State Fair sees record food and carnival sales for 2019

LEWISBURG, WV (WOAY) – Good weather and gate specials helped the State Fair of West Virginia reach record food and carnival sales for the 2019 State Fair of West Virginia.

“Although school calendars have affected attendance for the State Fair of West Virginia, we were fortunate to have great weather during the 95th Annual State Fair of West Virginia,” said CEO Kelly Collins. “We cannot thank the staff, vendors, exhibitors, and of course the fairgoers for helping to make this one of the best year’s yet for the State Fair of West Virginia.”

Among some of the top numbers, First Energy’s Magic Monday raised just under 10,000 pounds of food which was delivered to seven different food banks in the region. In its seventh year, this partnership has donated almost 100,000 pounds of food to the area. A special thanks also goes out to Greenbrier Valley Equipment for the use of a trailer to transport items, and RBS, INC for weighing the donated food.

Other notable numbers for the State Fair of West Virginia include:

Exhibitor Participation

• 7,000 home, arts and garden exhibits were displayed in the WV Building, from over 750 exhibitors.

• Over 450 open livestock exhibitors participated in the 2019 State Fair of WV.

• 500 junior 4-H and FFA livestock exhibitors showed animals, while over 6,000 4-H and FFA exhibits (non-livestock) were on display in the Underwood Youth Center.

• Over $15,000 given in premium awards for home, arts and garden exhibits.

• Over $120,000 given in premium awards for livestock.

Agriculture Education

• 318 Boy Scouts & Cub Scouts, 181 Girl Scouts, 125 4-H completed the Ag Scavenger Hunt.

• Over 13,000 fairgoers spent time in the Farm to Food Pavilion, designed to teach kids the basics of agriculture.

• 11 students and three mentors visited the State Fair of WV from Turkey as a part of an exchange program with Legacy International. The purpose of this program was to learn about agriculture in the U.S.

Giving Back

• $30,282 paid to civic organizations and/or school programs for services during fair. Some programs and services include:

o Greenbrier East Music Boosters – parking cars

o Eastern Greenbrier Middle School – trash pickup

o Greenbrier East Cross Country – Farm to Food Pavilion

o Shriners – Concert beer sales

• $20,000 given to scholarships for students from West Virginia to attend accredited schools or trade programs.


• The State Fair hired over 210 part-time employees for the 10-day event. This number does not include part-time help for the food vendors, the carnival and other concessionaires.

• Payroll for the 10 days topped $200,000.

Fairgoer Spending

• Fairgoer spending on food grossed over $2.5 million, which is an average of over $15.00 per person.

• Reithoffer Shows, the Fair’s carnival provider, set an all-time Fair record for carnival ride gross sales at the State Fair of WV with a final figure of over $1.1 Million.


• The Grandstand attracted over 20,000 fairgoers to seven different shows throughout the week

• Overall Fair attendance totaled over 160,000.

Other facts and figures:

• The State Fair of West Virginia is a 501c3 Non-Profit

• SFWV pays over $70,000 in property taxes each year

• SFWV collects over $120,000 in sales tax each year (figure does not include tax on food or carnival sales which is collected by individual vendors or businesses).

“Outside of the number of fairgoers coming through the gates, it is important for us to look at the entire picture to judge the true success of the fair,” Collins stated. “State Fairs were started to tell the story of agriculture, but to also spur commerce in the local community – two missions we still hold true.”

The 96th Annual State Fair of West Virginia is set for August 13-22, 2020.

The State Fair of West Virginia, with over $13.8 million dollar economic impact on the state of West Virginia, is a 501 © 3 non-profit corporation committed to the traditions of agriculture, family entertainment, and education. For more information, please visit, or follow fair events on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at