By RealWV staff,
The State Fair of West Virginia is known for games on the midway like Fat Albert’s, balloon darts, and hoop shoot. But they’ve also pioneered a free and fun competition for kids…using garden vegetables.
They call it ‘The Veggie 300.’ Six competitors choose a wooden car, attach a vegetable of their choice to it (by using a nail), and then race to the finish line. Potatoes, zucchinis, peppers, onions and squash all race down the track!
On Saturday morning, a large crowd gathered in the West Virginia building to cheer on their favorite cars. Competitors included: Braden Beaver of Powellton, WV, Sophia Boggs of Big Otter, WV, Adalyn Boggs of Big Otter, WV, Ari Barlowe of Richmond, VA, Gemma Barlowe of Richmond, VA, and Harrison Baldwin of Ronceverte, WV.
“Start your engines!” announced Joe Mitchen, who works for WVU Sports Information and volunteers as guest announcer for the race. With all the cars in place at the starting line, Mitchen dropped the lever holding the superpowered veggies back…and they were off!
The kids watched with bated breath as their veggies raced down the track, with the orange pepper and the red potato out to an early lead!
On their tippy-toes with their hearts in their throats, they watched their favorite veggies cross the finish line one at a time. It was a close race! A hush came over the crowd, waiting for the official judge’s decision.
In third place was Braden Beaver of Powellton, WV.
In second place was Sophia Boggs of Big Otter, WV.
And in first place was Gemma Barlowe of Richmond, VA. (Gemma’s grandpa is John Manchester, former Mayor of Lewisburg, WV.)
Sharon Johnson of Greenbrier County handed out the custom-vegetable trophies to the Top 3! All the kids clapped for one another and left as winners, having found a way to have fun with vegetables at the State Fair of WV.
If your community festival has an interest in growing a Veggie 300 of your own, reach out to the State Fair of WV for further information on how to replicate this fun children’s event.