Do you dare to visit the Virginia State Fair? How about your desire to get on some crazy rides after eating three corndogs, a funnel cake and some neon blue cotton candy, before going to see a singer who hit the pop charts in “how long have I loved this group?” category. Actually, I’m joking, and the music at the fair is awesome. In fact, so is just going to the State Fair of Virginia, and something I have enjoyed since age one, right up to the present age of fifty-eight.
DEATH NOTICE – It is with a heavy heart that I must report the death of the State Fair of VA, at 156 years of age, on March 08, 2012, from complications that resulted from the move from Henrico County to Caroline County. Many believe that neglect on the part of friends and supporters may have contributed to the decline in health and ultimately caused the demise. Ill health plagued the State Fair, starting sometime prior to the move to the new location, and an ultimate downturn in health resulted, ending in its death. Memorials may be posted on Facebook by family, friends and others.
“Did You Dare To Go To The Fair?”
To give you a brief and recent history, the State Fair of Virginia moved to the site of Meadow Farm, which horse racing fans recognize as the home to Racing Legends, Riva Ridge and Secretariat, winner of the Horse Racing Triple Crown and now home to Secretariat’s Great-Grandson, “Rainaway” – an appropriate name for the State Fair mascot, since it is almost a given that “rain” and the State Fair always seems to have a natural attraction. The event is something that is definitely on my “must do” list each year and to those not familiar with the fair is something that everyone should experience at least once. But be forewarned, it is something that very well may become a permanent part of your annual calendar schedule as well.
September has always been a special time for me, with everything changing “gears” in preparation of a new season. Starting with Labor Day, and the beginning of school, the changes of the weather and the cooler temperatures make it an exhilarating time of the year that also holds the bonus of my birthday and the State Fair of Virginia. Many people harbor the concept that a County or State Fair is little more than a traveling carnival with animals, assorted crops, archaic crafts, homemade baked goods and other such items like Aunt Bessie’s famous Elderberry Jam, but the State Fair of Virginia, is so much more. Perhaps it was that old-fashioned relic of the past in days gone by, but the State Fair of today, has evolved into a kaleidoscope of events, displays, resources, shows and informational sources that are of benefit and interest to a wide variety of people. From state-of-the-art technology and practical knowledge of the care and dedication that Virginia farmers and growers have for their animals and crops to the entertainment venues, competitions of all varieties and everything from Lumberjacks and Craftsmen to Animal Handlers and Bake-Offs.
The State Fair in this new location has become not just an event, but “the event” of the year. It still holds fast to its history, its dedication to the education of our youth and the public about Virginia diverse history, agriculture and heritage, but it also embraces the future and blends the old with the new in amazing interactive ways. While the size of the venue may seem daunting to many of those with young children or the older generations, the distance walked is made easy by the many paved areas and walkways through the site, as well as a tram, which provides some transportation relief, although it does run “sporadically” and without a posted schedule. The park is divided into seven sections (areas) – Livestock & Cultural, Media General Trail, Equine & Festival Stage, Farm Bureau, Kidway & Midway, South Festival & North Festival Loops.
While Animals and Crops are the traditional mainstays of County and of course, the State Fair and it is quite impressive to see a Watermelon, 154 lbs, my son’s weight and a Pumpkin, over 1,019 pounds, large enough to hide one of grandchildren inside. As expected, there are many animals of varying types, ranging from Chickens to Lamas and everything in-between, along with the feeling that Noah would be very proud. I enjoyed watching the Youth Milking Goat Competition, and listened with interest to the background information on the young handlers in the ring. Their talents and interests ranged from becoming an Artist to being an Astronaut, along with their other competitions, which embraced Mathematics, Science, History and Sports. The State Fair, which has its own scholarship program, also embraces many youth organizations, such as 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Animal Rescue Groups, Charitable Organizations and many, many others. These talented youthful competitors not only handled goats, but showed that “Down on the Farm” was more like “Reach for the Stars”, as they expertly displayed their many hours of training, interest, love of animals and expert knowledge to the judges, in the hopes of landing a ribbon, scholarship and the chance to achieve their dream of a college education and career.
