The Fair’s Back - And So Are The Rides

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Activities Start Thursday At The VHC

The days are growing shorter and the nights are cooler and September is here, which means it is again time for the Rock-bridge Regional Fair and Expo this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Virginia Horse Center.

This will be the third year the revamped fair is taking place in September, having moved from its longstanding July dates in 2017.

Area residents are invited to come out for rides, food, music, bull riding, 4-H and FFA livestock, and a celebration of all things Rockbridge. The midway, rides, and food vendors are open from 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 2 to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

The heart of the fair is the midway with rides, games, and carnival concessions – and the midway is back this year after a one-year absence, provided by Valley Amusements. Unlimited ride wristbands are only $15.

On the midway, fairgoers will also find food vendors, equipment displays, and a huge entertainment tent. The tent will be available for fair-goers to enjoy food and nightly entertainment. Koty and Lewane, along with Side Show Willie, will perform on Thursday, the Prime band on Friday and the Showdown band on Saturday. The fair’s beer garden will also be at the entertainment tent.

Livestock abounds at the fair this year. Visit the Big Lonely Barn to see cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and who knows what else. 4-H and FFA youths will show market animals on Thursday and participate in animal showmanship on Friday. Saturday brings the Rock Lamb and Goat Jackpot Show with contestants from all over Virginia. The Cloverbud animal show on Saturday morning will provide enough cuteness to last a year.

The fair showcases the talented folks of Rock-bridge County in the expo with its many shows. Visit the Anderson Coliseum Mezzanine for the Quilt, Art, Floral Design, and Floriculture shows. Come to the Reel Arena to see all the exhibits of the expo along with the Naomi Smith Memorial Fleece Festival. Entries for the expo will be accepted Thursday morning so for those reading this on Wednesday, it’s not too late to enter.

The Farm Heritage area of the Reel Arena provides activities and animals for families. Daily there will be milking demonstrations, barnyard games, animal demonstrations (and petting), and an opportunity to build a kid-sized timber framed barn.

On Thursday at 6 p.m., the expo will present its Costumed Critters and Characters contest. Dress up your animal — any animal, farm, pet, or stuffed write a short story, come show off and make people laugh.

Also on Thursday is the animal handling contest which demonstrates skill in walking cows, sheep, and goats through a course. Don’t have a cow, sheep, or goat? Well, you can borrow one of the fair’s.

On Saturday, come watch the kids in the Critter Scramble and enter the Farm Kid contest to show off your farm skills. Outside of the Reel Arena, fairgoers will find a blacksmith demonstration provided by the Virginia Frontier Culture Museum and the fair’s inaugural Touch a Truck event with trucks, tractors, and equipment, both old and new.

The participants of the Rockbridge Regional Fair pageant are hosting a Princess Tea on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. near the Entertainment Tent. The event is free and open to children of all ages who are invited to come out and enjoy afternoon tea with the fair princesses and queen.

The Retro Rodeo will be onsite during the fair with barrel racing on Friday and a Saturday night bull riding rodeo in the Anderson Coliseum. Rodeo doors open at 6 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 7. Tickets are available on the Fair’s Facebook page or at the door. The Rockbridge Fair Horse Pull is also Saturday at 4 p.m. in Barn 6. Come out for this traditional display of strength, control, and skill. Rodeo tickets are $15 in advance ($18 at the door) and include entry to the horse pull. Horse pull entry alone costs $5.

Admission to the fair itself and parking are free.

The News-Gazette

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P.O. Box 1153
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-3113

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