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 Casey Abrams performs on the last day of the fair.
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Date published: 9/27/2012


The Piedmont Environmental Council's Buy Fresh, Buy Local exhibit will explain how purchasing locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats and other agricultural products helps Virginia's economy. Research by Virginia Cooperative Extension found that if each Virginia household spent just $10 a week on locally grown agricultural products, consumers would invest an additional $1.65 billion back into their communities.

And, not to be missed, giant pumpkins grown by gardeners and farmers across the state will be on display under the awning of the Meadow Pavilion. Other crop competition winners will be on display in an adjacent tent.

On Oct. 3, the Farm Bureau will host an hourlong virtual tour featuring video footage of six Virginia farms. The presentation will be hosted live from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Meadow Pavilion and will be broadcast on the Farm Bureau's website, VaFarmBureau .org.

Miller Farms, a Spotsylvania County produce farm, is one of the six venues featured in the virtual tour.


Not to worry, the ever-popular racing pigs will be part of the 2012 State Fair of Virginia, and so will a wide variety of other family entertainment. Admission to attractions not on the midway is included in the fair admission price. Daily show times will be available in the printed guide available at the ticket plaza.

In addition to the Hambone Pig Races--the swiftest swine off the line--fairgoers will be able to see and learn about impressive Alaskan grizzly bears and stunning (and endangered) Bengal tigers.

The Rhinestone Roper show will feature whip-cracking, trick-roping, knife-throwing, gunslinging performers, and the Fearless Flores Thrill Show will include motorcycle madness in the act's Globe of Death, a human cannonball and high-rise feats of skill and balance.

The two-legged and four-legged stars of the Skin & Bones Comedy Circus will deliver magic, juggling, low-wire spectacles and plenty of comedy, featuring trained dogs and potbellied pigs.

Schoolchildren will tour farming- and forestry-related exhibits such as Young MacDonald's Farm, which includes the Dairy Calving Center and the Children's Hand-Milking Corner, as well as beef cattle exhibits.

Winning a blue ribbon at the State Fair is also a treasured tradition, and most of the public competitions are back, including those for fresh produce, honey, preserves, baked goods, sewing, needlework and photography, and a Sept. 29 Brunswick stew competition.

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What: State Fair of Virginia Where: Meadow Event Park, Caroline County When: Friday, Sept. 28, at 2 p.m. through Sunday, Oct. 7, at 9 p.m.

Cost: Ranges from $12 for ages 13 and older on weekdays to $15 on weekends. Children 5-12, seniors over 60 and active-duty military will be admitted for $8 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. Children 4 and younger will be admitted free.

Note: Admission does not include rides, but ride tickets will be available for purchase inside the fair, and a single-day unlimited-ride wristband will be available for $21.

Season passes will be available online before 5 p.m. today for $25. After that, they will be available at the gate for $30

A one-day Family Fun Pack for two adults and two youth admissions plus two unlimited-ride wristbands is $68. It is available online until Oct. 5.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, an unlimited-ride wristband can be purchased for $12 with the purchase of a regular weekday general-admission ticket.

Tickets and info: Visitors to the fair can purchase tickets online at StateFairVa.org and also at Central Virginia BB&T branches and Martin's Food Markets.