Attendance Grows At Fair

Article Image Alt Text
Article Image Alt Text
Article Image Alt Text
Article Image Alt Text
Article Image Alt Text
Article Image Alt Text
Article Image Alt Text

The number of folks attending the fall version of the Rockbridge Regional Fair is on the rise.

An estimated 5,000 people showed up to the Rockbridge Regional Fair and Expo in 2018. This year, there were about 7,500 people, and they all seemed to enjoy riding rides, listening to music, seeing flowers and quilts, supporting the 4-H program and eating fair food.

Fair Board Chair Janelle Vess said, “I can tell you, based on my food vendor’s sales, that there were almost double the hungry folks there this year!”

Saturday was by far the most popular day. The rodeo drew in a crowd of about 1,000, and the Critter Scramble — an event involving children chasing after both chickens and pigs on the loose — drew in a lot of participants and observers. The horse pull also had about 20 teams pulling, which made it one of the largest in Virginia this year.

While families enjoyed the rides, which returned after a one-year absence, the rides have the potential to be better. Fair Board Vice Chair Steve Hart told The News-Gazette that ride vendors respond to the number of people buying tickets. This means that they won’t bring in a lot of rides if there aren’t a lot of ticket sales from the previous year. The more Rockbridge County residents ride, the better rides they will get.

Last Thursday morning, 4-H Extension agent Megan Sheets treated 180 second-graders from around the county to a morning of experiential learning. They saw wool being made into fabric, learned how a cow-milking machine worked, and participated in a taste test of Virginia apples. They also each painted a canvas to be displayed with the exhibit.

Around 36 4-H and FFA youth from around the county got to show livestock, and this includes the Cloverbuds, 4-H children ages 5-8. At the open lamb and goat show on Saturday, 159 lambs and 72 goats were exhibited by youth from across the region and out of state, including youths from West Virginia and North Carolina.

At the livestock auction, one hog in particular was auctioned off for a surprising amount of money, but it was all part of a plan. A fellow farmer hoped to use the hog to raise money for Richard Grant, who was severely injured in a timber-harvesting accident the week before the fair. Community members soon learned of the plan, and agreed to contribute, resulting in a much inflated price for the auctioned hog. The farmer gave the proceeds to Grant and his four children, all of whom are active in 4-H.

Reflecting on last week, Hart said that he was especially proud of the community support. “We received great support from the county, our sponsors, our vendors, the 4-H and FFA families that brought livestock, the individuals and businesses that supported the Touch a Truck and antique tractor displays, the volunteers staffing the ticket booths, and everyone that came out and participated.”

The News-Gazette

The News-Gazette Corp.
P.O. Box 1153
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-3113

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Latest articles