RSS feed of this blog

State Fair horsin’ around this year

The State Fair is a little more than two months away, but officials are already preparing for 10 days of events.

The fair runs Sept. 26 through Oct. 5 at Meadow Event Park in Caroline County.

This year’s fair will feature an extended “Salute to Secretariat,” more equine and livestock events and a whole lineup of entertainment for people of all ages.

Secretariat was born at The Meadow in 1970 and went on to win the Triple Crown. There have only been two Triple Crown winners since—Seattle Slew in 1977 and Affirmed in 1978.

The musicians performing on the main stage include Parmalee, Alex Hilton Band, Anthem Lights, The Original Drifters, Bria Kelly, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Josh Thompson, Eric Paslay and Brett Eldredge.

There will also be a stage for local bands, which is being moved to a location that will get more foot traffic than last year’s spot.

On Sept. 27 and 28 and Oct. 4 and 5, fair patrons can meet a descendent of Secretariat and visit the historic yearling barns on the north side of the fairgrounds.

Each weekday of the fair, visitors can see a different breed of horse. It’s a nod to Virginia’s horse industry, which represents a $1.2 billion impact on the state’s economy, according to a press release.

Equine events at the fair will include horse shows, a pro rodeo with bull riding, calf roping and barrel racing, a show for miniature horses, various competitions and 4–H events.

A new 40,000-square-foot arena will also be used at the fair for the first time. There will be four different rings with equine events.

The demolition derby will return, but with two nights instead of one this year.

Also returning to the fair this year will be the Virginia wine competition, and samples of the entries will be available at the fair.

There’s also an official State Fair beer this year, brewed by Midnight Brewery in Goochland County. It will be offered all 10 days of the fair.

There will be more scholarship opportunities this year, including a hay bale decorating competition and a Christmas tree decorating contest.

Last year, more than $70,000 worth of scholarships was given away.

Tickets to the fair go on sale Aug. 11 and can be purchased at or at the fair itself.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413