Hundreds spotted at the State Fair of Virginia’s opening day

Virginia News

DOSWELL, Va. (WRIC) — Many have been waiting since 2019 for the return of the State Fair of Virginia, but the wait is now over!

Though the pandemic brought the rides to a complete stop last year, the event came back this year in a big way.

The state fair is a longtime tradition for many families and attracts about 200,000 people every year.

Organizers are taking precautions with the recent rise in COVID-19 cases. Since January, organizers have been preparing for the fair’s grand comeback. Kathy Dixon, with the farm bureau, said the team planned for the event when coronavirus cases were lower.

“When the numbers were going up because the governor hasn’t put any restrictions on numbers of people gathering they decide to go ahead and have it,” she said.

But now that COVID-19 cases are high statewide, they’ve spread out the ride areas and placed hand washing stations around the meadow event park.

“The footprint is a little more spread out and the ride vendor that we use, Dueggler attractions, their employees have been vaccinated so that should make people feel good too,” said Dixon.

Hundreds were spotted here at Meadow Event Park on Friday afternoon.

Visitors ate cotton candy, corn dogs, funnel cakes and all the food you can eat. Dixon said a new food item has made its way to the menu called “Pig twigs.” It’s bacon pieces grilled in maple syrup on a stick. Attendees also enjoyed games, a concert series and of course the thrill of amusement rides.

Paul Chang, who said he attends the fair every year, was bummed about the cancellation last year. He looked forward to watching the horses.

“It was canceled for the right reasons. I think we’re in a better place this year and we’re thrilled to be here to participate once again,” he said.

Rachel Jones came to see the animals too, especially the baby calf that was born Friday morning just in time for the state fair.

“It’s really fun,” said Jones.

Others we spoke to couldn’t agree more, as the event has become a generational tradition for many.

“There was a lady that I talked to just earlier who said that she’s been coming since she was a little kid and now she’s maybe in her 60s,” said Dixon.

The State Fair of Virginia will be open through Oct. 3.

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