Plan your visit to the State Fair of Virginia

Published 5:21 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019

By Pam Wiley


From where to park to how to purchase tickets, the following are tips to help plan a visit to the State Fair of Virginia, which will run from Sept. 27 through Oct. 6.

The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, the fair will open at 10 a.m. each day, except for Midway Madness by Virginia Lottery and Virginia529 Kidway, which will open at 11.

“The State Fair is a time-honored tradition that’s fun for the whole family,” said Marlene Jolliffe, the fair’s executive director. “Planning ahead can save money and make for a more enjoyable visit. Find information for planning a visit, as well as a full schedule of events, online at”


Save on tickets when you buy them in advance. Advance tickets are on sale through Sept. 26 at at $12 for adults and $10 for youth 5-12 and seniors 60 and older. They can be used any day during the fair. Children 4 and younger will be admitted free with a paid adult admission. Season passes can be purchased online through Sept. 20 for $35; they can be used throughout the fair’s 10-day run.

Tickets to the Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Festival on Oct. 5 are available online for $30, which includes fair admission when purchased in advance. When purchased at the gate, beer festival tickets will be $25 plus the cost of fair admission. Want to tour Meadow Hall mansion? Tours will take place at select times on Saturdays and Sundays. Purchase advance tickets for $5.

Rides are not included in fair admission. Unlimited Ride Wristbands are $20 when purchased in advance and $25 once the fair opens. Ride tickets and single-day Unlimited Ride Wristbands will be available for purchase at Ride Ticket Booths in the Midway and Kidway areas. Fairgoers also can purchase tickets at area Publix Super Markets stores for the online price.

General admission includes access to all concerts, performances, exhibits and demonstrations. Blue Ribbon concert seats are available this year at a cost of $10 with general admission.

Military admission is $12 at the gate. That’s a $3 savings off the $15 adult gate admission. The military discount is for active-duty service members, National Guard, Reserve and retirees with a current military ID. The discount does not apply to others in service members’ and retirees’ parties and is available at the gate only.


General parking at The Meadow is free. Premium parking is available behind the Farm Bureau Center at a cost of $15 per day and must be purchased in advance online. Parking lot trams will be running in Lots A and C to help customers get to and from their vehicles. Look for tram stops designated with small tents and flags. Fair officials advise guests to note the numbered sign nearest their vehicles so they can find their way back easily.

Hours, rides and amenities

Ticket Plaza and building/exhibit hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays and Monday through Thursday. Rides will operate for at least one hour after the Ticket Plaza closes.

Requirements for rides and some attractions include height, weight and whether a child must be accompanied by an adult. Those requirements will be displayed at each ride and attraction, as well as at the Midway Customer Service booth.

Handwashing stations will be strategically located throughout the property. The State Fair recommends washing hands after leaving an animal or midway area and before eating or drinking.

New this year will be a Sensory Space, located in the Farm Bureau Center. This will serve as a comfort zone for fair guests with sensory-processing issues and will offer low-key sensory input activities.

“The State Fair is a destination, a tradition among families, groups and individuals from all over the state and beyond. We want everyone to have an opportunity to have a full fair experience,” Joliffe explained. “We strive to provide a fun, memorable family-friendly experience for all fairgoers, including those who may need additional accommodations.”

Guests can rent wheelchairs, motorized scooters and single and double strollers outside the Ticket Plaza on a first-come, first-served basis. Chair rentals and a personal chair check station will be available near the stage.

The 2019 State Fair of Virginia will run from Sept. 27 through Oct. 6. Information is available at

The State Fair is held each fall at its permanent home at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County and attracts 250,000 fairgoers. 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.

PAM WILEY is director of communications for the Virginia Farm Bureau. Contact her at 804-290-1128.