Virginia State Fair features expanded lineup

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, August 4, 2022

CAROLINE COUNTY — This year’s State Fair of Virginia will host new acts and returning fan favorites, showcasing more attractions than ever before.

A plethora of musical performances will set the stage during the fair’s 7:30 p.m. live concert series. All are included in the cost of fair admission.

Virginia State Fair musicians

Kicking off the State Fair music series Sept. 23 is the Brencore Allstars Band, an ensemble from Washington, D.C., that will pump up the crowd with an energetic performance of Motown’s greatest hits.

On Sept. 24, The Frontmen — consisting of Larry Stewart (Restless Heart), Richie McDonald (Lonestar) and Tim Rushlow (Little Texas) — entertain fairgoers with new and original country music hits. Country artist Priscilla Block takes the stage Sept. 25 with her catchy melodies and hit songs, including Just About Over You. Sept. 26 features Blake Guyre as “the Entertainer,” performing a tribute to piano legends Elton John and Billy Joel — including iconic costumes and visual effects.

Billboard-topping bluegrass/Americana act Nu-Blu performs its popular hit, Horse Thieves and Moonshiners, Sept. 27. Tribute band EagleMania is set to dazzle audiences with the Eagles’ greatest hits Sept. 29.

Rising star and chart-topping songwriter Ernest takes the stage Sept. 30, and the Junior Sisk Band performs traditional bluegrass Oct. 1. Rounding out the fair’s concert series Oct. 2 is The Spinners, one of the most iconic and enduring R&B groups, with well-loved hits including, Could It Be I’m Falling in Love and Rubberband Man.

The Crooked Road series also returns for another year, featuring musicians from Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail in Southwest Virginia. On Sept. 23 and 24, Crooked Road artists Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones perform; Sept. 25, Jackson Cunningham; Sept. 26 and 27, JAM Band; Sept. 28 and 29, Jim Lloyd; and Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Mac Traynham.

New attractions pop up

“We’re excited to offer over 350 hours of live entertainment in 2022,” said Marlene Jolliffe, the fair’s executive director. “All attractions are free with a paid gate admission. The variety of music, shows, rides and animal attractions provide nonstop fun for fairgoers!”

New attractions include the FireGuy, who was recognized by the Guinness World Records for the most torches extinguished by fire-eating in 60 seconds. He’ll light things up with fire breathing and eye-catching tricks Sept. 23-27. Also slated to perform is the Funny Waiter, who will amuse guests with his humorous show featuring quick-paced plate spinning, unicycling and fire juggling Sept. 28 through Oct. 2.

The Triple Crown Circus is set to showcase three daily performances featuring jaw-dropping aerial stunts, and fairgoers can visit the new Otter Adventure attraction, an interactive water show featuring curious, playful otters.

Returning crowd-pleasers include the racing pigs of Rosaire’s Royal Racers, ˛master chainsaw carver Ben Risney, and two nights of Revenge Roughstock Rodeo’s professional bull riding, bronc riding and barrel racing at 7 p.m., Sept. 26 and 27.

And, as always, guests can feast their eyes on scale-busting produce. The giant pumpkin and watermelon weigh-ins begin at noon on Saturday, Sept. 24, in the Blue Ribbon Tent. Seating is available for those who want to see if this year’s growers can break state records.

How much is it to go?

General parking is free. Premium parking on the paved lot behind the Farm Bureau Center is available for advance online purchase; the parking passes are valid only for the day of purchase.

Online ticket sales begin Sept. 1. Visit StateFairVa.org to purchase tickets and to view updates on the fair schedule, concert series and free entertainment. You also can follow the fair on Facebook at Facebook.com/StateFairVa and Instagram at statefairva.

The 2022 State Fair of Virginia runs from Sept. 23 through Oct. 2. More information is available at StateFairVa.org.

The State Fair of Virginia is held each fall at its permanent home at the Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. The event celebrates the best of Virginia’s past, present and future through scholarship initiatives, creative programming and a focus on the commonwealth’s agriculture and natural resources industries. Virginia Farm Bureau Holding Corp. operates the fair and is a subsidiary of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.