Fair organizers pleased with this year’s event, talking about 2013

DOSWELL—After a 70-day scramble to organize the 2012 State Fair of Virginia, the event’s new organizers are starting to talk about 2013.

“We’re definitely already talking about ways to make the 2013 State Fair bigger and better,” said Greg Hicks, vice president of communications for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. The federation presented this year’s fair in partnership with Tennessee-based Universal Fairs LLC. It ran from Sept. 28 through Oct. 7 at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County.

“It’s been tremendous to see how many people turned out and how many were pleased that the fair is still in operation,” Hicks said. “We’re grateful to everyone who came to the fair and then took time to give us feedback.”

One goal Farm Bureau had was to preserve the fair’s agricultural components. Thanks to agricultural organizations, farm families and volunteers, fairgoers were able to watch baby chickens hatch and newborn dairy calves take their first steps; see different breeds of beef cattle; and check out the workings of a honey bee hive. The fair also included equine events on nearly every day of its run.

“This was a priority for us, in part because the fair is a popular school field trip destination,” Hicks said. “About 14,000 schoolchildren visited the fair this year, and we were able to offer fun, hands-on learning experiences for them that support Virginia’s Standards of Learning.”

Anyone familiar with the State Fair knows there tends to be at least a little rain during the event’s run. That didn’t hold back more than 100 participants in the Oct. 7 Stampede 5K race that benefited the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. The race wound through various agricultural exhibits and the midway; results are available at commonwealthtiming.net.

The fair’s run was not without misfortune. Trooper Andrew David Fox of Pulaski County, on special assignment with the Virginia State Police, was struck and killed Oct. 5 while directing traffic on state

Route 30. A funeral will be held Oct. 11 for Fox in Pulaski.

“It’s a terrible tragedy,” Hicks said, “and the extended fair family’s thoughts are with Trooper Fox’s family and colleagues. We don’t ever take for granted the work of law enforcement officers and other emergency responders who help ensure a safe experience for everyone.”

Contact Hicks at 804-290-1139 or Parke Sterling, AITC development coordinator, at 804-290-1144.

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