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West Virginia State Fair hosts Taste of the Fair

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 5:54 PM EDT
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LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WDBJ) - Like so many other events, the West Virginia State Fair was canceled this year, but fair organizers didn’t want to leave their vendors in a lurch. So they’ve been having Taste of the Fair each Thursday through Sunday.

At the fairground, you’ll find empty pads where there should be rides, and puddles instead of happy fairgoers.

But for vendors who depend on the fair, there was some good news: The customers are still coming.

“Without the draw of the whole fair, you never know what to expect,” said Tommy Vance of Ben-Ellen Donuts. “This is the first time we’ve ever tried to operate under these circumstances without the fair, so it was kind of a, we went into it kind of blind, and thankfully it has been a very positive turnout.”

Especially for Ben-Ellen Donuts, where even in the rain, people stood in line to buy as many as 4 dozen.

“A lot of people say that’s why they come to the fair, to get the food,” explained Brenda Hunt, ticket office manager for the fair.

“This is what’s known as an eating fair,” Vance said. “People come here to eat, and you know there’s several signature products that they look forward to all year long, one of them being the donuts.”

“We’ve been getting decent crowds,” said Greg Miller of Miller Food.

Up at the other end of the fairgrounds, vendors like Miller are happy to have an opportunity to get out.

“This is as good as it gets,” he said. “And it looks like it’s as good as it gets through January, because every show we have through January is now canceled.”

All the favorites are out here, even if the rides are not.

“It won’t be like the fair of course,” Vance said. “But yet I think we’re going to, it’s going to be worth our while being here for sure.”

“We’re just happy to be, happy to have a chance to make a paycheck,” said Miller.

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