday, there will also be food-eating contests and free rides for ages 14 and under, which was sponsored by First Federal of Greene County.
Thursday is senior citizens’ day with a 7 p.m. tractor pull. Friday will also have fireworks at 9 p.m., and Saturday will have a motocross race at 5 p.m. Carnival rides will open at 6 p.m. each day and 4 p.m. Saturday.
For a full fair schedule, visit www.jacktownfair.org.