Virginia Farm Bureau partners with new owner to run State Fair

Posted at 4:41 PM, Jul 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-06 16:44:54-04

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Officials announced Friday that the Virginia Farm Bureau has entered into a partnership with the new owners of the State Fair.

Caroline County Director Gary R. Wilson said in a news release that the Virginia Farm Bureau, along with new owners Universal Fairs, have entered into a newly formed partnership to run the State Fair of Virginia at the Meadow Event Park.

“This adds an immeasurable degree of confidence and assurance that the Fair will be operated consistent with Virginia agrarian values, and that it will maintain a solid agricultural theme, while Universal Fairs brings years of experience of family entertainment to make the State Fair a great Virginia event,” wrote Wilson.

Wilson also said the county has worked hard since the fair’s bankruptcy to find businesses that could operate the fair and “retain the historic high quality of the institution.”

“The Virginia Farm Bureau stepped up to team with Universal Fairs to solidify a winning partnership to operate the Fair in Caroline County,” wrote Wilson.

This year’s state fair will take place from this Sept. 28 through Oct. 7.

Farm Bureau spokesman Greg Hicks told CBS 6 earlier this week that the Farm Bureau was “in negotiations to partner with Universal Fairs to be part of the State Fair.”

In May, CBS 6 learned from a source that the State Fair of Virginia, Meadow Event Park and related assets could be put up for sale following its purchase at auction. [RELATED: State Fair may be up for sale again]

At that May auction, Universal Fairs owner Mark Lovell bought the State Fair of Virginia property for $5.67 million and said the company would “put on a fabulous 10-day event in September.” [RELATED: State Fair of Virginia sold for $5.67 million]

At the time, Lovell’s son told CBS 6 there was no truth to claims of another sale — and that his father’s company will remain in control of the fair.

In March, the State Fair of Virginia went into Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, effectively ending the fair and several events the company that put on the fair produced. [RELATED: State Fair of Virginia files for bankruptcy]