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 27 – October 6, 2019.
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 Ultimate Thrill Circus featuring a Human Cannonball, the Xtreme Chinese Acrobats, the Street Drum Corps featured on America’s Got Talent, and Professor Newton and Kidz Science Safari. Back this year by popular demand is the Demolition Derby, garden tractor pulls, and more!
If you have animal lovers at home, then you won’t want to miss fair favorites like Young McDonald’s Farm presented by Farm Credit, 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 Rosaire’s Royal Racers pig races, the pigeon and dove tent, and multiple livestock competitions. You can even try your hand at milking a dairy cow in the SouthLand Dairy Farmer Center!
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 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.
Even those without a green thumb will be impressed by the State Fair’s 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 host a complete line-up of FREE live music during their six-night Main Stage Concert Series presented Farm Bureau Insurance. Artists include crowd favorites The Sugarhill Gang and Foghat, emerging country superstars like LOCASH and HARDY, Christian artist Zach Williams, and the Crooked Road Showcase featuring Blue Highway and the Wolfe Brothers String Band. Blue Ribbon seats are available for purchase to get you closer to your favorite artists.
Special Events and Theme Days
Last but not least, be sure to plan for these special events:
September 29 and October 6, 2019 (all day):
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.
September 30, 2019:
Monday Night Meet-Up – On Monday, 9/30, the State Fair is celebrating fair fans with adult tickets ON SALE for $8 at the gate (orig. $15) after 5PM. Sale does not apply online. No other discounts apply.
October 1, 2019:
VPM|PBS KIDS DAY – From 11am-5pm, PBS characters Buddy from “Dinosaur Train” and Daniel from “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” will be appearing at the fair and interacting with their youthful fans, making for a memorable family outing.
October 1, 2019:
Take Off Tuesday – Adult tickets are ON SALE at the gate for ONLY $8 (orig. $15) all day Tuesday, 10/1. Sale does not apply online. No other discounts apply.
October 5, 2019:
The Annual Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Fest – Enjoy tastings from more than 20 Virginia breweries from 2pm – 7pm. Tickets available online.
Tickets and Pricing
Advanced Pricing online and at Publix Super Markets (9/1-9/26):
Adult Admission (ages 13+): $12
Youth Admission (ages 5-12): $10
Children 4 and Under are free
Senior (60+): $10
Unlimited Ride Wristband: $20
Regular Pricing at the gate, online, and at Publix Super Markets (9/27-10/6):
Adult Admission (ages 13+): $15
Youth Admission (ages 5-12): $12
Children 4 and Under are free
Senior (60+): $12
Military: $12 (at the gate only)
Unlimited Ride Wristband: $25
Individual Ride Tickets*: $1 each, or $20 for a sheet of 25
*Ride tickets available for purchase at fair only. Rides take between 3-6 tickets.