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Stafford Fair will go on this weekend, with virus limits
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pandemic forces a scaled-down event

Stafford Fair will go on this weekend, with virus limits


A significantly scaled-back version of the Stafford Fair will take place this weekend, featuring mostly motorsport events.

“We’re just keeping it really, really simple so we can do something,” said fair manager Gordon Shelton. “So many people want to get out and do stuff.”

The three-day event will take place at 9000 Celebrate Virginia Parkway in Stafford County beginning Friday at 7 p.m. with a truck and tractor pull. An antique tractor pull is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m.

Sunday starts with a 4-H Rabbit Show at 10 a.m., followed by the Kids Power Wheels Derby at noon. The final day concludes with a stock car demolition derby at 3 p.m.

Admission is $10 for adults and free for children 12 and younger.

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Shelton said because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event will not feature traditional carnival rides, homemaking contests, petting zoos and other typical county fair events, but will have a limited number of vendors on hand.

Shelton said signs will be in place reminding patrons to wear masks and maintain social distancing at all times. All guests should bring their own chairs to the event.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s Phase 3 reopening guidelines allow outdoor fairs and carnivals to operate, but limits them to 1,000 patrons.

“We’re just asking, due to virus restrictions, to stay 6 feet apart and do everything that’s recommended,” said Shelton. “I’m not looking at a big crowd. It’ll be a small crowd, I’m sure.”

The first annual Stafford County Club and School Fair was held at Stafford High School on Oct. 21, 1922. The site of the fair changed numerous times over the years until the event ultimately merged with the Fredericksburg Fair in 1959. This year’s Fredericksburg Fair was canceled because of the pandemic.

Shelton stepped up to revive the Stafford Fair and bring it back to county soil in 2010. Although the fair continues to grow as a nonprofit, volunteer organization, the event still lacks a permanent location to serve as its fairground.

For more information, visit

James Scott Baron: 540/374-5438

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I spent 23 years in the Navy in media relations and as a reporter. Prior to coming to The Free Lance-Star in 2019, I volunteered with a local non-profit that helps formerly incarcerated people transition back into society. I'm also an avid motorcyclist.

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