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Rivah Visitor's Guide



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Richmond County Fair

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by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Want all the fun of a state fair closer to home? The Richmond County Fair, celebrating its 24th year, brings all the sights, sounds and thrills to the Northern Neck every August.

The fair has it all — livestock judging of cows, pigs and chickens, horticulture and craft competitions, a midway with rides and games and all that carnival fare including funnel cakes, candied apples, Italian sausages and cotton candy.

And this year, the fair has a new home, moving from its location for the last 23 years to the Richmond County Community Park on the Route 3 bypass.

“Right now we’re trying to focus on getting moved and getting the fair going,” said organizer Kelly Liddington. “We’re converting a steel building that exists on the property for an exhibit hall.”

The fair will be held August 21 through 25 with a grand opening event at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 21. The exhibit hall for crafts and horticulture displays will open at 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 22. The midway opens Tuesday through Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. Thursday through Wednesday are “wristband nights” where thrill seekers pay one price for unlimited rides.

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The fair also offers nightly entertainment at the grandstand, where visitors are urged to bring a lawn chair or blanket, relax and listen to a variety of music from bluegrass and country to soul and gospel. 

The fair started in 1988 when Liddington became the Richmond County Extension agent and organized it as a three-day event. It quickly grew to a five-day celebration. It’s estimated that more than 13,000 visitors attend the fair each year, some for the thrill rides and carnival games operated by Rosedale Attractions & Shows, Inc., some to pet the animals and look at the livestock, some to listen to the music and browse the hundreds of exhibits and still others just to play bingo.

The competitions, which include everything from the biggest tomatoes to the best pine cone Christmas tree, have five different divisions, including primary (ages 10 and younger), junior youth (ages 11-14), senior youth (ages 15-18), adult (ages 19 and older) and assisted living seniors/nursing home residents.

On Stage at the Fair

Tuesday, August 21 6 p.m.–10 p.m. • Cold Steel Country

Wednesday, August 22 6 p.m.–10 p.m.• Ransomed, One Lane Bridge, 4 the Lord

Thursday, August 23 6 p.m.–7 p.m. • Faron Hamblin
7:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. • B2B

Friday, August 24 6 p.m.– 7:30 p.m. • Royalti Blues Band
8 p.m.–11 p.m. • Cactus Jack
Various Times • Atumpan – The Talking Drums (Stories from around the world, rhythms of West Africa, and interactive music)

Saturday, August 25 6 p.m.-11 p.m. • Wild Country
Various Times • Atumpan – The Talking Drums (Stories from around the world, rhythms of West Africa, and interactive music)

Fair operating hours:
Tuesday, Wednesay and Thursday, August 21-23 — 6-11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, August 24-25 — 10 a.m.-midnight

Arts and Crafts Building:
Wednesday, August 22 — 7-9 p.m.
Thursday and Friday, August 23-24 — 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday, August 25 — 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

How to get there: The 24th annual Richmond County Fair will be held at the Richmond County Community Park on the Route 3 bypass. Parking is free but there is a gate admission of $2 per person. Toddlers are admitted free. There is an additional cost for ride tickets.

posted 07.26.2012

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