If the time has come for a fall holiday to break up the year, then a trip to Doswell, Virginia, could be on the cards. The State Fair of Virginia at 13191 Dawn Boulevard has been an annual event that tens of thousands of people look forward to every year. It’s held over ten days at the end of September at The Meadow Event Park and runs through to early October. In recent years, it has attracted a record crowd of 250,000.
The Fair has been at its current facility since 2009, which has been a significant attraction on its own. It spans over 360 acres with a 75,000 square-foot hall, 10,000 square-foot pavilion, show rings, and more.
From carnival games and concerts through to rides, livestock, competitions, exhibitions, and displays; this fair has it all. It’s also central to other attractions to explore on your visit to the area, such as Kings Dominion Theme Park.
The State Fair of Virginia is within the small community of Doswell but lies just ten miles from Ashland and around two hours from the center of Virginia. Here, you’ll find even more things to see and do. The ten-day fair is not one you’ll want to miss, and also offers the chance to explore the stunning countryside in your RV.
You can buy your admission tickets to the State Fair of Virginia online, at some supermarkets, and at the gates. If you buy in advance, you may be treated to discounts for adults, youth, and children. In the past, children under four have been free. Alongside your general admission tickets, you can also buy ride wristbands, individual ride tickets, and season passes.
The Meadow Event Park in Doswell is centrally located between State Route 30, US Route 301 (Richmond Turnpike), and Interstate 95. It also lies within a comfortable driving distance of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Visitors must cross Dawn Boulevard, State Route 30, to see every part of the state fair.
While adverse weather conditions may not be likely in Virginia during fall, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of what you’ll be facing on your trip. Apps such as VDOT 511 can keep you up to date with construction delays, traffic, weather, and anything else that could delay your trip. Upon arriving in Doswell, you will find The Meadow Event Park adjacent to Route 30; allow plenty of time to arrive due to congestion along nearby roadways.
General parking has been free in the past, but guests have also been able to book parking behind the Farm Bureau Center in advance for a fee. Aside from the asphalt reserved lots, general parking spaces along Dawn Boulevard are grassy and unmarked. Parking officials will direct you to the best place to park your RV for the day, but you may not remain overnight.
There are no public transportation services in operation, apart from private ride services. Drivers are asked to stay in the far right lane of State Route 30 and travel to Gate 6 for drop-off. Hired private drivers may be useful for those who wish to leave their RV at their campsite rather than park in the fair lot.
Onsite camping is not available during the State Fair of Virginia. Instead, visitors to the area can find somewhere nearby, such as a campground or resort, to park their RV. There is a range of options in the general area, but you may need to book in advance to ensure you get your first pick.
While you may not be able to camp onsite, that doesn’t mean you won’t find somewhere nearby to rest your head. Enjoy harbor views of the Potomac River an hour away from the fairgrounds, or set up camp a little closer at some of the RV resorts within 15 miles. You may even find one under two miles from the fairgrounds. Some sites will be more desirable than others, so don’t forget to book your accommodation long before you intend to arrive.
The expansive size of the fairgrounds means you can’t rely on your feet to carry you the majority of the way. Fortunately, fair organizers cover all bases for convenience and comfort. There are parking lot trams in some lots to bring you to the main attractions of the fair. Once inside the gates, service carts travel between various stops on the north side of State Route 30. Unauthorized motorized vehicles are best left at your RV for use outside the fairgrounds.
In past years, temperatures have remained around the mid-70s, often with a mixture of rain and sunshine. With that in mind, you may like to pack plenty of light clothing but also rainboots and a light jacket just in case. An umbrella left in your RV could come in handy as well. While rain is not guaranteed, it has caused discomfort for visitors in past years. Come fully prepared.
While there are ATMs at the fairgrounds, you may find it convenient to avoid the lines and bring cash and credit with you. Bring a light backpack, a lawn chair for the concerts, and leave plenty of space for your new fair purchases. You may not bring food and beverages into the fair, unless for dietary reasons, and alcohol is prohibited unless you buy it on site.
Fair officials put plenty of measures in place to keep you safe during your visit to the fair. They don’t allow alcohol in the parking areas, and weapons are prohibited for safety reasons as well. There are also handwashing stations around livestock areas for hygiene.
Smoking is allowed in some areas, including electronic smoking devices. Keep yourself happy and healthy with plenty of water, rests, and sun safety products such as sunscreen and sunglasses.
Before you haul out your charcoal cooker at your campsite, make sure you’re familiar with the rules and regulations at your campground. While many RV resorts allow outdoor cooking, some don’t. You will be allowed to use your onboard RV kitchen appliances.
If you find yourself low on supplies, there’s a convenience store within a mile of the fairgrounds and many more in the nearby town of Ashland. For convenience’s sake, you may like to bring a few grocery essentials from home.
While the community of Doswell does have a limited number of restaurants, the nearby town of Ashland has a few more to add to your choices. There are quaint dining establishments, chain fast food outlets, grills, and more. There won’t be much you aren’t able to find within a 10 to 20-minute drive of the fair or your accommodation.
Take a trip down memory lane with any of the vendor offerings at the State Fair of Virginia. From funnel cakes and cotton candy through to Virginia’s famous peanuts and barbeque chicken; there’s not a lot you won’t enjoy. Food vendors are also dotted around the fairgrounds for easy access. Bring both cash and credit to ensure you have the correct payment type.
Licensed security professionals, along with local and state law enforcement are given the important job of making sure guests, employees, and exhibitors are safe. Weapons of any kind are not allowed, and bag and person checks may be carried out at random. If you require assistance at any time, feel free to approach a law enforcement officer or security worker. Otherwise, the nearest police station is ten miles away in Ashland.
In past years, temperatures have remained around 70 degrees in fall in Doswell. However, rainfall has broken up the bright, sunny days. Grassy parking lots can become sodden, so take care when you choose a parking spot for your RV. It also wouldn’t hurt to carry emergency supplies for your RV and wet weather gear. Prepare for all eventualities and weather conditions.
The fair’s first aid site is by the main stage for your convenience. This area is stocked up with basic medical supplies if you require them. For anything more urgent, dial 9-11. The nearest major hospital is about 25 miles away near Richmond, which is equipped to handle anything serious. For any basic medical supplies, you’ll find a few helpful stores in Ashland or further afield in Virginia.