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Make a checklist, and prepare for the State Fair


(DOSWELL, Sept. 12, 2023)—However you plan to enjoy this year’s State Fair of Virginia Sept. 22 through Oct. 1, it’s best to be prepared.

Purchasing tickets online guarantees the most savings and convenience—both before and during the fair. Online tickets are discounted from the gate admission price, and buying in advance helps reduce wait times.

Held at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, the fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. The following tips can ensure a relaxed and memorable State Fair experience.

“Planning ahead can help fair guests save time and money so that they are more fully able to enjoy their visit,” said Marlene Jolliffe, the fair’s executive director. “We have lots of returning favorites and new attractions that are sure to entertain and delight fairgoers. And all of our live music and attractions are included with the cost of admission!”

Find details online at


Buy tickets in advance to cash in on savings. Advance tickets are on sale through Sept. 21 at at $11.50 for 5 years of age and older. They can be used any day during the fair. Children 4 and younger will be admitted free with a paid adult admission.

Rides are not included in fair admission. Unlimited ride wristbands are $25 when purchased in advance, and $30 online or $32 on site 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 the Virginia 529 Kidway areas.

General admission includes access to all concerts, performances, competitions, exhibits and demonstrations.

Military admission is $13 at the gate. That’s a $3 savings off the $16 regular gate admission. The military discount is for active-duty service members, National Guard, Reserve and retirees with a current military ID or a Virginia DMV veteran's credentialed license or ID card. The discount applies to the service member plus one guest. It does not extend to any other members of their party, and is available at the gate only.


General parking is free. Premium parking is available at Gate 2 behind the Farm Bureau Center at a cost of $22.50 per day and must be purchased in advance online. Parking lot trams can help visitors get to and from their vehicles in parking Lots A and C. Look for “Tram Stops” designated with small tents and flags. Fair officials advise fairgoers to note the numbered sign nearest their vehicles so they can find them easily.

Getting there

The Meadow is located at 13191 Dawn Blvd. in Doswell. From I-95, take exit 98, and travel 1½ miles east on state Route 30.

During peak times, consider using alternate routes—U.S. Route 301 to state Route 30, and travel about 3 miles west on Route 30; or take U.S. Route 1 to state Route 30, and travel about 2 miles east on Route 30.

The State Fair of Virginia is partnering with DRIVE SMART Virginia to remind you to buckle up to make it home to your loved ones—not just as you head to the State Fair, but always!

Hours, rides and amenities

Ticket Plaza and building/exhibit hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Guests who wish to leave the fair for a short time before returning need to get a same-day hand stamp at the Ticket Plaza before exiting.

Amusement rides open at 11 a.m. and will operate for at least one hour after the Ticket Plaza closes at 9 p.m. 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, at the Midway customer service booth and online at

Private areas for nursing mothers are available in the Farm Bureau Center and in the Kidway by Virginia College Savings Plan area.

Guests can rent wheelchairs, motorized scooters and single and double strollers outside the Ticket Plaza on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We want to be make sure the fair is accessible to all our guests so that everyone can enjoy their experience,” Jolliffe said.

For details on more State Fair amenities, visit the FAQ page on

Special events

A brand-new Taste of Virginia ticketed event on Sept. 28 offers fairgoers the opportunity to sample foods and beverages grown and produced across the commonwealth. Local produce will be transformed into culinary delights by celebrity chefs inside the historic Meadow Hall.

Only 250 tickets are available, and can be purchased here. Tickets are $100 each and include fair admission, premium parking and access to live music on the Main Stage. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and the State Fair of Virginia Scholarship Program.

The popular Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Fest returns Oct. 1 from 2-7 p.m. Guests will enjoy unlimited 4-ounce tastings from dozens of Virginia breweries.

Tickets are $40, which includes fair admission, and can be purchased online at under the Attractions and Events tab.

Also on Oct. 1, cast your bid for unique carvings created by chainsaw artist Ben Risney during a live auction beginning at 5:30 p.m., with 100% of the proceeds benefiting State Fair scholarships. The auction site is located behind Meadow Pavilion.

The 2023 State Fair of Virginia will run from Sept. 22 through Oct. 1. Information is available at

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.

Reporters and Editors: You’ll find a photo library on our website for easy access to images to accompany your fair coverage. Visit

Media: Contact Jolliffe at 804-994-2802 or Pam Wiley, vice president of communications, at 804-291-6315.

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