Patrick Fair set to begin Tuesday

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The 67th annual Patrick County Agricultural Fair will get underway Sept. 17, with a Mud Boggin’ competition slated to kick off the event.

The event gets underway at 7 p.m. Participants may bring their own ATV as spectators cheer on competitors attempting to make it out of the mud pit.

Other events, such as the Rodeo on the 20th at 7 p.m.  and  the Demolition Derby at 7 on the 21st, many more activities and events are set to take places as well.

The Kiddies Power-wheel derby is set for Saturday at 6 p.m.

Away from the nail-biting performances, the Animal Barn is set to host a plethora of activities and cute critters, from goats on Tuesday, sheep on Wednesday, heifers on Thursday along with small animals that will be housed there all week, including rabbits, poultry, cavy (think gerbils, Guinea pigs), and others.

Horses will make their appearance on Friday, and beef cattle will be judged Saturday.

Youth exhibitors will be showing on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday to be judged as having the best animal of each breed at the fair. Both Goats and Sheep will have a costume contest to close the show on their respective evenings.

A photo booth stall will be available in the barn to capture and take a fair memory home; a Black Angus Beef Raffle to benefit Service Above Self will be held as well as a fiber-arts display illustrating working with just shorn wool that is processed into a finished garment.

Fair gates open nightly at 5:30 p.m., rides start 6 and close at 10 p.m. A special Saturday Only Matinee For Young Families will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. (visit http://patrickcountyfair.com/2019-schedule)

General admission prices are adults 19 & up – $5, Youth 6 – 18 – $3, Children 5 & under and all military in uniform are free.

The fair has its roots deeply ingrained in Patrick County and stretch way back into the county’s history, according to David Woodall, a Patrick native and history enthusiast.

Before it was the fair many know today, Woodall said it was a small carnival that was hosted right in the center of Stuart where the now Virginian Motel now stands.

“There used to be a carnival that would come to town every year, when I was a little boy,” Woodall said and recalled a fire destroyed a building along Main Street and left a perfectly sized hole for a roadside carnival. He said the carnival was held on Main Street until 1952, when the county officially recognized the event as the Patrick County Fair. Then, it moved to the “old fair grounds,” which were located near the present day Patrick County Jail and Mayo River Walking Trail.

“Every year down there on the river it would rain and make a big mess, they would have to bring in tow trucks and pull the whole fair out of the mud,” said Woodall.

He recalled the fair was last held there in 1961, because the company responsible for the event said it would not return unless a better location was found, Woodall said. That warning was heeded, and the fair relocated to its modern-day location at the Rotary Field in 1962. It has remained in that location for nearly 60 years, Woodall said.

Amber Rodgers, an Arts major who commutes to Radford University in pursuit of her degree, said the fair “is sort of the kick start to fall festivities. It’s a time for kids to get together and enjoy rides and food that are only available once a year, and a time for adults to socialize, and make memories that last a lifetime.”

Rodgers is one of the many incredibly talented  locals that may have some wares in the Agricultural and Craft Exhibits inside the Hooker building. Visit the exhibit and peek at some of her photography.

There is an extensive list of categories for items including canned fruits and vegetables, relishes, juices, preserves and jellies. Additionally, there are categories for fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers (fresh and dried), and many other items.

Mac Deekens is the organizer of the Agricultural and Craft Exhibit. Entries will be accepted on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Entry tags will be available at the Farmers’ Market o