No more State Fair
State Fair of Virginia Inc., the nonprofit organization that produces the State Fair of Virginia, converted its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in Richmond District Court on March 7.
As a result, SFVA will no longer produce the fair, the Strawberry Hill Races and the Meadow Highland Games & Celtic Festival, and privately scheduled events at The Meadow Event Park will not take place.
Virginia Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farmers’ advocacy organization, “is sorry to hear this news, and we hope there is a way to salvage a state fair, as it provides a showcase for the state’s largest industry, agriculture,” said Farm Bureau President Wayne F. Pryor. “The fair is not only for entertainment but also educational purposes for Virginia’s citizens, most of whom now reside in urban and suburban areas.”
Pryor said the fair also has served to highlight the achievements of Virginia farm families. Fairgoer surveys in recent years found that 84 percent of attendees experienced animal agriculture at the event, and 72 percent toured general agriculture exhibits.
“Farm Bureau has been a key partner in those educational efforts over the years. The state fair’s unique combination of hands-on exhibits, animals and programs, nostalgia and family-friendly entertainment made it a perfect teaching tool for future generations to learn about farming.”
Over the years, Pryor said, “we have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with SFVA, especially in the past three years after purchasing the naming rights to Farm Bureau Center,” The Meadow Event Park’s largest exhibition hall.
Many events were held at Farm Bureau Center, including Farm Bureau’s own Save Our Food winter and summer festivals, later renamed the Virginia Food & Wine Festival.