Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
State Fair survey results are in
This year, the State Fair of Virginia attracted an older crowd—depending on one’s definition of old.
Survey results show there was an increase in fairgoers ages 45 and up, and a decrease in attendees ages 12 to 17 years old.
These results came from a two-page questionnaire that was given at random to some of the 248,000 that attended the state fair, which was held for the first time at Meadow Event Park in Caroline County this fall.
State Fair of Virginia President Curry Roberts mentioned a few of the unreleased survey’s highlights to Caroline’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night.
According to the surveys, about 14 percent said they were from the Fredericksburg or Northern Virginia area, that’s up from 6 percent last year when the fair was held in Henrico County. About 68 percent surveyed came from the Richmond area.
Of those surveyed, 15 percent attended the fair for the very first time. About 70 percent attended for the first time in 5 years and about 11 percent attended for the first time in 10 years.
Roberts said the education level and household income of this year’s fairgoers was higher than last year.
Overall, 88 percent of those surveyed said the state fair met or exceeded their expectation and more believe this year’s fair was a good value for the money compared to last year.
The main downfall was problems with traffic and parking, which resulted in a 7.9 out of 10 ranking of the fair’s entrance. That’s down from last year, Roberts said, and will be one of their first priorities to improve for next year.
For future use of the Meadow Event Park, fairgoers said they would like to see food and music festivals, specifically country and gospel, and shows for crafts, homes, Christmas, dogs and antique cars.
All five supervisors congratulated Roberts for an event well done and especially thanked him for generating some county revenue. According to Commissioner of Revenue Sharon Carter, Caroline collected $92,000 in taxes from the state fair and Celtic Festival.
Roberts also mentioned that state fair and school officials are in talks to possible hold graduation for Caroline schools at the Meadow Event Park’s Farm Bureau Center.
From the safety standpoint, Lt. Kerry Stiles of the Virginia State Police said they had to make seven arrests, which included a vendor with counterfeit merchandise, a person unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon and a DUI/hit and run.