March 2013

Meadow River Lumber Co & the State Fair

Meadow River Lumber Company Employees

Meadow River Lumber Company Employees

Did you know that the building that now houses the State Fair of WV Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places?  Why, you ask?  The proper name of the building is the Meadow River Lumber Building, originally built by the Meadow River Lumber Company as a Fair display to demonstrate the product line of the Meadow River Lumber Co..  The building has remained on the Fairgrounds since its construction in 1928.

The Meadow River Lumber Company not only has a rich history with the State Fair, but also in Greenbrier County, Southern WV, and indeed the world.  The Meadow River Lumber Company operated in Rainelle, West Virginia from 1906 to 1975, and was the largest hardwood sawmill in the world.  The mill housed three, 9′ band saws under one roof.  In 1928, during peak production, its 500 employees produced 31 million board feet of lumber, cutting 3,000 acres of virgin timber a year.

The plant included a planing mill with the ability to turn out a million feet of flooring, ceiling, siding and trim pieces a year. Six large kilns dried lumber for use in the planing mill.  Three miles of lumber piles, some 40′ high, were stacked on the ten (10), 1,300′ long lumber docks.  Major products included flooring, hardwood shoe heels, furniture and later, moldings & trim.  By the time the mill ceased operation, it was the world’s largest producer of women’s hardwood shoe heels and flooring.

Stacks of lumber ready for service

Stacks of lumber ready for service

In 1913,the firm created the nearby town of Rainelle. Company-owned houses in Rainelle were plastered and papered inside, painted white outside, and designed for sanitation, with modern plumbing and electricity. Each had a yard and a garden space surrounding it.

Upon receiving this generous gift from the Meadow River Lumber Company, the State Fair has been able to utilize the building to showcase State Fair memorabilia from over the years; everything from Fair posters, to photos, to exhibitor guides, ribbons and more.  Most recently the town of Rainelle has used the Museum to showcase their town and to create awareness of the all that is happening in their community.

State Fair Announces Third Annual Pie Bake-Off

LEWISBURG, WV (03/18/2013)(readMedia)– The 2013 State Fair is set for August 9th through 17th and fair officials are looking for West Virginia’s best pie baker! The third annual “Best of the Counties” pie bake off is a competition between each of West Virginia’s fifty-five counties to determine bragging rights for being the home of West Virginia’s best pie baker.

To nominate a neighbor, friend or family member simply visit and complete the pie bake off ballot. The person receiving the most votes for a particular county will be invited to participate in the contest at the State Fair on Saturday, August 10th. All nominations must be received by the Fair office no later than 12 noon on May 13th. Prizes will be awarded as follows: 1st Place – $150 and the limited edition Fiesta Ware/State Fair of West Virginia pie dish, 2nd Place – $100 and 3rd place $50.

2012 Winners were; 1st Place – Jane Bird, Mason County; 2nd place, Susan Kirkpatrick, Gilmer County; Norma Young, Monroe County.

If you do not have access to the Internet, simply submit your name, address, and phone number, and your nominee’s name, address, county, and phone number to State Fair of WV, PO Drawer 986, Lewisburg, WV 24901.

The 2013 State Fair is themed “Feel the Magic” and is scheduled August 9-17, 2012. The State Fair of West Virginia, with a $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.

Alderson 4th of July Celebration & State Fair of WV Selected as STS Top 20 Events for Summer

STS TOP 20 LOGO_2013The Alderson 4th of July Celebration and the State Fair of West Virginia were recently selected as a Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Top 20 Events for Summer 2013.

Alderson’s 4th of July Celebration is set for July 4-8. With a long-standing history of hosting West Virginia’s largest Independence Day celebration, the five-day event includes musical performances, concessions, a rubber ducky race, grand parade and fireworks display.

“This is a wonderful event, and I am thrilled that we are receiving another distinction for it,” said Event Chair, Karen Lobban, Along with this STS award, the event was also voted “West Virginia’s Favorite 4th of July Celebration” by WV Living magazine.

A second event to be selected is the State Fair of West Virginia scheduled for August 9-17. This annual tradition features family fun, food, rides, livestock exhibits and more.

“We are excited to once again be recognized as a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society,” said State Fair CEO, Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe. “This year’s 89th annual State Fair is themed “Feel the Magic.” We guarantee an event that is jam-packed with great entertainment, engaging agricultural displays and educational opportunities for all ages.”.

