Living in Northern Virginia, I tend to forget that Virginia is a Southern state, this past weekend while visiting friends in Richmond, I received a gentle reminder of this fact. Just outside of Richmond next to the Kings Dominion Amusement Park was the State Fair of Virginia at the Meadow. What an exciting time, so many things to do and to see and it’s not over. Parking is ample and the fair provided numerous employees to assist in parking to avoid confusion and the fair provides a taxi service to the ticket booth. Lines were long but moved so quickly you didn’t notice any wait time.
Once in the fair grounds there were so many activities, the first thing that we saw were a group of ladies clogging and a tasting station for the voted “best stew”, all from Virginia! Next we wandering to the agriculture and horticulture exhibits, which featured livestock, fish farming, honey from Virginia honey bees and a pumpkin carving station! Heading out of the agricultural/horticultural exhibits were tents where you could purchase cowboy paraphernalia.
Heading to the main section of the fair you experience a wide variety of food which includes corn dogs, sweet potato fries, turkey legs, barbecue, the list goes on. Make sure you don’t miss the fried pickles! Thirsty? No problem the fair offers many drink selections, homemade root beer, all types of soda pop with discounts on refills. Best value by far was the Sweet Ice Tea for 75 cents for 20 oz. Alcohol is only available in certain sections of the fair ground. I tried a first at the Virginia State fair, a friend snickers bar, while it wasn’t my favorite it was rather interesting and I would recommend trying it at least once in your life, other types of fried desserts were available, fried Twinkies, fried Milky Way’s, fried Oreos, fried Kool Aid to name a few.
Entertainment included pig racing, air mutts and mechanical bull riding (I wasn’t brave enough to try that one). Like any fair, people can submit their wares/accomplishments to be judge for prizes. The winners and runners-up are featured in one of the main buildings, best desserts, best chocolate, best cross stitch, best jam, best quilt, best crotched, best table setting, the list goes on. After walking through the winning hall, there is a convention center where you can stop and get a foot massage, back massage, purchase some lottery tickets and other paraphernalia that you might not find every day.
Just outside of the convention center and winning hall are the fair rides for adults but mainly for the children. So many booths with guaranteed winnings for children, fun rides that kids can go on by themselves and even 2 fun houses. Don’t forget to stop and look at the beautiful carousel that you can ride with your family. What an enjoyable day, I highly recommend it to everyone, even if it is just to walk around and see what Virginia has to offer.
If you didn’t make it this weekend you are in luck, the State Fair of Virginia is open until October 9th, visit http://www.statefair.com/ to find a schedule of events and entertainment. Parking was free, admission was only $15 and you can purchase additional tickets to the rides and games once inside the fair.
By: Janna Brewster