One of the perks of living in the Richmond area is our close proximity to the State Fair of Virginia, which can mean an annual trip for many lucky area families – like mine! The weather was perfect for our visit this past weekend, a fact that hasn’t always been the case for visits of years’ past (it’s a bit of a joke in these parts, but the rain curse that seems to hang over the Fair might not be a factor this year!). Parking is easy at Meadow Event Park, so after we found our spot, it was time to explore!
There is a ton to see and do, so if you’re heading out this year (and you really should!), make sure your family is well-rested and energized for a fun time. In search of extra energy, we started out with a treat: a bucket of mini-donuts, warm and cinnamon-sugary. Next, we made our way to the pig races, one of our favorite events and a mainstay for visitors. From there, we headed over to watch master wood carver Ben Risney, who creates one-of-a-kind masterpieces with a chainsaw of all things. It’s definitely a must-see! We were all amazed to see an artist who worked with a chainsaw.
Next, we made our way to see the blue ribbon pumpkin, a whopper at 972.6 pounds, and the first-place watermelon, weighing in at 226 pounds. While we were in the area, we had to visit with the baby chicks, my favorite attraction, and we spent quite a while watching the ducklings slide down their sliding board. (Check out RFM’s Instagram page to see them! All of the animals were a treat – and who knew there’s such a thing as a “skinny pig” – a hairless guinea pig!) Connecting with agriculture and animals is always a special part of the Fair for us. We’re not a country family, so it’s interesting to explore this side of the Virginia lifestyle.
Over at the midway, the kids got a kick out of the mirror maze and Bozo, the loud-mouthed clown who everyone wants to dunk (yes, to shut him up for a hot second). After a game or two, we found our way to some great pizza, followed by deep-fried Oreos for dessert. Yum!
My boys were also thrilled to see the XPogo Stunt Team, and were even more excited to be picked from the crowd to join them for a pogo stick jump-off. Just after that amazing show was the BMX and motorbike show, and can I just say WOW! You’ve never seen bikes so high in the air. Those guys are really amazing and crazy-talented.
When all was said and done, our day at the fair was equal parts memorable and amazing. There is definitely enough to see and do to warrant a second trip, and I know my kids wouldn’t complain about that.
Held at Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, the State Fair of Virginia runs through Monday, October 8. It opens at 10 a.m. each day except for Midway Madness and the Kidway, which open at 11 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available at area Walgreens, online at StateFairVa.org, or at the Fair. Adult admission (ages 13-59) is $15, kids ages 5-12 are $11, kids 4 and under are free with a paid adult, seniors (60+) are $11, and military admission (must show valid military ID, does not include others in party) is $11. An unlimited ride wristband is $25, or individual ride tickets are $1 each (most rides are in the 4 ticket range). General admission includes access to all concerts, performances, exhibits and demonstrations. Ride tickets and single-day unlimited-ride wristbands are available for purchase at Ride Ticket Booths in the Midway and Kidway areas. Requirements for rides and some attractions include height, weight and whether a child must be accompanied by an adult. Those requirements are displayed at each ride and attraction, as well as at the Midway Customer Service booth.