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The Fair Has New Dates, A New Look

FARMVILLE – After going steady with the first Friday after Labor Day for decades, the Five County Fair is changing dates.

The fair will walk arm-in-arm with September 24 through October 2 this year.

“We're doing a lot of work on this fair ,” said longtime fair general manager, Auburn Estes. “I'm expecting big things.”

The date change has a very practical explanation.

“It's always been the Friday after Labor Day but we've gone out and signed a first class carnival and they could not come on our original dates,” Estes explained.

“We changed the date,” he said, “to accommodate them.”

Estes believes the wait will be worth it.

The carnival hails from New York and is no stranger to Virginia, playing the Peanut Festival in Suffolk last year, among its Old Dominion dates.

“I went to Suffolk last year…It is a very fine-looking show. It's excellent,” Estes enthused.

The carnival isn't the only newcomer to this year's fair.

A magic show has also been added for children.

A circus, The Rocky Show, is also a feature this year, at no extra charge, and the demolition derby will be two demolition derbies if enough four-cylinder cars are registered. “We hope to get enough to do two different derbies. They won't compete against each other,” Estes noted.

The first night of the fair will also see a new admission innovation:

Car load night.

Everyone in the vehicle gets in-$30 for one and all.

“We are going to charge $30 per car, no matter how many people are in it,” Estes said. “It could be a mini-van or a regular passenger car. It's $30 admission and everyone gets wristbands to ride the rides for that one price.”

A good night to car pool.

Estes said the carnival actually suggested the idea “and I agreed.”

That's how confident the carnival and Estes are in the product coming to the Five County Fairgrounds.

“We're…doing that in order for the public to see what we have to offer,” Estes said of car load night. “We feel like they will like what they see and come back.”

Another of the new events this year will be a pedal tractor pull, for youngsters five to 12 years old. “A pedal tractor that pulls a sled and we'll see who can pull it the furthest. And there's no charge for that,” Estes said. And it's a four-wheel pedal tractor.

There is also a cooking contest event before the fair even begins, to allow the winners to compete in the State Fair of Virginia. The Virginia Egg Council's brunch for a brunch recipes contest will be held on Monday, Sept 20, with judging at noon to determine the best brunch dish.

“These new things, I think, will really add to it,” Estes said of the fair.

But don't worry because the old favorites are still there, too. The beauty contests, the talent contest, Senior Citizens Day (Friday, October 1) and all the crafts and animal exhibitions and judging.

And there's a horse show.

“I have worked harder on this fair than any other. And not just myself but the entire organization really has,” Estes said of the fair, which will be mailing out information and coupons to most of the area's zip codes.

“I think this should be the best fair we've had in years here in Farmville,” the fair veteran said. “I am really looking forward to it.”