Other events, such as Mutton Bustin’ and Barrel Racing, showed youth that was fearless, determined and talented in the more fast-paced competitions. These young individuals had obviously spent many hours practicing their event, while caring for the animals that partnered with them on a quest for victory. Other impressive events such as Pleasure and Dressage Classes, tested the participant’s knowledge of their animals, as well as the care, training and grooming, which required at least as many hours as any sport team athletes and showed that a partnership and power of partnership can result from a bond with animals. I remembered fondly, the many hours of training, working and competing in such events in my youth, and the appreciation that you develop for your animal partner, who faces each competition with the same determination and will to win, as its handler. You don’t own an animal, you belong to each other and you form a bond that you remember throughout your lifetime.
The events included in your “Fair Ticket” may be the Demolition Derby, a heart-stopping game of tag using real cars, musical competitions, such as the Banjo, Fiddle, and Karaoke, or perhaps, a Tractor Pull, Cowboy Shooting, Bull Riding (live and mechanical), Draft Horse and Mule Pulls, and Celebrity Cook-offs, just to name a few of events that ran though-out my visit during the middle of the week. I particularly enjoyed the BMX Stunt Show, Flying Frisbee Dogs and the Racing Pigs. It’s impossible to “do it all” and I already have a long list of “to-do things” on my visit next year that I didn’t do this year. For the smaller kids in our group, Rowdy Rooster and his Hot Rod Car was an entertaining show provided free, with seating, while the adults in our group took a mini break and enjoyed some of the fair food, which for us, is a required element of the total fair experience.
The one other great “must-do” list item at the State Fair, is to indulge your taste buds in some unique and unconventional food options. The health-conscience critics, of course, wouldn’t agree, and I’m sure my doctor would frown at this edible tradition, but enjoyed in moderation and with family or friends, is always on our family’s “must do” list. Some of the more curious choices, were of course, the variety of “fried” foods, Twinkies, Fried Ho Ho, popular candy bars, pickles, tomatoes, onions, and everything imaginable, proving that “anything” can probably be battered, fried and consumed with amazing results. There were numerous varieties of meat treats, ice cream varieties, and even a Donut Burger, consisting of the usual meat patty, with numerous toppings, served on a Krispy Kreme style donut, and while compelling, we declined to sample, at least this time.
The rides at the fair are impressive considering that they are delivered and setup each year for this event. There are rides and games designed with adults and children in mind and separated into different areas, which grouped the rides together by age appropriate, while still keeping all of them within a comfortable walking area. Height Restrictions are enforced and each ride has a measuring stick at the entrance with the appropriate height clearly marked. The area around the ride is usually large enough to get a view of the riders and the Ride Attendants are very good with the visitors, especially the younger children. I was very impressed by the care, patience, concern and attention of the ride handler to the riders, and they took the time to check the safety of each child’s restraint, as well as watch for children that were having “any issues” with the ride while it was in motion. On one occasion, we had put my two year old grandson on the “Rip Tide”, a jet-ski ride that bounced up, down and around and we had parked our stroller on the backside of the ride. At the ride’s conclusion, we found ourselves unable to get back to the “Exit” as quickly as we had hoped and my grandson was ready to exit the ride area. The Ride Attendant patiently kept him within the corral exit area until we were able to arrive and said that she always made sure that each child was returned to his proper parent or guardian. On another occasion, she told everyone to stay seated, while she stopped the ride within moments of seeing a child, who was obviously scared and ready to cry. She helped the child off, giving her words of comfort and gently escorted her to her parents at the exit gate, telling the child and parents that she could come back and ride whenever she wanted. On another ride, “Dylan’s Dozers”, the Attendant noticed a little boy “punching” the arm of the little girl next to him. The Ride Attendant stopped the ride, told everyone to remain seated and wait, because the ride was not finished. He then politely removed the little boy, returned him to his parents, and announcing to everyone to get ready to go, put the ride in motion for the duration of the ride
This year’s pricing of tickets was a bit higher than I remember from last year, and most rides took at least five or more tickets for adult rides and three tickets or more tickets for the “Kiddies” Rides. Individual Tickets cost one dollar each, with a price of twenty dollars for twenty-five tickets. Wristbands were the “Best Deal”, if you planned to ride more than a few rides, with a cost of twenty dollars, but be forewarned, these bands are good for one day only, and you must purchase a new band for visits during any other days that you visit the fair. Ages two and under, can ride FREE, but still must have an armband to ride. To those of you who like to visit the fair after five o’clock in the evening, the “FAIR DEAL” is a good deal with admission tickets and ride wristbands costing just ten dollars each. Be sure to check the website, http://www.statefair.com, for dates, times, and other ride information and entry details. There are discounts available to “ACTIVE” military and their families, senior citizens, etc. – check out the website details for these as well.
