By Sally Voth email@example.com
Through the first few days of his first Shenandoah County Fair, fair general manager Tom Eshelman seems pleased with how things are going.
"We had great attendance [opening] Friday night, and then Saturday night we sold out the tractor pull," he said during a Monday afternoon phone interview.
More than 1,500 tickets were available for the tractor pull, according to Eshelman.
For the first time in decades, beer was back at the fair on Sunday, he said. The Valley Foundation is managing a beer garden on the track each night the fair features a concert, Eshelman said.
"Beer hasn't been on the track since the '60s," he said.
The beer garden was open Sunday for the Justin Moore concert, and will be back for the concerts Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Eshelman said.
The Zerbini Family Circus has returned, but in a new location, he said. The circus is near Gate 2 between the midway and the parking lot.
"It stands basically in the middle of the fairgrounds," Eshelman said.
He said the circus, which is at the fair throughout the week, is sponsored by Shentel, which has a communications trailer next to it.
Also in a new location is the petting zoo, which is free, although any rides must be paid for, according to Eshelman. After a couple years' absence, the Bar C Ranch is back with their animals, and will be at the corner of the fairgrounds near Ox Road.
A new exhibit this year features Dyna firewood processors from Thomas, W.Va., Eshelman said. He said they'll do custom wood-splitting.
"People will find it entertaining in itself," he said.
Harness racing begins Wednesday, and will run 1-4 p.m. each day through Saturday, according to Eshelman.
The BB&T-Sherwin-Williams activity tent will have some new activities, including a magician Tuesday and a barbershop quartet on Thursday, as well as pottery making throughout the week, he said.
And, of course, many people think of food when they come to the fair.
"We've added a couple of iced tea vendors and doughnut people, and some Mexican food," Eshelman said. "We've got wings on the premises this year along with all the other great food people have been used to."
The final entertainment feature of the fair will be Saturday's Painted Pony Championship Rodeo.
"It's going to be a full-fledged rodeo -- bull-riding, bronc busting ... it's a full cowboy night," Eshelman said.