Country Club

State fair attendance totals 229,000

If the globe suffers a widespread funnel cake shortage, blame the State Fair of Virginia.

Attendance at this year’s fair jumped 40 percent over last year’s numbers, according to state fair officials.

Throughout the 10 days of the fair, 229,000 people turned out, said Greg Hicks, vice president of communications for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, which ran the event this year from Sept. 27 through Oct. 6.

That’s a whole lot of fried dough.

Last year, 160,000 people attended the fair, which has been held at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County for the last five years, Hicks said. Before that, the Richmond Raceway Complex in Henrico hosted the event.

Hicks attributed the jump in attendance to good weather over the 10 days, word-of-mouth and better advertising and promotion of the fair.

“People were very pleased and pleasantly surprised by the fair this year, and word got around,” he said.

Officials changed the layout for this year’s fair, dividing it into four distinct quadrants. The quadrants were marked with large signs that had the top attractions for each one listed.

For instance, the “Kidway” separated kids’ rides from adult thrill rides, which were in their own section, called “Midway Madness.”

The fair brought back many agricultural, equine and livestock competitions and exhibitions of the past, including youth 4–H and Future Farmers of America competitions. There were 1,600 animals, including cows, pigs, goats, horses, sheep, poultry, dairy cows and lambs in 4–H, FFA and open shows.

Nightly concerts boasted national acts that drew thousands of people. And a smaller stage, the Triple Crown Amphitheater, hosted local acts.

Hicks said the second Saturday of the fair, Oct.5, drew the most people—nearly 40,000 attendees.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413

rsidersky@freelancestar.com

 

STATE FAIR ATTENDANCE

2013: 229,000

2012: 160,000

2011: 268,930

2010: 225,924

2009: 247,958

2008: 242,236

2007: 269,863

Source: Greg Hicks, vice president of communications for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation

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