The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 21, 2013

Fun First event to offer State Fair preview

By Tina Alvey
Register-Herald Reporter

— The State Fair of West Virginia is just around the corner, and for those people who are simply too eager to wait for opening day, the fourth annual Fun First event offers a special preview, complete with a spin on a midway ride.

A fundraiser that supports scholarships and the State Fair endowment, Fun First is scheduled for Aug. 8 — the day before the exposition opens to the general public. Donors will enjoy food, refreshments and an assortment of carnival rides from 6 to 8 p.m.

For each $50 donation, the donor will receive a ride wristband and have access to a variety of the fair’s famed foods and drinks during the two-hour event, which will be staged on the fairgrounds’ carnival midway.

Donors who aren’t interested in carnival rides can donate their wristband back to the State Fair, which will work with the Children’s Home Society, Family Refuge Center and Davis-Stuart to identify children to invite for a magical evening at the fair.

“This event has grown and each year becomes more special,” said State Fair CEO Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe. “Donors truly cherish the legacy of the State Fair and are supporting scholarships and youth development.

“At the same time, it’s wonderful to reach out to our community partners and see a smile on the face of a child who has faced challenges in their life.”

Pierson-Jolliffe noted the Reithoffer family — who for many years have provided the carnival entertainment and rides at the State Fair — has generously donated the carnival midway for the Fun First event.

The State Fair endowment, created in 2007, supports scholarships, youth educational enrichment programs and agricultural premiums. The State Fair of West Virginia is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.

Fun First tickets can be purchased in the State Fair administration office during business hours Monday through Friday and on the day of the event until 5 p.m. The first 50 donors will receive a special Fun First T-shirt.

For more information about this year’s State Fair, which will run from Aug. 9-17, go to or call 304-645-1090.