Fall is a time filled with tradition here in Virginia. From football games to apple picking to harvest festivals, we have no shortage of seasonal events to keep our families happy and entertained. And for many families, one of the highlights of the fall season is the State Fair of Virginia.
Since 2009, the fair has been held on the beautiful grounds of The Meadow Event Park in Doswell, VA, just north of Richmond. And we can’t think of a better way to kick off the fall season than with thrilling rides, exciting shows, live music, tantalizing fair food, exhibits from some of the state’s finest artisans, crafters, and agriculturalists, and much more.
Fall into Fun at the State Fair
The State Fair of Virginia runs for 10 days and includes a wide variety of activities for the whole family. This year, the State Fair will run from September 28 – October 7, 2018.
With opening weekend just around the corner, now is the time to start planning how you and your family will make the most of this time-honored fall tradition. See some of the fair’s highlights below and find something for everyone in your crew!
Entertainment and Live Shows
For your thrill seekers, be sure to catch some of the fair’s newest entertainment offerings, including the Cowboy Circus with Danny Grant, the Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean tightrope show, Monster Truck rides, and an FMX bike show.
If you have animal lovers at home, then you won’t want to miss fair favorites like Young McDonald’s farm complete with a duck slide, daily chick hatchings, “Goat Mountain,” and adorable piglets. Throughout the fairgrounds, you’ll find other animal-themed events such as Sheep Dog Demos, the K9s in Flight Dog Show, Rosaire’s Royal Racers pig races, a poultry and rabbit exhibit, horse shows, rodeos, and the Sale of Champions – a youth livestock show and auction. You can even try your hand at milking a dairy cow in the Southland Dairy Pavilion!
The adrenaline junkies in your crew will want to head straight to the midway where they’ll find a wide variety of rides for every age. From the death-defying Hydra to the whirling Zipper, there’s no shortage of rides to keep your heart racing. However, your little ones will find plenty of excitement, too, with a dedicated Kidway offering fun, age-appropriate rides and games for even the youngest fairgoers.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts experts and novices alike will be amazed at the juried exhibits of handiwork on display at the State Fair, including everything from intricate quilts to handmade housewares, art, wood carvings, and much more. For live demonstrations, be sure to head to Heritage Village, an immersive outdoor Virginia history display where artisans will be blowing glass, carving, and more.
The Horticulture Pavilion will impress even those without a green thumb thanks to award-winning displays of giant pumpkins, watermelons, corn, cotton, and household plants among others.
Of course, what would the State Fair be without the food? In addition to classic “fair fare” like corn dogs, smoked turkey legs, funnel cakes, and cotton candy, you’ll find treats like honey roasted peanut butter ice cream, fresh cut fries topped with crab dip or barbecue, international foods, and much, much more!
And let’s not forget the music. The State Fair of Virginia is proud to present a complete line-up of FREE live music during their six-night Main Stage Concert Series. See Grammy-winning artists, crowd favorites, and emerging country superstars like Craig Campbell, Dylan Scott, Trent Harmon, Scotty McCreery, and more. Plus, experience a downhome good time with the Crooked Road Showcase featuring Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys along with special guest, the Earl White String Band.
Special Events and Theme Days
Last but not least, be sure to plan for these special events:
September 28, 2018 (all day):
Food Lion Hunger Relief Day – Receive $5 off admission at the gate on opening day with a donation of five Food Lion branded food items.
September 29-30 and October 5-7, 2018:
Tours of Meadow Hall – Tour the estate’s historic mansion and see the stables where Secretariat’s legacy began. Tours will be held at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm.
October 6, 2018:
The 2nd Annual Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Fest – Enjoy tastings from more than 20 Virginia breweries from 2pm – 7pm.
September 30 and October 7, 2018:
Virginia’s Finest Sundays – Sample and buy Virginia’s Finest products in a special showcase event from 12pm – 7pm each Sundays of the fair’s run.
Tickets and Pricing
Tickets for the State Fair of Virginia and unlimited ride wristbands can be purchased online or at the gate. Purchase online between now and September 27 to save $5 on advance unlimited ride wristbands and $2 on advance admission tickets (child, senior, adult).
Regular Pricing (at the gate):
Adult Admission: $15
Child Admission: $12
Children 4 and Under are free
Senior (60+): $12
Unlimited Ride Wristband: $25
Individual Ride Tickets*: $1 each, or $20 for a sheet of 25
*Rides take between 3-6 tickets.
For all other questions or to learn more, be sure to visit www.statefairva.org. In the meantime, we hope to see you soon at the State Fair of Virginia – your first place for family fun this fall!