The many things to do at the State Fair is impressive and entertaining for the whole family, with many of these activities, shows, competitions and events offered to the public for free. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
COMPETITIONS: Fiddle & Banjo, Brunswick Stew Cook-off, Tractor Pull & Demolition Derby
SHOWS: King BMX Stunt Show, Lone Star Pro Rodeo, Masters of the Chain Saw
KIDS: Uncle Ty-Rone & High School Rodeo, Muttin’ Bustin” & Rosair’s Racing Pigs
GUYS: Cowboy Mounted Shooting Match & Demolition Derby (Driver’s Wanted)
GALS: All American Cowgirl Chicks & Celebrity Cook-Off
ANIMAL LOVERS: Aussie Kingdom (your picture with a real Kangaroo) & K-9’s in Flight
ROMANTICS: Dominion Fireworks (one night only)
MUSIC LOVERS: Festival Stage (Big Names), Theater Stage (Variety –Novelty) & Heritage Stage (Folk)
In short, no pun intended, there is lots to do at the Virginia State Fair, and in its new location, it has much to offer everyone, and everyone’s tastes and interests. It’s not the carnival of olden days, but it does combine the past and the present with new vision. The fair is well worth the entry fee and for the frugal, it can be cost-effective with planning and a realistic budget, as well as being a day of entertainment and discovery.
For those with children, the fair may be somewhat of a challenge financially and emotionally, having to deal with the many distractions and noise elements, but a well planned trip is well worth the investment and educational value.
First:Use the website and decide what you want to do, to see and to experience. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience many school related topics. Second: Ask your child’s school and teachers if they have planned a school sponsored trip to the fair or if they can suggest any specific areas, subject related topics or experiences that can be “tied into their current curriculum” and if students can earn any extra credit for attending, followed by a report on their experiences and educational activities, while attending.
For those with disabilities, the walkways, bathrooms and other areas are very accessible, but for those with difficulty walking, the distances between the areas may be somewhat of a challenge. My best suggestion is the use of a wheelchair, scooter or walker, and a well planned visit with lots of rest stops, which can easily be accomplished by visiting the shows, demos and events. Just be sure to arrive well before the start of these attractions since the seating capacity is limited. There are two areas for handicap parking, both provide a short walking distance to the ticket booths and the attractions and the main fairgrounds.
STATE FAIR OF VA 2011 – “The Fair was So Sweet; All I Wanted to Do was Eat”
On my first visit to the fair, I arrived with two of my sons, their wives and six of my eight grandchildren. I started the day by breaking the rules, skipping an early breakfast and the array of baked items at my church, to indulge in my first “Fair Food” in twelve months.
First Menu Item: a Sausage, Onion and Pepper Sandwich, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I had “snitched” a bite of my daughter-in-laws Gyro with an unbelievably awesome Herb Dressing, while the grandkids enjoyed a custom mixed “Slushy”. My grandson stuck with only one flavor, Blueberry, while my innovative granddaughter choose a four-flavor combo of Strawberry, Lemon, Blueberry and Lime, out of the dozen plus flavors available. The purchase included discounted refills. But fairgoers be forewarned that you should ask vendors about discounts, refill policies and “fair deals” to get the most “bang for your buck”. We tried refilling our slushy drinks at an identical vendor in another part of the midway, and found that they did not honor the discounted refill of our original vendor, so we rerouted our trip and marked on our maps those vendors who, in our opinion, deserved our patronage. Next we had our traditional Funnel Cake with Powdered Sugar and Cinnamon, freshly made as we watched it being cooked, wonderfully flavored and served piping hot. I wore my satisfaction all day in the form of powdered sugar flecks on my clothes – also a tradition with eating at the fair, as well as the photo that my son’s wife snapped for her Facebook page. Again, be forewarned, that the “little munchkins” in the group, need to be patient while the food cools, so it’s a good time to take in a show or put them on a “kiddies’” ride, while you are waiting. And remember to leave some of the treat for them when they exit the ride.
