BERRYVILLE — What many consider Clarke County’s top annual attraction is back for another week of festivities, food and fun.
The 67th Annual Clarke County Fair begins Sunday and runs through August 20. It’s easy to find: the fairgrounds are on Main Street in West Berryville, near Va. 7 (Harry Byrd Highway) near Chet Hobert Park, DG Cooley Elementary School and Clarke County High School.
Every year, thousands of people come to the fair to celebrate the traditions and unique experiences of country life. So many people come, in fact, that some local businesses traditionally close for the week.
Those who live on farms, especially young people, bring in carefully bred cattle to compete in and perhaps sell.
Yet, from music and exhibits to carnival rides and games, there’s something for everyone, including city dwellers and city dwellers.
“We have more things to do…for people to see” and do this year, President Tom Cather said. He is a member of the Ruritan Club of Clarke County, which organizes the fair.
Three new activities are on the program.
A veteran appreciation event will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday. This will be part of Veterans Day, during which all current service members and veterans will be admitted to the fairgrounds free of charge.
Holding a Veterans Day is a traditional part of the fair. However, this will be the first year that a ceremony honoring them will be held, Cather said.
A Gas and Diesel Dirt Drag race, presented by Mountain State Motorsports, will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. And, a cornhole (bean bag tossing) tournament, sponsored by the Clarke Agricultural Learning Foundation (CALF), will be held at 1 p.m. on August 20, a Saturday. The tournament will be open to the public, with online registration.
Popular activities are also back.
Immediately following the official fair opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. on Sunday, the Miss Clarke County Pre-Teen and Junior Miss Clarke County Fair Pageants will be followed by the Miss Clarke County Fair Scholarship Pageant.
The Little Miss Clarke County Fair Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. Monday.
A Car & Truck Show, open to all makes and models, will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Plaques will be given to the winners.
The demolition derbies will take place Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Additionally, a Lawn & Garden Tractor Pull is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. A Truck & Tractor Pull, sponsored by Dragon Motorsports, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday.
Horseback riding enthusiasts will have plenty to see. The 4-H Horse Show is at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by the Clarke County Ruritan Horse Show at 8 a.m. Saturday.
A professional bull riding and rodeo will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday.
Exhibitions on crafts, flowers, fine arts, horticulture and photography will be part of the fair.
Hunger? Vendors will sell many types of tempting treats for the tummy. But the most popular culinary attractions, as evidenced by the long queues that form each day, are the beef and chicken barbecue dinners prepared by the Ruritans using their own sauce recipe. Club members are urging diners to come early to ensure they have a meal before the food runs out.
A carnival will be in full swing every evening from Monday. On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, however, visitors can take advantage of the discounted rides.
There will only be one concert this year. Cazhmiere, a regional Top 40-style dance/music group, will take the stage at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.
“It’s going to be a busy week,” Cather said.
General daily admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-15. Preschoolers are admitted free.
Season passes for all six days of the show are available from Broy & Son Pump Services and Berryville Auto Parts. They cost $30 for adults and $15 for children.
Wednesday will be the day of seniors and children. Adults 62 and over and children 15 and under will be admitted free until 5 p.m.
For more information about the fair, visit www.clarkecountyfair.org.