Brenda White has a pretty fair idea of what’s going on this week, which marks the 30th year that the Chesterfield County Fair is in its present location at 10300 Courthouse Road across from L.C. Bird High School.
White – who’s now in her fifth year as general manager of the Chesterfield County Fair Association – took time last week to talk about some of the new things at this year’s fair, which runs from Friday, Aug. 23, to Saturday, Aug. 31.
White began nine years ago as the fair’s beauty pageant director, and she kept that title when she became general manager. “I garnered such a passion for it that I wanted to keep it,” she said of the princess and queen pageants. “Never having a daughter, it was a treat for me to pick out hair, clothes, makeup and jewelry” with the fair queen each year as she prepared for future competitions.
There are several new daily “ground” acts at this year’s fair, including the Butterfly Encounter, where one can learn how to feed a butterfly. The encounter will have butterflies set up inside a netting with flowers. “They’ll land on you,” White said. “Sometimes they won’t leave.” In those instances, the “magic wand lady” will come with her “magic wand” of food to steer the butterfly away.
Other new acts include Hog Diggity Dog, which features pigs and dogs doing a comedy act, and the 3-Ring Super Circus with various animals.
“There’s something for everyone, no matter what your age,” White said.
Wrestling is back this year in the form of Primal Conflict Wrestling of West Virginia. The show will be live at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28.
Michael Felk, a tinsmith, is new this year to the Heritage Village history area. He’ll join a man who makes salt, a woodwright who makes canes and other things, “Art the Cameraman,” who brings period cameras, and Richmond Discoveries, which provides Civil War artifacts.
A military parade is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, with the grand parade at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27 that will feature as grand marshals, Del. Riley Ingram, R-Hopewell, and WTVR CBS-6 meteorologist Nikki Dee Ray.
A band will play at 8 p.m. nightly (except for Aug. 26 and 28), and attendees can listen at the beer garden, which will be hosted once again by Chesterfield’s own Steam Bell Beer Works. The Fort Lee Army Band will play at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25.
Entry fees are $10 for adults, $7 for 60-plus, and $5 for ages 4 to 12. Younger children get in free.
Parking is free at L.C. Bird High School. The public can enter through Gates 2 and 3. Gate 5 will be open for the Rafter Z Rodeo, which starts at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, and Saturday, Aug. 31.
For more information, including daily promotions and band schedules, go online to chesterfieldcountyfair.org.