We explored the world of animals in Old McDonald’s Farm, which is quite an experience, with an extensive array of animals everywhere, along with super-size thongs of parents, children, strollers and babies, both human and animal. The building is a wonderful place to learn about nature, as well as some educational facts about each type of animal. Each exhibit within this tent shows facts about that type of animal, along with the names of the varieties, plus some interesting trivia and fun facts. The tent is also the showcase for “Rainaway”, Secretariat’s Great-Grandson. He stands quietly watching the mass of people entering and leaving the tent, but don’t let his aloof demeanor fool you, he is alert and watching, but like most thoroughbreds, he prefers a quiet stall to large crowds and as a retired Race Horse, he has certainly earned his place among racehorses in his own right, with the distinction of being kin to a very famous athlete, as well. I am always fascinated by the numbers different breeds of each type of animal. There are separate competition tents, based on type of animal, such as the chicken tent, which contains at least sixty to hundred breed types, color combinations and of course, examples of each breed type by sex and age, as well as, one for the many breeds of pigeons, cattle, sheep, llamas, etc. To some of the backyard Chicken enthusiasts, there are always some for sale and provides the chance to get the best breeds, free advice, and hobby suggestions, all at a “fair price”.
We decided to get ride wristbands for the kids and parents, and I opted to watch our youngest grandchild, just four months old, as she delighted in experiencing a very active midway, with lots of noise, people, sights and sounds. I enjoyed the “pint-sized” rides, that included a Bulldozer Caravan, a High-Flying School Bus, Rough-Water Boating, Flying Fish, and Race Cars, sporting names like Home Depot and Lowe’s, among others. A Fun House with moving parts, was a disappointment, since most of the moving parts, were not working, making us especially glad that we had purchased the wristbands, rather than the five or more tickets that most rides required. Later, we shared a Foot-Long Hot Dog and a Blooming Onion, with Ranch Dressing Dipping Sauce. Before our departure, we felt compelled to try the Fried Kool-Aid, which tasted remarkably like Strawberry Cake surrounded by a crispy, sweet crust, sprinkled with Powdered Sugar, of course. There were many, many tempting treats at the Fair that we just didn’t have the time or the stomach capacity to try on this visit, but like Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another Day!” We have already started our list of “must try”, “curious about” and “bravery required” food items to explore next year, including the Frozen Hot Chocolate, Fried Cheesecake and other interesting temptations.
STATE FAIR OF VA 2011 – “All I Wanted to Do was Ride, Baby Ride”
While I had arrived early at the fair to meet my sons, their families and enjoy the day, one of my sons arrived just after me, while the other was several hours later, with the early family departing early in the afternoon, the rest of the family stayed into the night to enjoy the fair experience. My grandson’s birthday is also in September, so he had the choice of one ride, and along with his mother, father and sister, he enjoyed the Giant Ferris Wheel. I have to admit my brief desire to ride one of the two giant Ferris Wheels, but considering my dislike of heights, thought better of the idea and just enjoyed waving to my family with each rotation, but also reminding me of a quote by E. B. White – “I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris Wheel”.
While they enjoyed the thrill of seeing the fair at night from their lofty perch, I took their youngest child and played the “Duck Pond” Game, with a guaranteed prize, but soon discovered that while every child gets a prize, it may not be the one from your duck if you don’t pay more money. I opted for the two dollar – one duck – one prize since it was the cheapest way to actually win. I have often been told, “fortune follows the fickle” but in this case, my grandson scored a winner, and was able to proudly show his family the small beanie fish that he won with the number two on the bottom of his duck. We walked around the fair and looked at the many rides and some of the food treats and then left for the parking lot.
With the hour growing late, we decided not to opt for a wristband, considering that the next day was school for the grandchildren and a working day for their mother. The weather during the fair can be quite sporadic, with sunny, hot days, followed by cold wet nights. The open areas provide little shade and relief from rain, unless you are near some of the exhibit areas or main buildings.
The bathrooms are convenient, and clean, but also have very narrow walkways in front of the women bathroom stalls. The changing area is adequate, but located in an area with lots of people coming in and out of the door. The restrooms in the Farm Bureau building are much better but are usually more crowded.
