New, returning blue ribbon favorites at this year’s fair

Published 9:51 am Monday, August 13, 2018

This year’s State Fair of Virginia is chock-full of blue ribbon features — both new and returning.

In the interest of a fan-friendly concert series, the State Fair’s Main Stage will be located on asphalt beside the Farm Bureau Center. And super-fans will be able to purchase all-new blue ribbon seating for nightly concerts.

A $10 upgrade to the regular fair admission will provide premium seats closest to the stage for any one of the following concerts: Craig Campbell on Oct. 1; Dylan Scott, Oct. 2; Trent Harmon, Oct. 3; Natalie Grant, Oct. 4; Chris Lane, Oct. 5; Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys featuring the Earl White String Band, Oct. 6; and Scotty McCreery, Oct. 7. All shows begin at 7 p.m. and are free with a paid admission to the fair.

“Moving the main stage to the asphalt provides better seating options that are comfortable for sitting or standing,” noted Marlene Jolliffe, the fair’s executive director. Concert attendees without blue ribbon seating may bring their own lawn chairs, rent a chair, or stand and dance the night away.

Another new feature this year is Virginia’s Finest Sundays. On Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 in the Blue Ribbon Tent in Harvest Landing, fairgoers can enjoy agriculture and specialty foods branded under the Virginia’s Finest program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Sauces, snacks, soups and more will be available.

Returning fan favorites include premium parking, Meadow Hall tours and the giant pumpkin and watermelon weigh-ins.

Premium parking on the paved lot behind the Farm Bureau Center is available for advance purchase. The parking passes can be purchased online for $15 and are valid only for the day of purchase. General parking is still free.

The giant pumpkin and watermelon weigh-ins will take place at noon on Saturday, Sept. 29, in the Blue Ribbon Tent. There will be plenty of seating for those who want to see if this year’s growers can break the state records.