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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Economy, weather doomed State Fair after move to Caroline 



 Food, cash and splash at the State Fair of Virginia (Added: October 04, 2011) Video of a day at the 2011 edition of the Virginia State Fair. Because of financial problems, there might not be a state fair in 2012. 
By: Louis Llovio Times-Dispatch
 Updated: March 11, 2012 - 12:00 AM
 If its officers had wanted to, the State Fair of Virginia could have stayed at its longtime home at the Richmond International Raceway Complex in Henrico County. Before the fair made the move to Caroline County in 2009, a multiyear agreement to stay at RIR was on the table. But, as Shakespeare wrote, "Timing is all." SFVA Inc. — the nonprofit that organized and operated the fair until filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and closing down Wednesday — had been eager to find a new home since selling the Henrico fairgrounds to RIR in 1999. In 2003 it purchased The Meadow Farm — a 360-acre property in Caroline County best known as the birthplace of Triple Crown winner Secretariat. SFVA began laying plans to transform the bucolic property into a modern multipurpose facility, eventually securing a $75 million loan package. But the economy began falling apart in 2008 and SVFA's financing was in jeopardy even before it opened its first fair at the renamed Meadow Event Park in the fall of 2009. The long market slump combined with bad weather and other problems at the new site proved to be too much to survive for a Virginia institution established before the Civil War.

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