Centreville residents won’t have to travel far this weekend to enjoy all the sights and sounds a country fair.
The 63rd annual Fairfax County 4-H Fair takes place Saturday and Sunday at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. The carnival portion of the fair also takes place on Friday.
“We consider ourselves the Fairfax County fair,” said Tawny Hammond, manager of Frying Pan Farm Park, “You’ll feel like you’re at a country fair when you’re here.”
The 4-H Fair is the culminating event for the 20 4-H clubs in Fairfax County that involve youth in activities including livestock, dog training, gardening, woodworking and GPS and GIS (geographical information systems), said Lenah Nguyen, coordinator of the 4-H program in Fairfax County and a Burke resident.
“The fair is the one event at which they get to show off everything they’ve been doing all year,” Nguyen said.
There’s something for everybody at the fair, Hammond said. Inside the exhibit hall, delight over the cows, pigs, horses, rabbits, even guinea pigs. Marvel over the intricately designed quilts, envision eating the homemade jams and cooking with the homegrown produce, and be inspired by the flower arrangements.
Outside, there are 16 carnival rides, with such names as “Hurricane” and “Super Shot”, and for the really young ones, the “Kiddie Swing” and the “Carousel.”
This year’s special features include a tractor pull, the Great Zucchinni, and Jim Moyer’s Circus Club. And at the Frying Pan Park Farm Show and the Fairfax County Park Authority’s 1920s-era Kidwell Farm, enjoy hayrides, cow milking, blacksmith and farrier demonstrations, animal washing and grooming, and sheep shearing.
And what would a fair be without events such as pie-eating contests, watermelon-seed spitting and dunk tanks? There’s all that, too, Hammond said. And if all that fun makes you hungry, vendors will sell everything from buffalo burgers to corn dogs and funnel cakes to homemade ice cream.
Hammond said the 4-H Fair is the old-time county fair that people grew up with and a great “book end” to Celebrate Fairfax. The June event kicks off the summer and celebrates Fairfax County today, while the 4-H Fair winds down summer with “a celebration of our roots, our cultural heritage,” Hammond said.
Carnival hours are:
Friday - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday - 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Also on Friday there's a polo match and a showing of the movie “Babe,” about a pig that wants to be a sheepdog.
The exhibit hall is open:
Saturday - 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you think your quilts or jam or the like are up to snuff, bring them to the exhibit hall Friday from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and let the judges decide; you may get a ribbon.
There is a $5 parking fee per vehicle and you’ll need money for the rides and food but admission to the fair is free.