More fun in store at County Fair
Young and old alike are in for four days of fun at the Caroline County Agricultural Fair July 11-14.
This year County Fair promises more: more rides, more animals, more facilities, more contests, and more emphasis on agriculture.
More fair fun, same fair price. Admission is $5 for ages 11 and up; children 10 and under are free. A special Saturday free admission is offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for visitors who donate eight canned food items for the benefit of the Caroline County Department of Social Services food pantry.
The hours of this year’s County Fair are 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. July 11 and 12, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 13, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 14. A new policy this year is that general admission ticket sales will stop an hour and a half before closing time.
The County Fair features a midway complete with carnival rides and attractions provided by Sherwood Amusements. Tickets for midway rides are in addition to admission; most rides require two or more tickets per person. Ride tickets cost $1 each or $20 for 25.
Ride wristbands also are available. They allow unlimited rides from 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. July 11-12 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 14; they may not be used July 13 or after 5 p.m. July 14.
Wristbands cost $10 if purchased by July 10. They may be purchased at any branch of the Caroline County Library (in Dawn, Bowling Green, Ladysmith, and Port Royal), the Caroline County Visitor Center on Route 207 in Carmel Church, Pizazz Hair Studio at 17488 Center Dr. in Ladysmith, and Snip and Trim Hair Studio at 117 N. Main St. in Bowling Green.
The County Fair’s permanent home boasts three new additions this year, including two facilities that were being constructed in the weeks leading up to the event. The fair has three new buildings: the Carlson Pavilion, the W.B. Coleman Sr. Pavilion, and the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative Pavilion. All three structures have been designed and built to accommodate outdoor activities.
A new attraction this year certain to be a hit with youngsters: camel rides. Friendly dromedary camels – they have one hump – from the Bar C Ranch in Clarke County are led by the ranch’s knowledgeable staff.
For the more adventurous, another new attraction will be mechanical bull rides provided by Raging Bull Entertainment.
The County Fair’s Home Goods Contest has added several new competitions for 2012. One, the Emerald City Table Settings Contest, is limited by space to the first 10 entries. Contestants will be provided with a 20-inch by 24-inch table that must be set in the theme of the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” A centerpiece and menu must be included.
Another addition this year is the wacky Duct Tape Magic Contest. Contestants use versatile duct tape to make a dress, hat, shoes, tote or pocketbook, or other item.
The new Tasty Little Devils Deviled Egg Recipe Contest will have winners for first, second and third place, and they will be eligible to compete at the state level. Winners also will receive a supply of Eggland’s Best Eggs for six months to a year.
A corn hole tournament has been added this year, and new displays will feature a 1950s vintage kitchen and a pictorial display of the industrial education movement in Caroline in the early 1950s.
In addition, the County Fair has expanded livestock show contests and increased the number of other contests, such as corn shucking and watermelon eating.
A new livestock event this year is the Pee Wee Swine Showmanship Contest. The contest is for children ages 4-8. Southern Barnyard Runners will supply the pigs and teach the children how to handle and show them.
Livestock will be exhibited in Caroline’s Barn – located in the James R. Tate Agricultural Pavilion – and the shows will be held July 12 and 14.
Along with the livestock shows will be an exhibit called America’s Farmers Mobile Experience; visitors journey through three different areas with interactive tools and displays for a better understanding of an American farmer. Tours will be available 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 11-12, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 13, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 14. The Caroline County Agricultural Fair will be the only Virginia stop for this exhibit in 2012 as it travels throughout the U.S.
The County Fair’s Home Goods Contest features a wide variety of categories. Most categories award ribbons and cash prices for first, second, and third place.
Other family-friendly contests, games, attractions, and activities also will return to the fair, such as the hog calling, rooster crowing, corn shucking, watermelon eating and pie eating contests, pony rides, hay rides, racing pigs, a dog show by the Caroline Humane Society, activities and youth talent show sponsored by Caroline’s Promise, and the Caroline Idol competition.
The classic truck show and antique tractor and equipment show will have expert voting this year with a panel of judges. There is also a photo op area available to those who would like to take pictures with the tractors. New for this year will be drawings for tractor themed items, such as children’s books and hats.
Attendance has steadily grown over the last three years, with 6,500 in 2009, 6,900 in 2010, and 7,400 in 2011.
The site for the fair is located on County Fair Lane, which is west of Jefferson Davis Highway between Carmel Church and Ladysmith. County Fair Lane intersects with Jefferson Davis Highway about two miles north of Route 207 and about five miles south of Ladysmith Road.
For complete details about the Caroline County Agricultural Fair, see the website at www.carolinefair.com or look up ‘Caroline County Agricultural Fair’ on Facebook. Information about all contests and entry forms is available on the website as well as the dog show and the complete County Fair schedule.