The Top 20 Events list began in 1985 as a way to promote the best events in the Southeast. Nominations must be received by STS members and the two events were nominated by the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) in January.

The Top 20 Events publication is sent to over 1,600 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, AAA publications and others. The combined circulation runs into the millions.

Founded in 1983, Southeast Tourism Society is dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism to its 12 member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The membership includes state travel offices, attractions, hotels, motels, resorts, convention and visitors bureaus, airlines, car rental agencies, newspapers, magazines and other travel-related organizations. Its headquarters are in Atlanta.

For complete details on both events, please visit the CVB’s website.

About the Greenbrier County Convention & Visitors Bureau:
The CVB’s mission is to strive each day to positively impact the area’s economy by marketing the region as a premier tourist destination. The Greenbrier Valley is the second most visited region in the state with 1.3 million visitors annually and an economic impact of more than $181 million.

History of a Fair

Greenbrier Valley Fair

Showing at the Greenbrier Valley Fair

The sweet smell of hay, the hardened & tanned hands of the men showing their livestock and the beautiful craftsmanship of fine needlework  that can only be handed down from generation to generation, is a sampling of what you would have seen at the first recorded Fair in Greenbrier Valley, Virginia in 1854.

The Declaration of Independence was only 78 years old when the Greenbrier Agricultural Society began organizing and having an annual fair where agricultural accomplishments could be displayed.  The first Fair was conducted at Mr. Nesmith’s Grove on approximately 2 acres of land.  The location of this event was determined by current historians to be at the corner of Washington and Lee Streets in Lewisburg; about 150′ northeast of the present location of Lewisburg United Methodist Church.


Robert E. Lee & Traveller

The ‘Traditions you Treasure’ began many years ago and evolved as much as the locations have.  In 1858, the Lewisburg event gained the distinction of being called “a fair of proportions” and featured many entries, including an iron-gray yearling colt that took home the Blue Ribbon.  That same colt would later gain fame as Robert E. Lee’s warhorse, Traveller!  Also on display during this same show, was the first sewing machine ever brought to the County.

The formation of West Virginia during the Civil War placed Greenbrier County in the new state and it was in 1869 that a Fair was conducted for the first time in Lewisburg, West Virginia.  Once again a famous animal was entered in the Fair, as the Ludington Steer took home top honors.  This Shorthorn Steer, owned by Mr. Samuel C. Ludington, was the largest steer in the world, weighing 4,450 pounds!  The steer was noted for being “…so broad across the back that a half-bushel of shelled corn could be poured on its back and not a grain would roll off.”

The tradition of entering livestock, home arts, agricultural produce, equine and more, for judging is what the State Fair of WV is built on.  Through the years Fairgoers have enjoyed bringing their families to enjoy all of the sights, sounds, and yes, the delicious smells of the Fair.  These are the Traditions that we embrace and love sharing with you every year.

Look for future posts to continue the story of the State Fair of WV!

State Fair Announces 2013 Concert Lineup!

The State Fair of West Virginia continues a magical tradition of awesome summer concerts with the announcement of it’s 2013 concert series:

Friday, August 9 – 8pm: FREE WITH GATE ADMISSION – TATE STEVENS – In December 2012, Stevens was crowned the season two winner of Fox’s X Factor USA, Inc. Never placing lower than second throughout the competition, the Belton, Missouri native won voters over with his everyman appeal, devotion to his family, and the fact that he was keeping alive the dream of being a superstar at age 37. Fans saw his debut single “Holler If You’re With Me” during a Pepsi commercial that aired during the 2012 Grammy’s. “The Power of A Love Song” was recently released to country radio and his album will debut in April.

Saturday, August 10 – 8 pm – Casting Crowns – (onsale 4/11/13) – This prolific Contemporary Christian Music band has held the position as Billboard’s top selling Christian band since 2007. Since its launch in 2003 the band has garnered 14 GMA Dove Awards, three GRAMMY Awards and an American Music Award. Casting Crowns has sold more than 8.2 million albums and recently celebrated its first RIAA certified Gold single, “Who Am I,” from its 2003 self-titled debut. The song, selling more than 500,000 copies, is one of only 12 Christian tracks ever to secure Gold status. Their most recent album “Come to the Well” is filled with songs that both challenge and encourage believers in their walk.

