Frequently Asked Questions
When and Where
Q: When is the next fair?
A: The 2017 State Fair of Virginia will be held Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 8, at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County.
Q: When will the fair be open?
A: The fair operating hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays and Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. These are the Ticket Plaza and building hours only; rides will continue to operate for a minimum of one hour after the Ticket Plaza closes, or longer at the discretion of fair management.
Q: I’d like to visit the fair during off-peak hours, but I don’t want to miss entertainment. What are your recommendations?
A: Mornings (Gates open at 10 a.m.) and weekdays before 5 p.m. are your best bet. Many of our grounds attraction entertainers give multiple performances each day. Use our online schedule or app for mobile devices to plan your visit. Both will be updated in the weeks before the fair.
Q: How do I get to The Meadow Event Park?
A: From I-95, take Exit 98 (Doswell) and travel 1½ miles east on state Route 30. If traffic is heavy, consider taking U.S. Route 301 to state Route 30; travel about 3 miles west on Route 30. You also can take U.S. Route 1 to state Route 30; travel about 2 miles east on Route 30. For complete directions and a map, click here.
Q: What are the 2018 fair dates?
A: Friday, Sept. 28, to Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018
Q: When are the Midway and Kidway open?
A: The Midway and Kidway both open at 11 a.m. daily. Midway area rides will continue to operate for a minimum of one hour after the ticket windows close, or longer at the discretion of fair management. Kidway area rides close when the Ticket Plaza closes.
Q: Will you donate fair tickets to my charitable organization?
A: Please see our corporate donation policy.
Things to Do
Q: Where can I find a schedule of events?
A: We will have a schedule available on this site next fall, and a printed version will be available during the fair at the Ticket Plaza. You also can download the free State Fair app, which includes a map and a schedule feature.
Q: Are all of the attractions included in my admission ticket or is there an additional cost?
A: Generally speaking, your admission purchase covers all concerts, attractions and exhibits; however, some other attractions have an additional cost. Rides are not included in the general admission cost. Ride tickets and wristbands can be purchased at the fair at the Ride Ticket Booths in the Midway and Kidway areas.
Q: Is there a separate charge for concerts?
A: All concerts are included with fair admission.
Q: How can I participate in State Fair competitions?
A: Click here for all competition guides and registration.
Q: Can I volunteer at the fair?
A: Volunteer support is important at all of the signature events at The Meadow Event Park. Please see our volunteer application, and email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Midway and Kidway Rides
Q: How do you ensure the safety of your rides?
A: Our midway rides undergo a thorough inspection – by midway contractor Deggeller Attractions upon setup; by Caroline County before opening day; and then daily before operation by an independent, professional state-certified inspector.
Please Note: the use of selfie sticks is prohibited on rides and throughout the fair.
Q: How old do my children need to be to ride the rides?
A: Requirements for individual rides and attractions include height, weight and whether a child must be accompanied by an adult. These requirements are displayed at each ride and attraction, as well as at the Midway and Kidway Customer Service booths. For our youngest guests, those not tall enough to ride the Midway and Kidway rides, we offer a collection of colorful coin-operated rides in the Kidway area.
For Your Comfort and Convenience
Q: Can I bring in food or drinks?
A: No outside food or beverages are allowed.
Q: Can I bring in my lawn chair or a blanket for the concerts?
A: You’re welcome to bring lawn chairs for the Festival Stage concerts, and those chairs can be checked near the stage so you don’t have to carry them around all day. Chairs are also available for rent near the Festival Stage.
Q: What if I need to go to my car and come back?
A: Get details here.
Q: Do you offer shuttle service in the parking lots or inside the fair?
A: Parking lot trams can help you get to and from your vehicle in parking Lots A and C. Look for “Tram Stops” designated with small tents and flags. Once inside the fair you can use guest service carts to travel easily between designated stops on the north side of state Route 30.
Q: Do you have ATMs inside the fair?
A: Yes, ATMs will be strategically located on the property.
Q: Do you offer private facilities for nursing mothers?
A: A private area for nursing mothers is available in the family restroom in Farm Bureau Center and in Bon Secours’ Farm Bureau Center booth.
Q: Can I bring in my own wheelchair or motorized scooter?
A: You are welcome to bring your own wheelchair or motorized scooter. Wheelchairs and motorized scooters also are available for rent outside the main gate in the Ticket Plaza; however, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved.
Q: Can I bring in my own stroller or wagon?
A: You may bring your own stroller or wagon for your children to use on the property. Strollers also are available for rent outside the main gate in the Ticket Plaza.
Q: Do you have campgrounds available for use during the fair?
A: The Caroline County Department of Economic Development and Tourism includes local campground information in its Visitor Guide.
Safety and Security
Q: What kind of security measures are in place during the fair?
A: The safety of our guests, exhibitors and employees is our No. 1 priority. The fair is staffed by licensed security professionals and state and local law enforcement.
We have the ability to conduct personal and bag checks at the ticket gates.
Please Note: the use of selfie sticks is prohibited throughout the fair.
Q: Can I bring my knife or gun to the State Fair?
A: The State Fair prohibits weapons of any kind from entering the property, including pocket knives. We ask that guests leave those items in their vehicles before purchasing their tickets.
Q: What is your policy on alcoholic beverages and tobacco use?
A: Alcohol is NOT permitted to be brought onto the property. Beer and wine will be for sale and may be consumed inside the fair, except in the Midway and Kidway areas. Alcohol is not allowed in the parking areas. Smoking is permitted on the property; however, it is prohibited in tents and buildings, ride and ticket lines and the entire Kidway area. This includes the use of electronic smoking devices.
Q: Can I bring my pet to the fair?
A: Pets are prohibited on the property (including the Equine & Livestock Complex) due to the potential risk to our guests and to other animals at the fair.
Q: What if I lose something while I’m at the fair?
A: Lost & Found is located in the Bold Ruler House in Lot C. Please enter through Gate 6 to access the building. Paid fair admission is not needed to gain access to the Bold Ruler House. Lost & Found is open during regular operating hours each day of the fair, Sept. 23 through Oct. 2. All items that were not claimed before Oct. 3, 2016, were turned over to The Meadow Event Park. For more information call 804-994-2800.
The Fair and The Meadow Event Park
Q: Who owns the State Fair?
A: The fair is operated by Commonwealth Fairs & Events, a subsidiary of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, a nonprofit organization.
Q: How can I find out what else is happening at The Meadow Event Park?
A: Check the calendar on The Meadow’s website. We also note upcoming events on The Meadow’s Facebook page.
Q: I’m planning an event, and I might be interested in holding it here. What kinds of events can you accommodate?
A: The Meadow Event Park has facilities that can be used for weddings and receptions; corporate functions; trade shows; horse, livestock and dog shows; charity runs/walks; picnics; reunions; concerts; and more. Visit our website at MeadowEventPark.com for information on how to contact our staff to get details or schedule a site visit.
Q: Isn’t this where Secretariat was born? How can I find out more history of The Meadow Event Park and Secretariat?
A: 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat was born on the Thoroughbred farm that is now The Meadow Event Park. In May 2015, a portion of the property was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. The Meadow offers year-round guided Hoofprints of History Tours of the historic areas.
Q: How long has the fair been held at The Meadow Event Park?
A: 2016 is the eigth year. The fair moved to The Meadow Event Park in 2009 from its former location at the Richmond Raceway Complex.
Q: Does The State Fair of Virginia have a code of conduct?
A: Yes. Please read the SFVA Code of Conduct.