Lights go up next week for Five County Fair

Published 5:57 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023

It gets in your blood, Auburn Estes says. There’s just something about the Five County Fair, about the activities and everything tied to it that keeps bringing people back. The fair’s longtime general manager returns for his 53rd year involved in some way, and says people can expect another season of good food, fun rides and entertaining shows. 

This marks the 86th anniversary of the Five County Fair, which runs from Tuesday, Sept. 26 to Saturday, Sept. 30 at 209 Fairgrounds Road in Farmville. Each year, the five counties of Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland and Prince Edward come together to enjoy events, contests and rides. According to Estes, this year has even more to offer. 

“We’re excited about all the changes this year,” said Estes. “We have a lot more going on than ever before.”

What’s new?

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When planning the fair, Estes and his team make sure that there is something new so that when people come back year after year it’s not the same thing every time. One new contest this year is a pie-eating contest on Friday, Sept. 29, in the open-air building next to the bathrooms. Two age groups will compete for $20 cash and a ribbon by being the first to eat their apple pie. Contestants can sign up and learn more about the rules and pie ingredients on the Five County Fair website. 

Another new contest will be on Saturday, Sept. 30 with the Power Wheels Demolition Derby. Kids ages three to eight will participate with their battery-powered power wheel and be judged by their derby-style driving, vehicle appearance and sportsmanship. Divers will be able to show off their decorations in a parade before the event. 

Folks can try their hand at a few other new activities including ax throwing and an escape room. These have grown more popular in the last few years so anyone wanting to give it a try can do so at the fair. 

“We still have the cattle and other events from the past,” said Estes. “We don’t want to leave them out.”

What’s back?

All the fan-favorite activities that make the Five County Fair what it is are back again. The livestock shows will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 26, with the beef cattle, sheep and goat shows and then the dairy cow show on Friday, Sept. 29, in the Varner Building. 

There will be community entries and educational exhibits, 4-H contests, Bruiser Wrestling Federation, numerous vendors and The Five County Fair beauty pageant.

Cole Shows Amusement Company will also be back to provide the midway games and rides. According to Estes, the company brings different rides each year so even though it’s the same company there is still something new to enjoy. 

“We hope everyone can come out and enjoy,” said Estes. “We did a lot of planning this year.”

Tickets are on sale again this year on the website along with unlimited ride wristbands, which are a lower price online. Visit for more details on the various events and contests and to purchase tickets and wristbands.