Home Study: Meadow Event Park, home to State Fair of Virginia, generates nearly $50 million

Study: Meadow Event Park, home to State Fair of Virginia, generates nearly $50 million

state fair of virginia fundraising gala
Image courtesy State Fair of Virginia

Collectively, visitors to The Meadow Event Park last year spent nearly $50 million on day trips and outings to the Caroline County property.

An economic impact study recently completed by Chmura Economics & Analytics found the venue hosted more than 536,000 visitors at 182 events.

The Meadow Event Park is best known as the home to the State Fair of Virginia. That event alone drew more than 210,000 visitors during the 10-day run.

In addition to the fair, the event park also hosted a variety of events: trade shows, livestock and equine shows, rodeos, concerts, weddings, corporate functions and community activities.

Major events included the 10th annual Illuminate Light Show drive-through holiday experience and the After Hours concert series.

The majority of visitors (93 percent) to The Meadow were day-trippers, according to the study.

Economic impact

  • Visitors spent an average of $91.20 per trip, and collectively they spent $48.9 million.
  • The Meadow’s operations generated direct, indirect and induced economic impact of $10.2 million in the region, which supported 42 jobs.
  • Total economic impact of The Meadow’s capital expenditure was estimated at $400,000, which supported two jobs.
  • Vendor spending generated an estimated impact of $14 million, which supported 96 jobs.
  • Visitor spending generated $16.8 million, which supported 148 jobs.
  • The venue was found to have generated $1.1 million in tax and fee revenue in Caroline County.

“This success is even more coveted because nothing has come easy in a post-pandemic world,” said Marlene Jolliffe, the venue’s vice president of operations, and executive director of the State Fair. “Our team commits to a high level of customer service, and we make a personal commitment to our partners to ensure their event is a success. This success is also built on having a community service focus and doing everything we can do to support the needs of local nonprofits.”

The Meadow and the State Fair of Virginia have been owned and operated by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation since 2013.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.