STATE FAIR OF VA 2011 – “Second Time Around & Around We Go”
On my second visit to the fair, I enjoyed some of the cooking shows, competitions and exhibits. My friend, Sandra, accompanied me on Wednesday, and we arrived around nine-thirty and waited patiently for the gates to open. We started out in the Commonwealth Building, looking at the wide variety of Arts and Crafts, including the popular “Table Setting for Two” Competition. This popular Challenge, invites entrants to create a table setting, complete with menu, correct place settings and decorations that best represent the chosen theme, which, this year was “Corn, Peas, Beans & Barley”, for the Adult Division and “Your favorite Book, with you having dinner with the Main Character for the Youth Division. I enjoyed the variety of book choices in the youth division and was truly impressed with the settings, especially considering that each child received not help while setting up their display and the ages ranged from five years to twelve years old.
I was determined to go over and see some of the wonderful world of Equine Events, but ended up settling for the Mule Jumping and an Arnold Palmer Ice Tea, located on the path toward the stables, which was a delightful combination of homemade lemonade and tea, a bargain at four dollars for a large drink and the “perk” of two dollar refills, as well as a delightful display of some very well-trained and talented mules and riders. We also visited the Farm Bureau Building filled with vendors of every kind, tons of booths, some familiar, others unique or many new to this year’s fair. I particularly enjoyed the Sky Blue Ice Cream, with its creamy texture, generous portions and delicious flavors, as well as the puzzles with moving cars and animals, designed for with parents and children in mind. There were also vendors for health-conscious people, home improvement for weekend builders and a variety of service organizations, as well as the Virginia Lottery, with the chance to get a picture and autograph with “Lady Luck”.
Later we watched the “Flying Dogs”, a show featuring “Frisbee” catching dogs, who braved a sixty-foot plus jump into a large body of water, just to retrieve the coveted disk and return it safely to their owners, who delighted at showing their talented dogs antics and jumping ability. Afterwards, we headed off to see some of the animals, crops, milk and possibly the always popular Soy Donuts. The Aqua Displays, Student Gardens, Pumpkins Carving and the ever-popular Corn Bin for Kids, was a place to watch, relax and enjoy the happenings. With the hour growing late, and the desire to avoid the evening crowds and traffic, we headed out to the parking lot and I planned for one more visit with my family on Sunday, which would be my last opportunity to enjoy the yearly pilgrimage until 2012.
Sunday arrived, and my middle son, his wife, and the three grandchildren, returned to the fair. We purchased wrist bands so the kids could enjoy as many rides as possible. We also indulged in more food, this time opting for the Chinese Menu for the ride home. Along the way, the visited the Farm Bureau, to get a serving of Sky Blue Ice Cream and checked out some of the other vendors, and of course, a “pit stop” at the bathrooms.
As the kids headed off for the rides, we made stops at some of our favorite Kiddies Rides, and some of the more adventuresome ones as well. I couldn’t believe that our two year old and four year old just loved being on the “The Scrambler”, which is like riding an egg beater in motion or watching our four year old and her dad on a ride that spun faster than I could imagine going. The rides at the fair are impressive and certainly seem to be well attended and managed. From the “Wild Mouse” to the “Drop Zone”, kids and parents were laughing and having a good time. The area is also well maintained with benches and kids sitting areas throughout, but shade (or rain) shelter is not available, so be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen. The midway lanes are wide enough for the crowds and there’s plenty of room for baby buggies and people to share with ease. The avenue is also well designed with newly planted trees that will someday become wonderful sources of shade and beauty.
During this visit, we explored Heritage Village and explored the area of “Farming in the Past”, with live oxen pulling a wagon, old tractors, demonstrations, environmental activities, freebees and exhibits, the area is a definite “must stop” for parents, children, and older individuals to enjoy and learn. We briefly stopped to watch the Wood Carving Demo, an American Eagle in Flight, made with a chain saw, standing over twenty feet tall. In a display of such carvings, stood a beautiful, detailed and life-size Great Horned Owl, perched in a tree. The Environmental Building next to the Demonstration Area, held live native Virginia Animals and Plants, as well as, numerous Educational Activities and Interactive Displays for Adults and Children. For those who love rocks, the back area, had large, labeled tree samples and rocks to explore, as well as “burn off a little excess energy” in and inviting pastoral setting.
