State Fair of Virginia ceases operations

DOSWELL, VA (WWBT) - The State Fair of Virginia Incorporated has closed up shop after its bid for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was rejected, and staff members have handed over their keys calling it quits - for good.

It's up in the air right now. The fate of the State Fair and some of its other popular events are now in the hands of about a dozen lenders who hold rights to these events - and so far, they've revealed very little...and won't say if and when they'll release these rights to anyone.

As a last effort to save the State Fair....organizers offered to buy the 360 acre Meadow Event Park in Doswell. But the lender group said no.

The lender group even opposed providing severance packages to the remaining 17 staff members who as of today are no longer on the payroll.

Now that the organizers declared bankruptcy, there will be no more events produced by the non-profit group: SFVA Incorporated.

And that includes not only the Virginia State Fair, but the Meadow Highland Games & Celtic Festival and the popular Strawberry Hill Races - held at Colonial Downs.

But, Colonial Downs also had an announcement today - on its website, saying it will move forward with the Strawberry Hill Races this year, even if the venue cannot keep the name. The name that now belongs to the lenders.

SFVA says the fate of these events and the property will be determined by the Chapter 7 court proceedings and ultimately be up to the court-appointed trustee.

The State Fair filed for Chapter 11 back in December - just two months after the fair saw a huge increase in attendance.

The hike in attendees didn't matter though - the State Fair of Virginia reported more than half-a million dollar loss in January. Also lost in the bankruptcy are all the additional private events like weddings and banquets.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.