FAIRLEA, WV (WVNS)–The State Fair of West Virginia officially opened the gates for its 97th year on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

Fairgoers can find familiar favorites like cinnamon rolls and turkey legs, but, there are some new additions as well. The 2022 fair welcomes Swifty Swine, Welds Bears and performing acrobats who are already pretty famous.

Kelly Collins -CEO, State Fair of WV
“So Nervous Knocks, I think I saw them on America’s Got Talent,” said CEO Kelly Collins. “They are a thrill show in the middle of the fairgrounds. They’ve got a cage for their bikes. They’ve got aerial acts. So you can see it from very far from the fairgrounds location.”

The Nervous Knocks show is free to fair guests.

What is a fair without food? Everybody’s favorite fair foods are back, from the cinnamon rolls to the sno-cones.

One North Carolina vendor says it’s his twentieth year bringing street corn to fairgoers. The corn is always a crowd pleaser and gets served fresh on the cob

Derek Porter- Vendor
“So whenever you order it, we’re going to shuck it in the back. We’re going to go ahead and butter it to you. Wrap it up in some napkins,” vendor Derek Porter told 59News. “We’ve got the napkins on the side and we’ve got salt and pepper and other seasonings.”

Porter added the corn comes from a farm in Colorado.

Additionally, security is always a point of concern for not only fairgoers but local law enforcement. State Police told us the fair is safer than ever this year.

For the first time ever, guests walk through metal detectors when entering the fair. Troopers said folks are fine with the new security measures.

1st Sgt. Andy Evans- West Virginia State Police
“It’s actually less intrusive than being at the airport,” said First Sgt. Andy Evans with the West Virginia State Police. “If it does alarm, maybe you’ll be taken off to the side and we can see what has made the alarm go off.”

Firearms, knives and other weapons can not be brought through the gates.