The Albemarle County Fair is back for its 28th year, and there’s lots of fun to be had. Here’s your guide to the 2009 fair at the fairgrounds in North Garden.
This year’s fair will be open from July 28 to Aug. 2. On the July dates, the fair will be open from 4 to 11 p.m. On Aug. 1, the fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Aug. 2, the fair will be open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. To get to the fair, take U.S. 29 south from Charlottesville. In about eight miles, turn right onto Plank Road. The fair, which has plenty of signs, is only 1/4 mile away. Parking is free at the fair.
Fair admission this year is $7 for adults, $6 for adults over 60, $3 for kids between 6 and 12 and free for kids under 6.
Some of the most fun I’ve had at the fair is while attending contests. Of particular note is the frog/toad jumping contest at 7:30 p.m. on the opening day of the fair. Watching the kids try to make the frogs go in a straight line is hilarious and reminiscent of Huckleberry Finn. If you have a strong stomach, check out the hot dog eating contest at 7 p.m. July 29 or the pie-eating contest at 8 p.m. July 30.
But if you can only attend one contest, you have to go to the husband calling contest at 8 p.m. on July 31. The wives really can get the crowd going with their calls. It’s incredibly funny and worth your time.
Feeling up to the midway? Rosedale Attractions will have its rides and games open from 6 p.m. to close during the week and from noon on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. If you go on opening night, Ride All Night wristbands are only $10. On Saturday, all rides are one ticket each for students between noon and 5 p.m. Prices haven’t been announced for the rest of the nights, but Rosedale does take coupons printed from their Web site to reduce costs.
The interesting thing about the Albemarle County Fair is that it has a special event for children with special needs and their caregivers. Special Needs Kids Day runs from 10 a.m. to noon on July 30. Kids can come and enjoy cookie decorating, crafts, performers, rides and a small petting zoo. To RSVP for this event, call (434) 293-6396 or e-mail [email protected] by July 25.
And when you get a chance, swing through the 4-H exhibits. The kids work really hard raising their animals and putting the exhibits together, and they’d be happy to answer your questions about their animals.
To learn more about the fair as it gets closer, read this year’s guidebook and visit the fair’s Web site.