I enjoyed watching my son, my five year old granddaughter and two year old grandson, making their way through the glass house was the highlight of his wife and my visit, since he maneuvered easily through the glass house, his children were a handful in this situation. With the grandson in front and the granddaughter following, he confidently went through, then realized that keeping them together was impossible. Our granddaughter, bumped her way along, until finally finding the right path to reach her dad, while his wife and I laughed until we cried at the two of them. My granddaughter was totally unconcerned about the bumping but became more intent in her pursuit of reaching her Dad, as she made one wrong turn after another until finally finding the right path to reach him, also laughing all the way. Our totally fearless grandson came out first and bravely slide down the exit slide but forgot to keep his legs straight and tumbled the last two feet to the ground below, biting his lip in the process. After a few moments of “Ouch”, he quickly turned his attention to the rides and promptly forgot about his injury.
My youngest granddaughter just loved the sights and sounds of the fair experience. Her eyes were alert to everything and except for the loud noise, which disturbed her sleeping, she embraced every aspect of the fair experience. But her real delight came after dark, as the Midway Light Shows started. She squealed with delight at the pulsating light show and the blinking displays on everything from rides to vendors. Her hands were busily waving and her legs never stopped moving as we strolled through the midway.
The long hours of standing and as the crowds were still coming in as we left around 9 p.m. and we bid the fair “farewell” until next year. Truly for us, this is a family tradition that I hope I will be able to enjoy for many years to come. I hope that my readers will agree and give this once a year venue, a “fair chance”. You may be surprised and hopefully as delighted with the experience as I am.
State Fair of VA – “Same Time – Next Year”
As fate would have it, I was born right in the middle of the animal judging event schedule at the State Fair of VA in 1953. My mother went to the hospital on Friday and of course, my father and grandmother stayed at the hospital until my birth on Sunday at noon. My father and uncle had several cows, goats and chickens in the competition on Saturday and my father was the only one that “handled” the livestock during the actual judging, but my Uncle stepped in at the last minute and although somewhat nervous handled the job without incident, as well as scoring several awards in the process. According to my grandmother, Daddy, who had stayed at the hospital every minute, came into Momma’s room on Sunday after my birth, made sure she was doing alright, gave her a big kiss, held me and then went to the State Fair to see if any of our livestock had placed in the judging from the day before. Upon returning from the fair, his gift to me was not an oversized stuffed teddy bear from one of the many “hawkers” along the midway, but a saddle for the pony that he would buy me on my second birthday. A petite handmade leather saddle, the smallest one ever made by the B.T. Crump Co. of Richmond, VA, was perhaps an unusual gift, but one that was given with a great deal of love, instinctively knowing that the time spent together with our equine companions would bring many hours of joy as we rode and trained our horses and ponies.
This story of my youth, reminds me of a comment made by comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, “If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair, and look around because after five minutes at the fair, you will be going, “you know – we’re alright – we’re dang near royalty”.
My first experiences at the State Fair of VA are stories about the event that my parents told me in later years, but I did “go” each year and for most of my life, my father and mother gave me tickets for me and my family as a birthday gift. Henrico County, used to give each student a free ticket and was home to the State Fair of VA, until the property was sold to the Richmond Raceway and the fair moved to its current location. I was raised on a small farm in western Henrico County, near Short Pump Elementary School, on Nuckols Road. The area has significantly changed from the late 1950’s, and today is almost unrecognizable from it rural beginnings. Starting with chickens, I worked my way up the “animal exhibiting” ladder, showing pigs, cows and finally horses. I enjoyed the competitions at the State Fair of Virginia, my 4-H Club, and the Western Riders of VA Horse Shows, learning that it is not always necessary to win, but always to do your best. I have a box of ribbons, trophies and memories that I treasure, and always remind me of my past, my accomplishments, my friends, family, mentors and my wonderful, loving animals, as well as our horses, without whose dedication to me, allowed me to enjoy what we accomplished together.
Each year, I visit the fair, and I remember the days of long ago, but I also embrace the new, the improved, the traditions and the innovations. The fair is a place of bonding, discovery, fellowship, competition, revelation and it’s just pure fun. Whether you indulge in rides, food or just watch, the fair has something for everyone and everyone gets something back. So go, enjoy, discover and look forward to returning each year. Make it a tradition and shared memory. Its only ten days each year, so take the time and indulge yourself in tradition and exploration.