The annual Patrick County Agricultural Fair is set to be held from Tuesday, Sept. 13 to Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Stuart Rotary Fairgrounds.
Rotary Club of Stuart member Sonny Swails said this will be the 68th annual fair. “In 2021, last year, we advertised that it would be our 68th fair, so I guess it’s still the 68th fair,” he said.
While some Rotary members “are holding their breath” about holding the fair, Swails said everyone he has talked with outside of the club is excited to have the fair come back to town.
“It’s pretty much the highlight of our social calendar for the year,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing now, particularly since Floyd Fest is moving out of our county. The agricultural fair is going to be probably the largest event that takes place in our county.”
Swails estimates anywhere from 8,000-12,000 people will attend the fair.
As in the past, a student night will be held where students can enter the fairgrounds for free and get a $2 wristband discount. Swails said in the past the coupons have been delivered to the schools and available for pick up in the community. “This year they’re doing away with that coupon, but they’re allowing people to purchase advance wristband tickets online,” he said.
Swails said wristbands bought online in advance will be $20. Those bought onsite will be $25.
“So, you save $5 by purchasing them online in advance,” Swails said. “So, we certainly want everyone to understand and know that’s available. If a family’s got three kids that saves them $15, that’s enough for them to buy them a hamburger and a drink.”
According to Swails, a Figure 8 race might also be held this year depending on the interest and number of people who sign up. “Once the cars get spread out you got people in the middle of that eight that are coming through from one direction and coming from another direction. There’s a skill set involved about how you negotiate getting through that pass when somebody’s coming from the other direction,” he said.
The deadline to sign up to participate is Friday, Sept. 2.
All proceeds from the fair will go back into the community, Swails said. “We’re a non-profit organization, we’re a 501(c)(3) corporation, so we can’t keep any of the money for ourselves. All the money that we make goes back into the community or into the facility at Rotary Field,” he said.
He said funds will be donated to community organizations like the Caring Hearts Free Clinic of Patrick County, the Patrick County Community Food Bank, and the Blue Ridge Elementary School backpack program. “We sponsor the Boy Scout troop in Stuart, and I think last year we gave maybe 18 individual scholarships to Patrick County High School students,” he said.
Student night will be Tuesday and senior citizens night, where everyone 60 and older can enter for free, is Thursday. The Demolition Derby will be held Saturday night, and the Figure 8 race, if held, is set for Friday night.
Music will be in the Hooker Building Thursday-Saturday, with Saturday’s music including a hoedown where people can flatfoot.
Gates for the fair open at 5 p.m. with rides starting at 6 p.m. Admission into the fair is $5 for adults 19 and older and $3 for children ages six-18. Those five and under enter for free.
For more information, go to patrickcountyfair.com. Wristbands can be purchased at colerides.com.