News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Fredericksburg Fair: ‘The 10 Best Days of Summer’ are here!
RELATED: Big wheels hit the midway at the Fredericksburg Fair.
BY FRANCES WOMBLE
FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Friday marks the opening of Fredericksburg’s 274th annual Agricultural Fair. Although the fair is more than two centuries old, organizers say visitors will find new attractions along with old favorites.
According to General Manager Travis Bullock, 25,000 people visited the Fredericksburg Fair last year. Bullock said he hopes to see an increase at this year’s fair, which is themed “The 10 Best Days of Summer.”
The Fredericksburg Fair first appeared in 1738 as an act from the Virginia House of Burgesses, according to Wendy Jones, a member of the board of directors.
“People don’t realize the fair is a nonprofit organization,” she said. “So many people don’t know the fair’s history. I have a neighbor who didn’t even know the fair existed until a few years ago.”
“The fair is different this year because we have actively sought community involvement and started a much-needed volunteer program,” Bullock said.
Bullock also said that the fair has tried to get more family and child involvement by adding more kid-friendly contests, which include milk moustache and seed spitting contests.
This year’s shows include acrobatic performances, a magic show based on educational agriculture and a monster truck show—Monsters Invade the Midway.
DOWN ON THE FARM
First Vice President Luckett Emory, who oversees agricultural aspects of the fair, said attendees will be able to see more than 65 cattle, 20 hogs, 20 sheep and five goats at the fair. Various shows, contests and auctions will be held throughout the duration of the fair.
“Our exhibits will remain open during fair hours,” Emory said. “The kids always love to see the animals. They really like to see the baby calves and the cows getting milked.”
SHOW OFF YOUR TALENTS
Like the agricultural exhibits, the Limerick Building, which houses the homemaking displays, will remain open, according to Wendy Jones, a member of the fair’s board of directors. Photography, artwork, needle art and baking all fall into the homemaking category.
All entries have several brackets to include people of all ages.
Contests new to the fair include a cupcake bake-off, art pieces formed by vegetables, a scarecrow building contest and a dress a baked potato contest.
“We’re also doing a train show, a history corner highlighting midways from the past and a flower show which will be huge,” Jones said.
Other highlights include the demolition derby, mud bog, NOJOE’s Clown Circus, Texaco Country Showdown, a petting zoo, farm animal displays and the Miss Fredericksburg Fair Pageant.
“I’m so excited this is the 274th anniversary of the fair,” Jones said. “And next year, the 275th celebration, will be huge. We’re already starting to prepare for it.”
WANT TO GO?
What: Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair
When: July 27 through Aug. 5
Where: Fredericksburg Fairgrounds
Tickets: $5–$7, depending on age. On Monday, July 30, children’s tickets are reduced. All admission is reduced to $2 on Tuesday, July 31. Any visitor with a military ID will receive a discounted admission fee on Sunday, Aug. 5. See the fair catalog for more ticket info.
Frances Womble is a recent graduate at University of Mary Washington and a freelance writer.