Isle of Wight County Fair celebrates 25 years

Published 6:02 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2019

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Chickens, goats, funnel cakes, Midway rides, cowboys and nationally-known performers — that’s just a small sampling of what you will find this week at the Isle of Wight County Fair.

The fun starts Thursday, Sept. 12 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Joel C. Bradshaw Fairgrounds in Windsor.  

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The Fair is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Again. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Always a gamble to schedule the Fair during hurricane season, last year’s 25th anniversary event was cancelled due to the threat of Hurricane Florence, which ended up going elsewhere. 

Rather than pass up the chance to celebrate its quarter century mark, the Fair Committee decided on a do-over and titled this year’s event, “Celebrating 25 years — Again!”

Heading up the entertainment roster is Grammy nominee, Restless Heart, Friday, Sept. 13, 9 p.m. on the Duke Automotive Stage. Opening for Restless Heart is Buckshot out of Virginia Beach.

Country singer/songwriter Chris Lane takes the stage Saturday, Sept. 14, 9 p.m. on the Duke Automotive Stage. Lane earned his first platinum single last December with “Take Back Home Girl.” Country singer Chase Payne opens the evening at 7 p.m.

Stewart Chapman and the New Horizons Band pay tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, Sunday, Sept. 15, noon, on the Old Point National Bank stage.

Other new attractions this year include barrel racing as part of the annual True Grit Rodeo, as well as Red Dragon Laser Tag, offered free with a general admission ticket. 

Ground acts include Circus Incredible with high-flying acrobatics. 

But that’s not all. The Fair takes special pains to honor Isle of Wight County’s rural heritage with livestock shows, 4-H competitions and a wide array of canned jams, jellies, prize quilts, a chili cook-off, a decorated hay bale contest and the award-winning Agriculture Education Center. Local dance groups and bands perform throughout the Fair, and those who like high-flying BMX riding can check out Freestyle Madness Moto & BMX Throwdown. Other attractions include the Odyssey Mobile Escape Room and the farm-themed variety show, Ready, Set, Grow, a demolition derby on Sunday and much more. 

This wide array of activities and exhibits is put together every year by a dedicated group of volunteers who call themselves the Fair Committee. The national and internationally award-winning Fair draws crowds of up to 30,000, and this year’s Fair is dedicated to a long-serving Fair Committee volunteer, Mike Stephens. 

Essential Fair information

•Ticket information

Tickets are $10 for those age 13 and up and $5 for children age 6-12 on Friday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

•Special offers

Show a valid military ID and admission is only $5.

Children 5 and under are free

Two-day pass $18 (online only)

Three-day pass $26 (online only)

•Operating hours

Thursday, Sept. 12, 5-10 p.m. Carload night. Bring up to eight people in one car, van or truck and pay a flat $45 fee to enter and enjoy “all you can ride” wristbands for everyone in the vehicle. Passengers must be legally seated.  (No passengers in truck beds). Single entry admission only tickets are available for $10 each for guests age 6 and older.

Friday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. •Senior citizens age 55 and up and elementary school children pay $1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

Sunday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

•Midway Rides, attractions

The Amusements of America Midway is open Thursday from 5-10 p.m.; Friday kiddie rides only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and all rides from 3-11 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Rides are 3-5 tickets per ride

Each ticket costs $1, with 20 for $20 and 56 for $50. Those who have purchased advance ride tickets online, bring the printed ticket to GATE 1 Will-Call Booth, where the advance ride tickets are dispersed. 

•Pony rides: $6 per person
•Camel rides: $8 per person
•Monster Truck rides: $5 per person
•Face painting: $8 per person
•Caricatures: $10-$60 for one to six people

Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 15, 1 p.m. finals

•Antique Tractor Pull

Saturday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m.

•Demolition Derby

Sunday, Sept. 15, 3:30 p.m.  {/mprestriction}