State Fair of Virginia offers agricultural attractions

Published 8:26 am Saturday, September 17, 2022

The State Fair of Virginia has roots in agriculture, and this year’s fair showcases the commonwealth’s No. 1 industry with an expanded lineup of agricultural activities.

During the fair’s 10- day run Sept. 23 through Oct. 2, fairgoers can educate themselves about Virginia agriculture and forestry through numerous attractions. From live animal competitions and exhibits to creative art and culinary contests, the State Fair has agricultural connections for all ages.

The fair kicks off with a celebration of Virginia dairies, Sept. 23-25. The Dairy Days weekend will help promote the Federation of Virginia Food Banks’ Milk for Good initiative.

In partnership with FVFB, The Dairy Alliance, the Virginia State Dairymen’s Association and the Dairy Club at Virginia Tech, the State Fair will offer dairy-related attractions in the Meadow Pavilion. It also will sell frosty milkshakes, with proceeds benefiting Milk for Good.

Additional dairy activities, including competitions, calf births and milking demonstrations will take place at the SouthLand Dairy Farmer Center and The Meadow’s livestock barns.

Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, which owns the State Fair, will host an interactive educational display in the Meadow Pavilion. Fairgoers can take virtual farm tours in the Farm Tour Tractor Cab and learn about Virginia commodities at the Farm Product Kiosk.

The popular Young MacDonald’s Farm returns with sliding ducks, hatching chicks and other farm animals in the family-focused Harvest Landing area. Guests in this area also can test their agricultural knowledge through a trivia game during the giant pumpkin and watermelon weigh-off on Sept. 24.

The fair’s horticulture tent will showcase products of farms and home gardens, including crops like corn, tobacco and wheat. Additionally, this is where fairgoers can see the winning giant pumpkin, which in some years has weighed over 1,000 pounds.

Virginia youth will show cattle, goats, sheep and swine during livestock shows that benefit the State Fair Youth Scholarship Program, and fairgoers are encouraged to visit the Sale of Champions on the fair’s second Saturday. AgriScience, forestry, crop and farm equipment competitions are among other 4-H and FFA events.

The Natural Resources Area also will provide exciting lessons about Virginia’s aquatic species, reptiles and raptors.

In Heritage Village, guests can admire antique tractors, steam engines, home goods and tools, or enjoy demonstrations of centuries-old trades like blacksmithing, glass blowing, rope making and wool spinning.

Visit StateFairVa.org to purchase tickets and to view details of the fair schedule, concert series and free entertainment.