Caroline County Agricultural Fair

8332 County Fair Lane
Ruther Glen, VA 22546

804-466-1507

Mission:

The Caroline County Agricultural Fair will encourage the understanding of agricultural history in Caroline County and educate about present day agricultural, business, and community activities.

This will be done and providing:

Static and interactive displays and competitive events based on past and/or present agricultural, business, and community activities.

Encouragement for attendance at the Fair by providing entertainments and activities attractive to both individuals and families.

That all Caroline County citizens are likely to be aware of the Fair and Fair events in time to plan for attending; and,

That the foregoing be accomplished in a fiscally responsible manner.

Vision:

The Caroline County Agricultural Fair will encourage the understanding of agricultural history in Caroline County and will educate about present day agricultural, business, and community activities, working to:

Increase the awareness of the important contributions that agriculture has made to the historical development of the county;

Make agricultural, business, and community activities relevant to Caroline County citizens; and, 

Make the Fair relevant to Caroline County citizens and organizations.

History:

The history of the Caroline County Agricultural Fair is sketchy. Per accounts in the Caroline Progress, October 1919 was the year of the 2nd fair whose setting was in Bowling Green. It is surmised that the first fair must have been in 1918. Mr. Wickham Coleman, a lifelong resident of the Penola area, recalls as a young child in the 1930's attending fairs in Bowling Green.  Mr. Herb Collins has ribbons he won from entries he had entered in the 1940's. There the history seems to fade away until 1959 when Mr. Coleman, who was now an agricultural
education teacher at C. T. High Smith in Ladysmith and a member of the West Caroline Ruritan Club helped to revive them. The West Caroline Ruritan Club members wished to provide an activity for the community youth, many of whom were 4-H Club members as well as members of the Future Farmer and Future Homemaker organizations in the county schools.

The fair would be held at C.T. Smith School alternating with being held at E.P. School [the current home of the Reedy Church Ruritans]. In the early 1960's the fair finally found a permanent home as the West Caroline Ruritans now had a four acre site on Jericho Road that had been donated by one of their members.

During those years the fair was a one day event with tents borrowed from Camp A. P. Hill and the animals housed in pens built by club members. There was even a show ring where the 4-H horse club held competitive
events. Most memorable was the food as one of the Ruritan members would prepare for sale his famous "Pronto Pups" known today as corn dogs. What a treat eating a hot dog on a stick!

Unfortunately as the face of rural America changed so did interest in participating in a county fair. The last fair the West Caroline Ruritans sponsored was in 1969. Shortly after that the club also disbanded and the fair site on Jericho Road reverted to the original land owner. However, the impact this group had on the youth of Caroline would not be lost.

In 1997 the fair was reborn due to the hard work of the Madison Ruritan Club members. The fair was held at Caroline Middle School. In 2002 it was decided the fair should become incorporated and it became a non-profit, Of interest is that many of the persons involved in its rebirth were children
who had attended the fair in the 1960s. They were the youngsters who had entered home goods, shown hogs and cattle, and had eaten those pronto pups in the 1960s!

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