Here’s everything you need to know about the best fairs in Virginia

County fair season is just around the corner
Numerous county fairs are held in Virginia each year in late summer into early fall.
Numerous county fairs are held in Virginia each year in late summer into early fall.(Fair)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 11:50 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - August is quickly approaching, which means locations across Virginia are gearing up to host their annual county fairs.

The commonwealth has plenty of exciting events to offer this summer and through the beginning of October.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker who loves all things fast and dizzy, or a foodie who’s ready to chow down on a funnel cake, the county fairs in Virginia will have something for you. Live music, vendors, rides, and petting zoos are just a few attractions you can expect to find.

While each fair this season offers a unique experience, they all provide an opportunity to create fun, long-lasting memories as summer comes to a close.

Here is our list of fairs to visit across Virginia.

State Fair of Virginia

Sept. 23-Oct. 2, 2022

The Virginia State fair offers guests so many different attractions to explore. Families can enjoy interactive demonstrations will lots of different farm animals such as cows, donkeys, pigs, and hatching chicks. Pig races, a circus tent, and a petting zoo will also be available to guests.

Included with an admission ticket is access to the Main Stage Concert series. The fair will be featuring several different artists that perform with The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. Performances from chainsaw carving artists and comedians are set to occur as well.

Additionally, the fair will include nearly 30 different rides including classics like the Ferris Wheel and the Teacups. Rides are available for all different age groups and thrill levels.

The State Fair is holding several special events this year such as the Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Fest. This event is a partnership between the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and State Fair of Virginia to celebrate the booming independent craft beer industry in the state. As of right now, there are a dozen participating breweries.

The State Fair starts Sept. 23.
The State Fair starts Sept. 23.(State fair of Virginia)

Chesterfield County Fair

Aug. 26-Sept. 3, 2022

Aside from the classic food, rides and atmosphere that you can expect at the fair, the Chesterfield County fair has some exciting and unique featured events going on this year.

Come out to see road shows such as “Scales, Tails, and Teeth” with Jimmy Riffle, an alligator wrangler and member of the renowned “Gator Boys.” Other shows to look out for are “Extreme Illusions and Escapes” with Josh Knotts and Brad Matchett, the comedian and hypnotist.

This fair will also feature escape rooms, ax throwing, a cowboy circus, and demonstrations from giant “Transformers” from Autobots Entertainment.

A major portion of this fair is focused on scholarships. They will be holding a 9-day silent auction to raise funds. The proceeds will be contributed to scholarships supporting Chesterfield County High School seniors graduating in June 2023.

The Chesterfield County fair is also excited to host their first ever Summer Classic Horse Show. If you are interested in competing, the entry form can be found here.

The Chesterfield County Fair starts Aug. 26.
The Chesterfield County Fair starts Aug. 26.(Pixabay)

Prince William County Fair

Aug. 12-20, 2022

The Prince William County Fair has been a family tradition since 1949. With the largest fairgrounds in the DC/Metro area, there is much to explore at this annual event if you want a day trip!

Look out for the “Food Vendor Valley,” which you might have seen on the popular show “Carnival Eats” on the Food Network and Cooking Channel. Funnel Cake with apples and powdered sugar is a must-have for anyone with a sweet tooth.

One of the big events going on is the Tractor Pull. This tradition originated back in the day when farmers vied for bragging rights to owning the strongest horse. Tractor pulling is a competition about power, ingenuity and raw determination.

Also, be sure to check out the Butterfly Encounter in the Kids Zone. The exhibit will have three different species of butterflies; 350 total are going to be on display.

Guests are also encouraged to interact with the animals at the petting zoo or ride a pony at the “Rockin’ A Ranch” area. The animals are gentle, clean, and healthy!

Albemarle County Fair

Aug. 4-6, 2022

The Albemarle County Fair features tents bustling with local vendors and live music, all set against the picturesque backdrop of the region’s farmlands. Nearly 30,000 people take part in this annual celebration of the industry of the area.

