CAROLINE CROSSROADS Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
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State Fair tickets available online

Tickets for the State Fair of Virginia are now available online.

The State Fair opens Sept. 28 and runs through Oct. 7 for the first time under its new ownership.

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and Tennessee-based Universal Fairs will together own and operate the fair as well as other events at the Meadow Event Park in Caroline County throughout the year through a new entity called Commonwealth Fairs and Events LLC.

Admission prices range from $12 for ages 13 and up on weekdays to $15 on the weekends, according to the website, Children ages 5 to 12 are charged $8 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.

Children 4 and under are free.

“Buying them online is the only way to get discounts,” said Lorene Blackwood, director of programs.

Blackwood said to just look for the button to ‘Get your State Fair Tickets Now!’ in the upper right-hand corner on every page of the website and it will take you to the pricing and ordering page.

Admission does not include rides, but an unlimited ride wristband for one day is $21.

A one-day family fun pack is available for $68 and includes tickets for two adults  and two youth admissions plus two unlimited ride wristbands.

Season passes are available for $25, and parking is free.

“Things are coming together quickly for this year’s fair,” Blackwood said.  “Keep checking our Facebook page for more updates and specials.”

Concerts at this year’s fair will include shows by Diamond Rio and Foghat.

Online registration is also available for anyone hoping to bring home a blue ribbon for their baked goods, crafts, crops, preserve or produce.

Thousands of Virginians enter the youth and adult arts and crafts and crops and vegetables competitions at the State Fair of Virginia every year.

Traditional arts, crafts and crop competitions will return, Blackwood said. They will include competitions in fresh produce, pumpkins, sewing, needlework, photography, cooking and baked goods.

There will even be some new categories, she said, such as the State Fair Special Cookie Competition, which will allow children to enter with their parents, grandparents and guardians.

“We know how popular these events are with our public. Nothing quite beats winning a blue ribbon from the State Fair of Virginia to celebrate your skills,” Blackwood said.

Registration for these competitions opened earlier this month, and now an online registration link is available

“We will still take printed applications, but with so much interest, using the online form is a big help,” she said. “We’ve been pushing very hard to get these competitions organized again, since we know they are easy and fun and very popular.”

The deadline for entries is Sept. 7.

Fair officials also have been finalizing farm animal exhibitions, including the popular Young MacDonald’s Farm exhibit and dairy cow birthing area. There will be exhibitions of beef cattle, rabbits and chickens, and visitors to the fair will be able to see farm animals throughout the event’s run.