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One of Virginia’s best entertainment values opens this month in Doswell.

It’s the State Fair of Virginia, and it runs Sept. 26 through Oct. 5 at the Meadow Event Park, off Interstate 95 Exit 98, north of Richmond.

There’s something for all ages, including midway rides and games, agricultural and commercial exhibitions, equine events (a horseshoer competition Sept. 27), music (country crooners to marching bands), food (fried Twinkies!) and oddities (pig races!). Here’s a sampling of fair highlights.

FUN

Check out the racing pigs (daily), a rodeo (Sept. 30 and Oct. 1) and a demolition derby (Oct. 4-5). There’s also a BMX stunt show, a firefighter show, hypnotist and magician Lance Gifford, a gentleman named Kachunga, who wrestles a 300-pound alligator (bare-handed, of course), the West Texas Rattlesnake Show, and the Great Lakes Lumberjack Show. Throw in a chance to watch a master chainsaw sculptor and pups who specialize in catching flying discs and you’ve got an evening full of fun.

FOOD

What’s your pleasure?
There’s a little of everything available.

Options range from the healthy (roasted corn on the cob in Harvest Landing) to stuff that Elvis Presley would have loved, such as a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a pork parfait.

There are of course perennial fair favorites including funnel cakes, sausage and pepper sandwiches, elephant ears, kettle corn and hand-rolled soft pretzels. Fans of foods served on a stick can enjoy corn dogs, chicken on a stick, steak on a stick and chocolate covered cheesecake on said stick.

There’s spaghetti and pizza available if you are in the mood for Italian fare.

In Harvest Landing, Virginia State University if offering fried catfish and chicken, and in the Equine and Livestock Complex, the Virginia Tech Block & Bridle Club is serving ribeye sandwiches and barbecue.

If your sweet tooth is unsated by fried Twinkies or PBJs, try a chocolate covered strawberry, a frozen banana dipped in chocolate and rolled in Reese’s Pieces, or an elephant ear pastry.

PERFORMANCES

The concert stage will be busy, with a variety of acts performing. Best of all, the performances are included with fair admission.
Performances include:


RIDES

Rides are in addition to general fair admission. Ride tickets are available in ticket booths in the kidway and midway. There are no ride tickets available in advance. Each ride requires 3-6 tickets.
You can get a wristband good for unlimited rides for $15 that’s good Monday-Thursday, or $21 for Friday-Sunday.
Tickets otherwise are $1 each, or $20 for 25 tickets.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: State Fair of Virginia
WHEN: Sept. 26-Oct. 5
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays
WHERE: Meadow Event Park, Doswell, Exit 98 off Interstate 95
COST: Weekends, $15 adults, $10 youth and senior; weekday, $12 adults and $8 seniors and youth; tickets available online through Sept. 23, $12 adults and $8 for seniors and youth; season pass is $25 through Sept. 23, or $30 at the gate; admission is free for ages 4 and younger
LEARN MORE: See www.statefairva.org