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.
2011 State Fair marks record attendance
New Discounts, Strong Concert Line-Up, New Dates and Near Perfect Weather Contribute to Record State Fair of Virginia Attendance
Largest Attendance at The Meadow Event Park, Second Largest Since 1998
Doswell, Va. (October 19, 2011) – The 2011 State Fair of Virginia drew nearly 270,000 visitors during its eleven day run September 29 through October 9 at The Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia. The Fair’s actual attendance of 268,930 was the largest attendance for the Fair at The Meadow Event Park and second largest since 1998.
In its third year at the new site, The Fair’s attendance soared due to new discounts for those aged 3-6 and 65 plus, as well as a strong line concert line-up featuring The Band Perry, Tracy Lawrence, The Marshall Tucker Band and others.
The 2011 State Fair opened six days later than the 2010 edition to move its closing day to Columbus Day eve. The Fair, benefiting from nearly perfect weather, drew record crowds even with a later opening at 5 p.m. on opening day instead of the traditional 10 a.m.
“We are pleased that people continue to react positively to the Fair at our new site,’ said SFVA President Curry Roberts. “We work throughout the year with people from across the Commonwealth to put on the best Fair possible and it is rewarding that the public has supported the event.”
Among the highlights:
- 12,000 students, teachers and chaperones visited “Virginia’s largest outdoor classroom” on school tours, some through new matching grants for lower income students in the Fredericksburg area through Doris Buffet’s Sunshine Lady Foundation.
- 4,000 Virginia schoolchildren participated in livestock, vocational, agricultural, fine arts and arts and crafts competitions.
- Thirty-three State Fair competition areas awarded scholarships. Since 1989 the State Fair Scholarship Program has awarded 2,439 scholarships – a number that will increase after totals are added for this year.
- The Fair kicked off with Black Tie & Boots, a special VIP Fair celebration on September 29, with proceeds benefitting Secretariat’s Plaza and the renovation of Secretariat’s training barn and other State Fair of Virginia projects at The Meadow Event Park.
- The Dominion Conservation Classroom was dedicated on Tuesday, October 4. The building features solar panels, a smart energy grid as well as a geo-thermal heat pump and can be used by visiting classes throughout the year to study ecology, sustainable energy and conservation.
- The Fair hosted Governor Bob McDonnell at the annual Governor’s Day Breakfast on October 7 for 250 students and their families as a kick off to the traditional Youth Competition Weekend.
- The Fair sold over 10,000 season passes in 2011, compared to 3,600 in 2010 and doubled Facebook fans to over 25,000 during the month leading up to the event.
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|The State Fair of Virginia event is presented each Fall by SFVA (State Fair of Virginia, Inc)
at its permanent home and year-round rental facility,
The Meadow Event Park – Birthplace of Secretariat.
SFVA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization not affiliated with state government. In a world where Virginia’s open land and traditions that shaped our culture are rapidly vanishing, SFVA’s goal is to keep cherished ideals and experiences alive in the Commonwealth.