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Fredericksburg Fair Returns for 274th Year

7/27/2012

By Robert Limerick

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Monster trucks, flower shows, rides that will make you cry and come running back for more can only mean one thing, the 274th Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair is right around the corner.  This year's fair starts Friday, July 27th with Corporate Sponsor GEICO having their GEICO Singers performing the National Anthem during fair opening ceremonies and culminating on Sunday, August 5th.

Fair workers have been working hard to the get the place ready for this year,s event and a lot of new changes have been made. First, a  new parking system  has been put into place to try and avoid some of the massive traffic tie ups of years past.  Guests will now come through the gate, park their vehicles and then walk up to the ticket booths to purchase their admission tickets.  The Fair Board of Directors have also added a new speaker system throughout the fairgrounds to announce show times and other pertinent fair information.  An additional is the removal of one of the older buildings near the fairway stage; this is to give fairgoers more room to move around.  A new roof was put on the J.E. Rowell Commercial Building and a lot of new businesses and organizations have signed on to take space in the building, which includes the Fredericksburg Rescue Squad's Medical Center and Booth.

The fair has also implemented a new revenue raising opportunity where local businesses can purchase a sign for $395 and it will be displayed for ten months of the year for all patrons of fairground events to see.

Motor sports have become a very popular attraction at the Fredericksburg Fair.  Joey Sullivan of local towing company Sullivan's Towing is bringing a new show to the fair with Monsters Invade the Midway.  The monster trucks will compete at 4pm on Sunday, July 29th and contests include a freestyle competition, door to door racing, and a wheelie competition.

Other motor sports activities include the annual Stafford Ruritan Club Truck and Tractor Pull on both Friday and Saturday during the first weekend

Legal road rage and a mix of NASCAR retaliation mix on Wednesday, August 1st and Friday, August 3rd when Demolition Derbies take over the Motor Sports Park.  This year's derbies will be run by local residentsBo Cox and John Cooper.  A grand prize of $1000.00 will be presented to the winner of the main event. 

On Saturday, August 4th mudders from the area will come to compete in the annual Mud Bog sponsored by Po Folk Muddin.

As in years past the Duvall Dickinson Cattle Barn will be filled with cows and calves ready to be petted, photographed and used for instruction. Virginia Livestock has purchased a new cattle scale and will be holding a live livestock auction on Wednesday, August 1st.  On the other side of the fair there are traditional animal barns with chickens, rabbits, pigs, turkeys, and other small animals..

New this year will be the Rock and Ranch Petting Zoo bringing unique animals for fai rguests

Deggeller Attractions the long-time midway provider will make an appearance once again at the fair with some new rides and attractions.

NoJoe's Clown Circus will make their third annual trip to the Fredericksburg Fair with all new routines, jokes, acrobatic thrills, family friendly humor and fun.  Hansen's Spectacular Acrobatic Sensations debuts at the fair this year with their tricks and stunts that includes roller-skating on elevated platforms, juggling, performances by the youngest aerial performers in the world and an amazing Cloudswing performance 30ft above the ground. 

Agricadabra, an educational agricultural show, will teach children and adults about farming and agriculture from the state of Virginia while having a good time with magic, song, dance and crowd participation.

Dirt will be flying on the midway when the Hogway Speedway porkers return this year for nightly snout to snout racing.  Baby goats will also be racing in the show.

Flower shows, canned food items and table decorations are just some of the things that will be in the Richard Limerick Homemaking Building this year. 

The Chancellor Garden Club, under the direction of Virginia Estes, will host flower shows on July 27th and August 1st to let everyone have a chance to see fresh flowers and to give the competitors a chance to show their best products.  Estes has been putting on flower shows at the Fredericksburg Fair for over 20 years and has judged national and state level shows in the past. 

Food items such as cookies, cakes, pies, homemade jams and jellies and vegetables will be on display and judged on their attributes and characteristics. In addition; crafts, needlepoint, Christmas decorations, photography and many other homemaking goods will be on display for all to view.  New this year, the Fredericksburg Train Association will be in the Homemaking Building displaying their model trains and scenery.

New contests added this year include: producing the best child or adult milk mustache, watermelon seed spitting, a cupcake bakeoff and who can dress the best potato.  A fiddle contest will also be held again this year.

The Fairway Stage has activities going on throughout the ten days of the fair including pageants, music, a talent contest that could lead to a recording contract and MMA style fighting.

The first four days of the fair will be all about glitz and glamour when contestants from newborns to adults take the stage to wow judges.  Bob Williams will be the emcee of the pageants as he has held that title for a number of years.  Home Grown will take the stage on Saturday, July 28th with some southern rock and country music.  The Texaco Country Showdown returns on Wednesday, August 1st to crown a local champion who will move on to the next round in the competition, which eventually concludes in Nashville, TN with a chance at winning cash and a recording contract. 

On Thursday, August 2nd, the Barbarian Fight Club returns for another spectacular showing.

On Sunday, August 5th, the final day of the fair, there will be a trio of music with Bluegrass band Black Jug Relic kicking things off, followed by Michael Hoover as Elvis and rounding out the evening will be SonRise to bring the 2012 fair to a close.
 
The Fredericksburg Fair is a strong supporter of the military and an Armed Forces Celebration on Saturday, July 28th that will include a speech from keynote speaker and local resident Retired U.S. Army Col. Scott Lloyd. Military vehicles will be on display and a flyover during the singing of the National Anthem.  In addition, Military Appreciation Day will be held on Sunday, August 5th, where military members in uniform or with military ID get into the fair for free.

Fair attendance was down about 5% in 2011 due to the extreme heat that affected the area during last year. Fair Manager Travis Bullock said they were happy with the turnout even though the weather didn,t cooperate.  Fair admission for 2012 is $7 dollars with the exception of Two Dollar Tuesday.  Ride ticket pricing varies by day and all shows and motor sports are included with ticket purchase.

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