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Style · July 18, 2016

Heat holds down Fauquier County Fair crowd

With temperatures in the upper 90s, people tried to stay cool at the Fauquier County Fair over the weekend by participating in the frozen T-shirt contest and drinking plenty of lemonade.

“I think the heat this year killed us,” fair President Brenda Rich said. “We were down on attendance, and I think it was because of the heat. We can’t control that.”

Although the exact number of fair attendees had not been calculated, Ms. Rich estimated fewer than 15,000 attended the four-day event.

She believes the biggest crowd came out on Friday night for the truck and tractor pull.

A big storm late Saturday afternoon cooled things off and Neal McCoy’s concert went on as planned, drawing a large crowd.

“I thought it turned out well,” Ms. Rich said. “Everyone seemed to have a great time dancing, clapping . . . . He is such a good entertainer.”

The 66th annual fair ran Wednesday through Saturday, a slight change in schedule from previous years.

The majority of cleanup took place Sunday, but the 22-member volunteer board has already begun to plan for next year.

“If it weren’t for the volunteers and sponsors, the fair wouldn’t be successful,” Ms. Rich said.
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Brenda Rich · July 19, 2016 at 3:39 pm
Thanks to all that came to the Fair. It was hot and we all felt it. The Fair is a non profit organization run by a board of 22 directors that are ALL VOLUNTEER. I cannot express enough how much time and sacrifice each and every one of them put into making this Fair a success for the community.
We decided this year to change our days from Wednesday to Saturday. This was decided for numerous reasons. One, we are already there on Wednesday so lets be open. It is cooler in the evening so we tried it. Second as I said we are all volunteers and having Sunday to clean up helped those volunteers be able to go back to work on Monday with out worrying about a mess to deal with after work.

In regards to changing dates, there are many facets involved in putting on a fair. We have to work around other fairs, entertainers, the carnival, school, flowers, gardens, etc. It is not an easy task to just change.

As I said the Fair is a non profit and is not run by Fauquier County. It is very expensive to put on the Fair and if not for the GREAT Sponsors we have it would be impossible. The gate as I am reading bothers some people. We are going to work on a family package for next year. We also had coupons out this year. We had a Senior day, military appreciation day and Wednesday night was family night.
We really try to keep it affordable for everyone and will work harder in the future. If you can remember we always sell half price tickets on the days entries are taken into the building. They are available to all.
We tried new acts this year to try to not bring the same ground acts over and over. We spend lots of time looking for entertainment for the fair. It is very hard to find different acts that meet all the requirements that we have which include, cost, location, space needed for the act, distance the acts have to travel etc. If you tell us you want something specific that we have had let us know and we will try to bring them back.
As I said we work all year to bring the fair to you. If you have suggestions please let us know. Thank you for helping us make it better!!
Brenda Rich, President
Fauquier Fair, Inc.
Tell It Like It Is · July 19, 2016 at 1:41 pm
July is hot no doubt. The Fair has a lot to offer the community as our roots are in farming. While I personally don't farm now, I grew up on one. Me I go to see the poofy chickens myself.

The power line/grid safety demonstration is great education. I never wanna touch a tree on power line! The tractor pull and rodeo are always fun as are the rides. Mechanical bull and the monkey races cool. The food I had a chance to sample was great. All levels of the entertainment were great. They can have Neal McCoy back every other year as far as I'm concerned. What a great entertainer. The sound and lights were like a big concert in small town and very good for a small county fair. The Comedy Hypnotist show was an absolute hoot! The farm animal events and we have some wonderfully talented up and photographers. Some of the photo subject matter was very intriguing. Other than the heat, a great time. Perhaps next year a half dozen of the cooling mist canopy/tents throughout the ground may help? Just a thought.

Kudo's to the entire fair board that I'm sure devote weeks of their time and personal sacrifice to put this event on as well as the sponsors. I have a lot of respect for all of them and what it must take to provide this event for the community. Please support them and support the local community businesses that donate time and money to make this event happen every year.
WmSimpson · July 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm
Great job by all the volunteers and participants! It IS a shame that too few residents make it out to enjoy the event each July, relative to all the hard work that goes into this extravaganza . . . I agree (with Rover 530)that the attendance issue could seemingly be rectified by moving the event to Fall, rather than holding it during the extreme summer heat. There must be some important reason why the Board feels it should be held in July, but I think participants and patrons would all have a much better experience in more tolerable weather. My vote is late Sept / early Oct!
Billy S · July 19, 2016 at 9:18 am
As a life long resident of Fauquier County, sadly I see that the fair is getting smaller each year. This year appeared to be even smaller. Friday was very hot but manageable, it's July! The livestock and poultry buildings were interesting as always and had adequate ventilation with big fans everywhere. You could hear the tractor pull a mile away and that's where the majority of the crowd was. The walk way where the vendors were had a couple draw backs. Time share people bugging you to fill out their forms for a free Visa card drawing to be held later that night and then their telemarketing people can call you for the rest of your life. You keep walking and they keep calling you to their booth. I don't know too many people that go to the fair to buy windows either. The rest of the booths were great. All and all it was a good time.
Rover 530 · July 18, 2016 at 7:25 pm
How about holding the fair during a period of moderate weather; Spring or Fall? Having it in the hottest part of the Summer puts a lot of stress on visitors, booth attendants, vendors and animals that children spent a lot of time and expense raising for showing.
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