Sunday, August 11 – 6 pm – Austin Mahone Coco Jones (onsale 3/28/13) – Austin Mahone may have discovered music the old-fashioned way but his rise to stardom has been cutting edge. By age 16 and in 2012, he’d garnered1.8million Facebook fans, 1.5 million Twitter followers, 545k YouTube subscribers, and notched over 96 million views without a record label or marketing team. Selling out shows at the Best Buy Theater Times Square and Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, he landed on Live with Kelly and Michale, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, E News, and VH1. His first official release “Say You’re Just a Friend” features Flo Rida.

Coco Jones starred in the #1 Disney Channel film of the year “Let It Shine,” which racked up 5.7 million viewers. Her fresh talent attracted bookers for Essence Music Festival’s “New Next” concert where she performed alongside Diggy Simmons in 2012. Her video “Holla at the DJ,” her debut single, surpassed 1.4 million views in a mere 2 months, and garnered praise from MTV news who likened Coco’s video performance to a “young Beyonce”. There’s something happening here, and her name is Coco Jones. “I describe my songs as a personal journal,” says the Tennessee native. “I like to write about relatable female empowerment.”

Monday, August 12 – 8 pm – FREE WITH GATE ADMISSION – FMX Championship MotoCross

Tuesday, August 13, 8 pm: Josh Turner and Dustin Lynch – (onsale 3/28/2013) – Josh Turner is one of country music’s most recognizable hit-makers. Earning numerous CMA, ACM and GRAMMY nominations since the release of his debut album, Long Black Train, Josh Turner has sold more than five million albums and garnered four No. 1 hits (including three multi-week chart-toppers): “Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me,” and “Why Don’t We Just Dance” (a four-week No. 1 that was named the most-played song of the year in 2010 by MediaBase). His song, “All Over Me,” from Haywire also reached the top spot on the charts, making him one of only seven country artists to have two No. 1 hits in 2010. Celebrating one of his fastest-rising singles to-date, “Time Is Love,” Turner released his
fifth studio album, Punching Bag on June 12, 2012 which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart.

Dustin Lynch’s self-titled, inaugural album which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart made him the ONLY new male act to have his album land at #1 in 2012. His debut single, “Cowboy and Angels,” is on its way to Platinum with nearly three quarters of a million singles sold. “Cowboys and Angels” – which has become an iconic, modern day classic – reached #2 on both the Billboard and Mediabase Country Songs charts and has earned Lynch two 2012 FOX American Country Award nominations for “Single of the Year – New Artist” and “Video of the Year – New Artist.”

Wednesday, August 14, 8 pm: Eli Young Band and Love and Theft (onsale 4/11/2013)- It’s a crazy-good story. The Eli Young Band-four musicians who met during their college days in Texas-is now 11 years into a career built on touring without a single lineup change. That dedication is paying off big-time as the band enjoys a crazy new level of success. They sell a crazy amount of tickets. Get a crazy amount of airplay. And are selling a crazy amount of downloads-EYB received their first platinum record for “Crazy Girl” and have sold over 1.5million downloads of the track.

The ACM nominated DUO Love and Theft’s rollicking first single “Angel Eyes”-which scored the twosome their first CMT Music Awards nomination for Duo Video of the Year-brought to mind Elvis Presley’s “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise.” Their self-titled 2012 album “Love and Theft” was released on RCA records and the first single “Runnin Out of Air” is climbing the country singles charts.

Thursday, August 15, 8 pm: Thompson Square and Randy Houser (onsale 3/28/2013) – Fans began truly getting to know their way around Stoney Creek Records’ Thompson Square with the release of their GRAMMY nominated #1 Platinum+ radio smash, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” a fitting introduction to the Thompsons’ natural chemistry and spirit of buoyant romance. iTunes’ Country Song of the Year (2011) grew meteorically to become the Most Played Song at Country Radio in 2011 (Mediabase) as well as reach the top of the Billboard Heat Seekers Chart. Additionally, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” spent five consecutive weeks at #1 on the Country Digital Soundscan chart and 12 consecutive weeks as the #1 Country Ringtone. Thompson Square earned three fan-voted American Country
Awards for Single of the Year by a Group, Single of the Year by a New Artist and Music Video of the Year by a New Artist. “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” also earned two GRAMMY nominations for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/ Group Performance of the Year as well as an American Music Award Nomination for “New Artist of the Year.” One month later, Thompson Square dethroned Sugarland to become the 2012 Academy of Country Music’s “Vocal Duo of the Year,” making Thompson Square the first new duo to win the award in 20 years. Two after that, Thompson Square’s follow-up smash, “I Got You,” earned the duo a fan-voted 2012 CMT Music Award for “Duo Video of the Year.” In November 2012 , Thompson Square’s peers crowned them with the CMA’s Vocal Duo of the Year award. Now, with the much-anticipated
release of, “If I Didn’t Have You,” the duo’s lead single from its upcoming sophomore album, Thompson Square moves up the ranks to support Luke Bryan on his first-ever headlining tour in 2013.

