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DOSWELL – The State Fair of Virginia, which suffered a financial collapse earlier this year but was rescued by a Tennessee businessman and the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, kicks off its 10-day run this week.
The State Fair, which opens Friday and runs through Oct. 7 at Meadow Event Park, will be the first to be operated by a new partnership between Mark Lovell and his Tennessee-based Universal Fairs, which purchased the fair at a bankruptcy liquidation auction earlier this year, and the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.
In addition to the new and returning attractions, midway rides, concerts, and much more, visitors will get plenty of exposure to Virginia’s agricultural heritage and industry.
“We feel like the fair is a great opportunity to share information about agriculture and to help dispel some of the myths about farming,” said Cathy Vanderhoff, co-chairman of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation State Fair Committee.
Farm Bureau’s exhibit will showcase technological advances have allowed farmers to use fewer chemicals while producing more food. The Meadow Pavilion is being transformed into a single, convenient location where fairgoers can learn about the state’s many agricultural commodities. Bees, honey, peanuts and soybeans will get the spotlight at educational exhibits.
Other farm-related exhibits and displays will include huge pumpkins, animals, award-winning crafts, produce, and hands-on educational displays.
Visitors to the State Fair will have the opportunity to experience six farms during the Real Virginia Virtual Farm Tour on Oct. 3. From 7 to 8 p.m. in the Meadow Pavilion, Virginia Farm Bureau will feature video footage of the six farms. The presentation will be broadcast live at www.VaFarmBureau.org and can be followed on Twitter at #RealVA.
The virtual farm tours will include a Rockbridge County beef cattle business, a Hanover County dairy, an Accomack County vegetable farm, a Cumberland County poultry operation, a Spotsylvania County produce farm, and a Buckingham County pork operation.
In recognition of Meadow Event Park’s ties to thoroughbred racing superstars like Secretariat and Riva Ridge, the State Fair will include equine events. Fair organizers are working with 4-H, the Virginia Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, the Virginia High School Rodeo Association, the Virginia Quarter Horse Association, and the Virginia Reining Horse Association, among others, to offer a variety of horse-related shows and demonstrations.
Visitors to the fair can purchase advance tickets at www.StateFairVA.org and at Central Virginia BB&T branches and Martin’s Supermarkets locations. Admission prices range from $12 for ages 13 and older on weekdays to $15 on weekends. Children 5 to 12 will be admitted for $8 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. Children 4 and younger will be admitted free.
Admission does not include rides, but ride tickets will be available for purchase inside the fair, and a single-day unlimited ride wristband will be available for $21. A one-day Family Fun Pack for two adults and two youth admissions plus two unlimited ride wristbands is $68, and season passes will be available for $25. Parking is free.
More information about tickets, attractions, concerts and other fair events are being posted to www.StateFairVA.org as they become available. Fair fans also can keep up with new developments via Facebook and Twitter.
State Fair of Virginia Schedule:
Friday, Sept. 28: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday Sept. 29: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 30: noon to 9 p.m.
Monday-Thursday, Oct. 1 – 4: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 5: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 7: noon to 9 p.m.
State Fair Concert Schedule
Friday, Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m. – Foghat
Saturday, Sept. 29, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – The Avalons
Sunday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m. – Dustin Lynch
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m. – The Barracudas
Thursday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m. – Honkytonk Heroes
Friday, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. – Diamond Rio
Saturday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m. – Love & Theft
Sunday, Oct. 7, 3 p.m. – Casey Abrams
Sunday, Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m. - Kentucky Headhunters
Tickets on Sale at Caroline County Visitor Center
State Fair of Virginia tickets may be purchased at the Caroline County Visitor Center, which can only accept cash.
Prices are $12 for adults (ages 13 and over), $8 for children and seniors (ages 5-12 and 60 and over), and $21 for ride wristbands. Ages 4 and under are free. Tickets may be used for any day Sept. 28 through Oct. 7.
Rides are not included with the general admission tickets. The $21 ride wristbands are for all ages and are for unlimited rides. You must present your ride wristband ticket at the wristband booth to obtain your wristband for the day.
The Caroline County Visitor Center is located at 23724 Rogers Clark Boulevard, Ruther Glen, and is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday.
To buy fair admission tickets online and for more information, visit www.StateFairVA.org.