DOSWELL, Va. — Maximize your fun, food, farm attractions and family time by pre-planning your visit to the State Fair of Virginia, Sept. 24 through Oct. 3.
Purchasing tickets online helps you get the most savings and convenience—both before and during the fair! Online tickets are always less expensive than at the gate, and buying in advance helps reduce lines and wait times.
Held at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, the fair will open at 10 a.m. each day. Amusement rides open at 11. The following tips can ensure a relaxed and memorable state fair experience.
“Visiting the State Fair is a long-standing tradition for so many families,” said Marlene Jolliffe, the fair’s executive director. “We’re excited to return after last year’s hiatus, and offer the classic State Fair experience that Virginians know and love. Planning ahead can help fairgoers save money and have a more enjoyable visit.”
This year’s fair footprint will be adjusted as needed regarding COVID-19 precautions. Find details online at StateFairVa.org.
Buy tickets in advance to cash in on savings. Advance tickets are on sale through Sept. 23 at StateFairVa.org at $11.50 for 5 years of age and older. They can be used any day during the fair. Children 4 and younger will be admitted free with a paid adult admission. Season passes can be purchased online through Sept. 17 for $67, and can be used throughout the fair’s 10-day run.
Rides are not included in fair admission. Unlimited ride wristbands are $25 when purchased in advance, and $30 online or $32 on-site once the fair opens. Ride tickets and single-day unlimited ride wristbands will be available for purchase at ride ticket booths in the Midway and Kidway areas. Fairgoers also can purchase tickets at area Publix Super Markets stores for the online price through Sept. 23.
General admission includes access to all concerts, performances, competitions, exhibits and demonstrations.
Military admission is $13 at the gate. That’s a $3 savings off the $16 regular gate admission. The military discount is for active-duty service members, National Guard, Reserve and retirees with a current military ID or a Virginia DMV veteran’s credentialed license or ID card. The discount applies to the service member plus one guest. It does not extend to any other members of their party. It is available at the gate only.
General parking at The Meadow is free. Premium parking is available at Gate 2 behind the Farm Bureau Center at a cost of $22.50 per day and must be purchased in advance online. Parking lot trams can help visitors get to and from their vehicles in parking Lots A and C. Look for “Tram Stops” designated with small tents and flags. Fair officials advise fairgoers to note the numbered sign nearest their vehicles so they can find them easily.
The Meadow is located at 13191 Dawn Blvd. in Doswell. From I-95, take exit 98, and travel 1½ miles east on state Route 30.
During peak times, consider using alternate routes—U.S. Route 301 to state Route 30, and travel about 3 miles west on Route 30; or take U.S. Route 1 to state Route 30, and travel about 2 miles east on Route 30.
The State Fair of Virginia is partnering with DRIVE SMART Virginia to remind you to buckle up to make it home to your loved ones—not just as you head to the State Fair, but always!
Hours, rides and amenities
Ticket Plaza and building/exhibit hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Rides will operate for at least one hour after the Ticket Plaza closes at 9 p.m.
Requirements for rides and some attractions include height, weight and whether a child must be accompanied by an adult. Those requirements will be displayed at each ride, at the Midway customer service booth and online at StateFairVa.org.
Handwashing stations will be strategically located throughout the property. State Fair staff recommend washing hands after leaving an animal or midway area and before eating or drinking.
A private area for nursing mothers is available in the Farm Bureau Center and in the Virginia 529 Kidway.
“We want to be inclusive of our guests and accommodate their needs, so everyone can have an opportunity to have a full fair experience,” Joliffe said.
Guests can rent wheelchairs, motorized scooters and single and double strollers outside the Ticket Plaza on a first-come, first-served basis. Chair rentals and a personal chair check station will be available near the concert stage.
For details on more State Fair amenities, visit the FAQ page on StateFairVa.org.
Craft beer aficionados can enjoy some local brews at the Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Fest from 2 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 2 and 3. Attendees will receive a souvenir tasting glass to enjoy unlimited 4-ounce tastings from more than 20 Virginia breweries.
Tickets are $44, which includes fair admission and food provided by Publix, and can be purchased online at StateFairVa.org under the Attractions and Events tab.
Class is in session Friday nights at Meadow Hall for a four-course Farm to Table Dinner demonstration hosted by Publix Aprons® Cooking School. This unique dining experience will feature agricultural products grown, and fermented, by Virginia farmers and vintners.
The 2021 State Fair of Virginia will run from Sept. 24 through Oct. 3. Information is available at StateFairVa.org.
–State Fair of Virginia