News & Features Home

The Meadow Event Park study finds significant economic impact

The Meadow Event Park study finds significant economic impact

DOSWELL—The welcome mat was definitely out at The Meadow Event Park in 2023.

The Caroline County property hosted over 536,000 visitors at 182 diverse events last year, firmly establishing itself among the Richmond region’s most popular event venues.

That was a key finding of a recently completed economic impact study conducted for the property by Chmura Economics & Analytics.

The Meadow is perhaps best known as home of the State Fair of Virginia, which last year drew over 210,000 despite a washout on the first Saturday of the fair’s 10-day run. The following weekend saw record attendance by fair fans who would not be denied.

The Chmura study analyzed the economic impact of The Meadow in the surrounding region, which includes Caroline, Hanover and Henrico counties and the city of Richmond. Events held at The Meadow in 2023 included trade shows; dog, livestock and equine shows and sold-out rodeos; concerts; and weddings, corporate functions and community happenings. Major events besides the fair included the 10th annual Illuminate Light Show, a drive-through holiday experience; the 19-date After Hours Concert Series; and the 50th Annual BMW Motorcycle Owners of America National Rally.

The vast majority of visitors (93%) to The Meadow were day-trippers. Groups who traveled to the venue averaged 3.6 individuals, and their outings averaged 1.2 days. Visitors spent an average of $91.20 per trip, and collectively they spent $48.9 million.

Overall economic impact was $41.5 million in 2023, and that supported 288 jobs.

  • The Meadow’s operations generated direct, indirect and induced economic impact of $10.2 million in the region, which supported 42 jobs.
  • Total economic impact of The Meadow’s capital expenditure was estimated at $400,000, which supported two jobs.
  • Vendor spending generated an estimated impact of $14 million, which supported 96 jobs.
  • Visitor spending generated $16.8 million, which supported 148 jobs.
  • The venue was found to have generated $1.1 million in tax and fee revenue in Caroline County.

Jeffrey S. Black, who chairs the Caroline County Board of Supervisors, said The Meadow and the State Fair “are a huge asset to Caroline County. Their rich history and numerous events bring thousands of visitors to our community. The numerous diverse events hosted at The Meadow Event Park support local jobs and provide welcome tax revenue for our community. Additionally, The Meadow Event Park is an active participant in multiple charitable causes within our region.”

Marlene Jolliffe, the venue’s vice president of operations, and executive director of the State Fair, said she and her staff “have worked so hard over the past decade to grow business at The Meadow Event Park. This study is proof that our venue has made an incredible financial impact on the region.

“This success is even more coveted because nothing has come easy in a post-pandemic world,” Jolliffe continued. “Our team commits to a high level of customer service, and we make a personal commitment to our partners to ensure their event is a success. This success is also built on having a community service focus and doing everything we can do to support the needs of local nonprofits.”

The Meadow and the State Fair of Virginia have been owned and operated by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation since 2013. VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor said The Meadow’s success “is a point of pride for our leadership and our members who recognize this property’s value and ability to host many kinds of events. We’re also proud to operate a business that values and supports its surrounding communities.”

The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County is the birthplace of Secretariat and home to the State Fair of Virginia. It is owned and operated by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, which is committed to preserving Virginia’s rich agricultural heritage and ensuring that The Meadow thrives as a regional event venue.

With nearly 135,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry. 

Media: Contact Jolliffe at 804-994-2802.