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Jackson fair ‘all about the kids’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Brenda Brown speaks fondly about the Jackson County Junior Fair, and not just because she runs the main office or has been involved with festivities since she was young.

“The fair is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of our youth,” she said when asked to describe the fair in one sentence.

Being youth-oriented is something that sets Jackson County’s fair apart from others, Brown said, later adding that “it’s all about the kids and the hard work they put in.”

The fair, which draws several thousand visitors each year, appeals to people of all ages with its concerts, animal shows, rides, races and cook-offs, most of which are done by children.

Brown said having youth- and family-centered events has brought the community together and even attracted visitors from surrounding states.

While the fair started Monday morning and will end Saturday evening, Brown said the action is “nonstop every day,” and that there is still much to see and do.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday are filled with animal shows and various activities, but the evening concerts are bound to garner much attention.

Country and gospel groups and artists like Diamond Rio, Guy Penrod, Austin Webb and Jamie Lynn Spears round out the week’s events with a concert each night.

Brown said people are often surprised by the level of talent the fair attracts, and that many call expecting to pay extra for concert tickets.

But she said the modest admission price covers all activities except carnival rides.

As a fair veteran, Brown knows a thing or two about the unwritten rules of attending.

“The first thing that comes to mind is to bring money,” she said jokingly. “We don’t have an ATM.”

Diamond Rio plays at 8 p.m. Thursday, Guy Penrod sings at 8 p.m. Friday and Austin Webb and Jamie Lynn Spears sing at 7 and 9 p.m., respectively, Saturday.

Admission to the fair, which is located near Cottageville in Jackson County, costs $8 for adults and $5 for youth.

For a full event schedule, visit

Contact writer Samuel Speciale at or 304-348-4886. Follow him at

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