The Albemarle County Fair will be proudly showing off its agricultural displays. Organizers say they believe that “Agricultural youth programs educate, inspire, build life skills, and get a feel for the business of things. But there’s something deeper honed through the intimacy of hand-raising livestock in a supportive community.”

Come and see the different animals including goats, pigs, rabbits, and chickens.

Enjoy live entertainment all weekend long. All music-lovers can sit and listen to varied artists and genres such as Bluegrass, Jazz, and Gospel. Additionally, the Albemarle County Fair is proud to display a wide variety of home arts and agricultural wares from Central Virginia.

This event has been a tradition in the area since 1982.

Shenandoah County Fair

Aug. 29-Sept. 3, 2022

The Shenandoah County Fair will feature the Figure 8 Demolition Derby on Monday, Aug. 29. The fair is holding a truck and tractor pull over the weekend as well.

They will also be hosting the Shenandoah Downs harness horse race. This family-friendly event is free to the public and includes free parking.

Guests can also enjoy the musical stylings of local artists such as For King and Country, 38 Special, and Neal McCoy.

Shenandoah is also going to be putting on their annual scholarship pageant. There are plenty of opportunities to compete; the pageant is open to girls 2-22 years old.

Tickets for the different events and concerts can be purchased here.

Highland County Fair

Aug. 27 and Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 2022

The Highland County Fair has so many different opportunities for locals to exhibit their work in a number of different categories. Artists and photographers are invited to showcase their talents in the art exhibition for the chance to win a cash prize.

The fair will also have a competition category for baked goods and canned foods including cakes, fruit pies, jams, preserves and more. Hunters and fishermen will also be competing against one another, displaying their items such as deer, fish, bears, and even bobcats. The best in show will win a $100 grand prize.

Guests can also stay to watch the Dog Show which will feature a wide variety of different breeds and specialty awards such as Best Costume and Best Adopted Dog. Animal lovers are sure to appreciate all the chances to see some furry friends at this fair!

Highland County is also excited to put on their 70th Annual Horse show at the fair this year. The entry form can be found here for those who wish to compete.

Moreover, guests are welcome to enter the Cornhole Competition. A $100 prize will be awarded to the first place team.

For those who would rather spectate than compete in these various events, there are plenty of entertainment options available to check out. A Demolition Derby, clogging shows, parades, animal demonstrations, and a truck and tractor pull are just a few of the attractions to see.

Highland County Fair
Highland County Fair(Picasa | Highland County Fair)

Richmond County Fair

Aug. 9-13, 2022

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 the Richmond County Fair Association is happy to announce that the fair will return this year. This marks the 34th year of the Richmond County Fair, with lots of fun and good times to be had.

A full lineup of livestock shows will be happening all week long. Lambs, goats, cows, and rabbits will all be on display. Friday’s show will include corn shucking, cow patty bingo, and a hay bale toss.

There will be a full carnival set up with rides provided by Cole Shows Amusement. Spend the evening under the colorful lights of the carnival while enjoying classic fair food.

Richmond’s favorite juggler will be making an appearance as well. Jonathan Austin, or “Jonathan the Juggler” as you might know him, will be showing off his many talents and witty banter on the fairgrounds.

A variety of musicians will also take the stage throughout the week.

Richmond County Fair
Richmond County Fair(wwny)

Franklin-Southampton County Fair

Aug. 10-13, 2022

The Franklin-Southampton County fair will be hosting several unique attractions this year.

The “Cowboy Circus with Danny Grant” is an interactive experience for the whole family. Take the opportunity to make some cowboy memories at the fair! Danny’s stage show features audience participation, cowboy and circus tricks, comedy, and live music. Danny will teach guests how-to lasso a bull, spin a trick rope, and crack a bullwhip.

“The Tropical Revue” is another show going on at the Franklin-Southampton County fair this year. It’s an agricultural-based variety show that features comedy, puppets and performing animals! This show is family-run; they have been working with performing animals for over 60 years.

If you want to enjoy a lively mix of country music artists, be sure to stop by the Bud Light Stage.

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