New fair attractions will be big on energy and thrills; crowd-pleasers will be back!

Attractions at this year’s State Fair of Virginia promise plenty of action, and they’ll kick off Sept. 27 with a bang.

That bang will be courtesy of the Ultimate Thrill Circus, whose world-class stunt performers include a Human Cannonball. Others are renowned for aerial derring-do on the Wheel of Destiny, and maneuvering motorcycles inside the Globe of Death.

• In addition, the Xtreme Chinese Acrobats will perform acrobatics, juggling and tumbling feats with an international flair daily on the fair’s Main Stage.

• Fairgoers who march to the beat of their own drums will want to catch the roving drum and percussion show of Street Drum Corps. The ensemble has been featured on America’s Got Talent, American Idol and MTV.

• Families seeking thrills with an educational twist should proceed full-steam ahead to Professor Newton and Kidz Science Safari. The show features STEAM-based, interactive science experiments presented by a veteran in children’s educational entertainment. After each performance, audience members can check out the hands-on Kidz Science Safari exhibits.

Back by popular demand this year are:

• The fast-paced porkers of the Rosaire’s Royal Racers pig races.

• The artistry of master chain saw carver Ben Risney.

• Garden tractor pulls.

• Demolition Derby presented by Papa John’s Pizza.

• The metal-pounding excitement of the World Championship Blacksmiths.

• Large equipment demonstrations by the Virginia Loggers Association.

Exhibitors in the fair’s popular Heritage Village will include a blacksmith, a glass blower, a wool spinner and crafters of banjos and violins.

Young MacDonald’s Farm presented by Farm Credit, a multi-generational fair favorite, will feature hatching chicks, pigs, roosters and other farm animals, the iconic baby duck slide, and Goat Mountain.

The annual Pumpkin and Watermelon Weigh-Off will be held at noon on Sept. 28. There will be plenty of seating, along with pumpkin decorating opportunities, samples of pumpkin-themed fair foods and pumpkin-related giveaways for children.

Things will be moo-ving and shaking at the SouthLand Dairy Farmer Center, which houses SouthLand Dairy Parlor and hand-milking demonstrations and the Dairy Cow Birthing Center.

And who doesn’t love a parade? Don’t let the annual State Fair Parade pass you by when it rolls at 4 p.m. on Sept. 29 in the fair’s Harvest Landing area.

Also returning are the Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Fest, which will be held from 2-7 p.m. on Oct. 5, and Virginia’s Finest Sundays on Sept. 29 and Oct. 6. The beer festival, presented by Loudoun County, will include the products of more than 20 Virginia craft brewers. Tickets are $30 and include fair admission. Virginia’s Finest Sundays will showcase agriculture and specialty foods branded under the Virginia’s Finest program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Fairgoers will have an opportunity to tour Meadow Hall on Sept. 28. For just $5, visitors can see an exclusive collection of family memorabilia from the late Penny Chenery, as well as a gallery of famous Meadow Stable Thoroughbreds, including Secretariat.

Ticket information, an online ticket purchase site and a complete, searchable fair schedule are available at StateFairVa.org.

The 2019 State Fair of Virginia will run from Sept. 27 through Oct. 6. Information is available at StateFairVa.org.

The State Fair is held each fall at its permanent home at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County and attracts 250,000 fairgoers. The event celebrates the best of Virginia’s past, present and future through scholarship initiatives, creative programming and a focus on the commonwealth’s agriculture and natural resources industries.