State Fair of Virginia opens in Caroline County on Friday
DOSWELL—This year’s State Fair of Virginia is brimming with attractions, food and entertainment for people of all ages and interests.
Crowds this year can look forward to traditional fair favorites, such as racing pigs, chain saw sculpting, and giant pumpkins, giant turkey legs, funnel cakes, and diverse musical talents.
There are a few new additions to the fair this year, including the return of barbecue vendor Virginia Tech Block & Bridle Club, and Circus Hollywood—a brand new attraction that will feature animal acts, acrobats, high wire performances, motorcycle stunt rides, and more.
Greg Hicks, the vice president of communications for the State Fair of Virginia, is excited to note that the entire fair grounds have been “redesigned” in order to make the experience more navigable for patrons. Attendees of the fair this year will be able to visit 224 vendors, try any of the 55 rides and 25 games, attend nearly 20 shows, and learn about 1,600 animals.
The fairgrounds have been divided into four quadrants: Harvest Landing, Festival Loop, Midway Madness, and the Equine & Livestock Complex. Harvest Landing is dedicated to agriculture, education, and family-oriented entertainment. Festival Loop boasts two stages for musical entertainment, concessions and beer sales, and attractions such as Circus Hollywood. Midway Madness is where all of the games and rides will be located, and the Equine & Livestock Complex will be where livestock competitions will be held, and a new breed of horse will be shown each day of the fair. One of the most significant changes is the relocation of Heritage Village to the Harvest landing area.
Many people will admit one of the main reasons for going to any fair is for the food, and the State Fair of Virginia’s list of tantalizing treats continues to grow. Fried Oreos, funnel cakes, and giant turkey legs will be joined by new culinary experiences like chocolate-covered bacon and Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe sandwiches. Other new food options include Califonia Cheesin’, which offers everything cheese; such as fried cheddar nuggets, mozzarella sticks, and grilled cheese with tomato soup.
Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt and Buffalo Wild Wings will have mobile units on site, and there will be a variety of different types of food available, including Mexican, Greek, Italian, Asian, and seafood. Craft-brewed beers will be available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at the Taste the Local Beer Truck, and will showcase five different local brewing companies.
The second State Fair Stampede 5K and 10K benefit races, held on Oct. 5 at 7:30 a.m., is another exciting feature of the fair this year. “We want to make this a premiere event in Virginia that attracts the running community. I don’t think any race venue in Virginia can match the scenic route we have,” said Hicks. Both the 5K and 10K races will wrap around the perimeter of the The Meadow Event Park, through wooded areas, alongside the North Anna River and past the fair’s midway and horse and livestock areas. A portion of the proceeds from the races will go to Virginia’s Agriculture in the Classroom program.
Some of the notable music talents that will be performing this year are: John Anderson, who will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 27; fair favorite Donna Mead and the band Four of a Kind, performing at 7 p.m. Oct. 3; Jefferson Starship, which will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4; and The Charlie Daniels Band, which will close out this years fair with a performance beginning at 7 p.m. Oct. 6.
In addition to these amazing performers who will perform on the festival stage, the State Fair of Virginia has added the brand new Triple Crown Amphitheatre, where local musical and dance related talents have the opportunity to perform for fair patrons. These performers were chosen from a long list of hopefuls who submitted their music and various talents to state fair officials. Among those performing is Caroline County’s own inspirational rap group, Faction.
“We are trying to show the best of Virginia,” Hicks said, adding that the fair fully supports the local talent from all over Virginia. The State Fair of Virginia is dedicated to educating people of all ages about agriculture, while providing many unique sources of entertainment and a family-friendly atmosphere. “There is something here for everyone,” said Hicks. “I think this will be the best year yet.”