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10 things you need to know about the State Fair of Virginia

SEE ALSO: Farm-fresh fun at State Fair

BY ROBYN SIDERSKY

This year’s State Fair of Virginia, which begins Friday in Caroline County, promises to be bigger than past years, with more activities and more fun. We have some suggestions for things that should not be missed.

BRING YOUR APPETITE

Everyone knows the best part of any fair is the food. The State Fair of Virginia doesn’t disappoint with its offerings. Everything from Twinkies and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to pickles and pecan pie will be fried and served up hot and greasy. Be sure to leave room for delicacies such as a Krispy Kreme sloppy Joe (it’s exactly what it sounds like, folks), chocolate-covered bacon and fried cheeseburgers on a stick. For the less adventurous, pizza, burgers and barbecue will be available as well.

RUN OFF THE GUILT

If you’re feeling guilty about consuming so many calories, the fair offers a few chances to get rid of them—and we don’t mean by leaning over the railing of the Ferris wheel. On Saturday, Oct. 5, a 5K and 10K will benefit Virginia’s Agriculture in the Classroom program.

The races begin at 7:30 a.m., and the courses will take runners through wooded areas alongside the North Anna River and past the fair’s midway and horse and livestock areas. The races finish in front of Meadow Event Hall. Registrations will be accepted through 8 p.m. on Oct. 4. For the 5K, registration is $35 and for the 10K, registration is $45 through Oct. 1. From Oct. 2 through Oct. 4, registration is $40 for the 5K and $50 for the 10K.

GO JUMP OFF A BUILDING

With 55 rides at the fair, there’s probably something for everyone. The really daring folks can even jump off a building. If you’re crazy enough to try it, you’ll drop three stories onto a (hopefully) cushy landing.

WET YOUR WHISTLE

Wash down all that fried deliciousness with a few Virginia craft beers—if you’re old enough to drink. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the Taste of Local Beer Truck will be parked near the Triple Crown Amphitheater, where Richmond and Fredericksburg-area bands will hit the stage.The beers on tap include: Richmond’s Legend Brewing Co. Brown Ale; Ashland’s Center of the Universe Ray Ray’s Pale Ale and Main Street Virginia Ale; Crozet’s Starr Hill Brewery Starr Pils and Boxcarr; Richmond’s Strangeways Brewing; Albino Monkey White Ale; and

Nellysford’s Bold Rock Hard Cider.

CHAINSAW MASTERS

Sculptor Ben Rinsey of Chester County, PA shapes an owl with a chainsaw during one of his shows at the Virginia State Fair in Doswell on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. (FILE / Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star)

Most people see logs as just logs. But some see them as potential for works of art. Ben Risney is one of those people. He’ll be in the Master of Chainsaw show, which is performed multiple times on multiple days at the fair. Warning: Art or not, there will still be pieces of wood sent flying through the air.

BEAUTY QUEENS

Are you a fan of TLC’s “Toddlers and Tiaras”? Be sure to check out the Miss State Fair of Virginia pageant, happening Saturday morning in the Meadow Hall Mansion. The competition is back after a 10-year hiatus. It will include Teen, Preteen and Miss programs.

The winner will represent the State Fair at the 2014 Miss Virginia Pageant in Roanoke.

TOW THE LINE

“Duck Dynasty” who? The stars of TruTV’s “Lizard Lick Towing” will be at the fair from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday signing autographs. The show is about a towing operation in North Carolina and the quest to “dodge brawls and bullets in order to get the goods, stay ahead of the competition and keep their customers satisfied,” according to the show’s website.

BABY ANIMALS (’NUFF SAID)

Seeing cute baby animals is one thing. Watching their mothers give birth to them is another. At Young MacDonald’s Farm, in the Harvest Landing area of the fair, fair-goers can watch calves being birthed. If that’s too much, check out baby chicks, pigs, ducks, sheep, alpacas and goats.

DEMOLITION DERBY

The derby at the Fredericksburg Fair always draws a great crowd. Expect the same at the State Fair.

It wouldn’t be a proper fair without the demolition derby. You’ll have two chances to see the cars ramming into each other: Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

DON’T STOP THE MUSIC

Casey James

No matter what your musical taste is, there’s something for just about everyone to jam to this year. High school marching bands will help open the fair in the State Fair parade Saturday at 4 p.m. A new stage, the Triple Crown Amphitheater, will feature bands of all genres from the Richmond and Fredericksburg areas daily.

The national acts this year range from the country tunes of John Anderson, who will kick off the fair tonight9/27 at 7:30, to Casey Jones of “American Idol” and Jefferson Starship.

WANT TO GO?

What: State Fair of Virginia

Where: The Meadow Event Park, Doswell. Parking at Meadow Event Park is free.

When: Friday, Sept. 27, through Sunday, Oct. 6. Hours: Friday and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sundays through Thursdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Cost: $12 for adult general admission (ages 13 and up) Monday through Thursday, $15 Friday through Sunday. $8 for youth (ages 5–12) and senior general admission Monday through Thursday; $10 Friday through Sunday. Children ages 4 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Single-day unlimited-ride wristbands are $21 each. On Oct. 1, fair-goers can purchase the unlimited-ride wristband for $12. Oct. 3 will be Dollar Thursday, when all rides will require a single ticket. Season passes will be available for $30 at the gate.

Info: statefairva.org

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