Randy Houser is a man refreshed. “I don’t know how it happened, but everything in my life has started lining up,” says the Lake, Mississippi native. “I must have done somebody right in the past.” Houser’s own past contains no shortage of achievement, including multiple nominations for ACM and CMA Awards, a #2 single in the form of “Boots On,” and songwriting credits for major names such as Trace Adkins, Justin Moore and Chris Young. In 2008-mere months after the release of his debut single, “Anything Goes”-Houser was even asked by David Letterman himself to appear on the Late Show. The singer’s first full-length, Anything Goes, came out later that year, followed in 2010 by They Call Me Cadillac. And yet despite this early success, Houser now admits that he wasn’t truly happy. “It seemed
like professionally things weren’t as great as they could be, and that was part of it,” he says. “But the biggest thing was not having a homebase. I needed an anchor.” He found one last year when he married his wife, Jessa. “All of a sudden it was like I had this piece that had been missing,” he says with audible gratitude. Another piece-son West Yantz Houser-arrived this past spring, as did a crisp new look and a pact with Stoney Creek Records. Those positive vibes ripple through “How Country Feels,” the sparkling first single from Houser’s upcoming Stoney Creek debut, which he’s currently cutting with producer Derek George.

Friday, August 16, 8 pm: Theory of A Deadman (onsale 4/11/2013)-The platinum-selling Vancouver quartet builds arena-ready hooks around hard rocking stories of good times, bad times and everything in between. On their latest album “For the Truth Is”, they feature “Lowlife,” a raucous anthem celebrating simple pleasures, “Hurricane” that stirs up a storm of emotions over an orchestral hum of guitars and massive chorus and “Head Above Water,” which delivers an uplifting, contemplative message encased in mid-tempo rhythms. Theory of a Deadman-Tyler Connolly [Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar], David Brenner [Rhythm Guitar], Dean Back [Bass], Joey Dandeneau [Drums]-are telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, like it or not. For The Truth Is…, Theory of a Deadman preserved the sound that fans worldwide have grown to love on Scars Souvenirs [2008], Gasoline [2005], and Theory of a Deadman [2002], while expanding, enhancing, and evolving their approach. The band solidified their place at the top of modern hard rock by exceeding Platinum sales with their breakthrough Scars Souvenirs and with #1 Mainstream Rock Radio hit “Bad Girlfriend.”At the same time, other singles, “So Happy” and “By The Way,” became crowd favorites on tours with everyone from Mötley Crüe and Godsmack to Daughtry and label mates Stone Sour. For The Truth Is… the band stuck to what works best and are taking it to the next level.

Saturday, August 17, 8 pm: Buckin’ B Bull Ride and Parmalee (onsale 4/11/2013) – Parmalee is a Southern Country Rock band hailing from Greenville, North Carolina. Their name was derived from the tiny, southern town of Parmele, NC, located a couple miles from their hometown, where they started creating music together in a small barn. Parmalee consists of lead singer and guitarist Matt Thomas, bassist and vocalist Barry Knox (Matt andScott Thomas’ cousin), Josh McSwain (lead guitar, vocals, and friend), and drummer Scott Thomas (Matt’s brother). Through the band’s extensive touring and self-marketing, Parmalee is quickly becoming a band to be reckoned with in country music. Their current single “Carolina” is making an impact in country radio and it follows their rollicking,
rowdy single “Must Have Had a Good Last Night”!

State Fair CEO, Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, states, “We have been working hard since last September to bring a modern, diverse lineup to our fairgoers. When combined with the largest carnival midway in the mid-Atlantic, over $100,000 in grounds attractions that are offered free with gate admission and our thousands of agricultural and livestock exhibits we are ensuring that fairgoers will definitely “Feel the Magic” August 9-17!” Ticket prices and details on how to order can be found at Tickets will be available via Etix at or by calling 1-800-514-ETIX (3849) Monday through Friday 9 am – 6 pm or Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 2013 State Fair is themed “Feel the Magic” and is scheduled August 9-17, 2013. . The State Fair of West Virginia, with a $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.

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