Beginning in 1991, a committee was established to explore the potential of re-establishing the fair as an “Old Fashioned County Fair.” This committee was chaired by George Winslow, with assistance from Evelyn Chandler, Grace Keen, and many other interested and dedicated community leaders. The group conducted prolific research and held countless discussions as they determined that the most reasonable approach to making the fair a reality was to establish a committee under the direction of the Isle of Wight County Public Recreational Facilities Authority, and request that the Board of Supervisors provide seed money as the initial funding.
In 1994, the first Isle of Wight County Fair since 1941 was held with Joel Clinton Bradshaw Jr. and Richard Turner as the Co-Chairs. Since 1994, the fair has experienced several weather situations, including the 1999 arrival of Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd, which took its toll on the fairgrounds but strengthened the spirit of the committee.
About eleven years ago, the Isle of Wight County Public Recreational Facilities Authority was disbanded and the Isle of Wight County Parks and Recreation Department was established. This new county entity in conjunction with an active and passionate Isle of Wight County Fair Committee took ownership of the Fair and managed and expanded the Fair to its present status.
In 2004, the Fair was moved to the newly opened Fairgrounds at Heritage Park on Route 258 near Windsor. In 2007, the Isle of Wight County Fair took a one year hiatus, so that a much needed fairgrounds improvement project for the site could be undertaken. During the hiatus, the Parks and Recreation Department along with the Isle of Wight County Fair Committee hosted Ag Fest, a scaled down version of the Fair featuring many of the wonderful agricultural components of the Fair.
In 2008, the Isle of Wight County Fair re-opened to welcome Isle of Wight County residents and visitors alike to the newly renovated Fairgrounds at Heritage Park. The Fair Committee was chaired by veteran Fair Committee member, David Sawyer and presented by a dedicated Fair Committee. The Fair Committee witnessed a turn around and attendance grew considerably over previous years. In January 2011 the fair was recognized at the Virginia Association of Fairs as one of the fastest growing fairs in Virginia!
In January 2011, Mike Stephens was elected Chairman of the Isle of Wight County Fair. Mike has worked with the Fair Committee for 14 years in multiple positions. With Mike’s experience and a seasoned Fair Committee, we look forward to bigger and better fair than ever! Fairgoers will experience national entertainers on the main stage and plenty of regional and local acts as well. Plus popular events such as the exciting mid-way rides, ATV Challenge, Tractor Pull, agricultural competitions, craft demonstrations, and of course, everybody’s favorite…fair food!
In 2012 the Fair had record breaking attendance and was recognized as having the best overall marketing efforts for Large Fairs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
|Executive Board||County Support Staff|
|Mike Stephens, Chairman||Darlene Keyt, Fair Coordinator|
|Stan Murrell, Vice Chairman||Mark Furlo, Director of Parks and Recreation|
|Danny Byrum, 2nd Vice Chairman||Rex Alphin, Board of Supervisors Liaison|
|Donna Claud, Secretary||Buzz Bailey, Board of Supervisors Liaison|
|Debbie Braswell, Treasurer|
|Janet Spencer, Extension Agent||Mike Stephens, Chair|
|Donna Jones, Vice Chairman|
|Ernest Powell, Chair||Commercial/Nonprofit Vendors|
|Mike Perry, Chair|
|Danny Byrum, Chair||Main Stage Entertainment|
|Rachel M. Chieppa, County Representative||Stan Murrell, Chair|
|Arts and Crafts||Family Stage Entertainment|
|Carlene Cannon, Chair||Jamie Pearce, Chair|
|Judy Hash, Vice Chair|
|Budget and Finance||Kaitlin Gudger, Chair|
|Debbie Braswell, Chair||Katie Callow Vice Chair|
|Lauren Bailess, County Representative|
|Albert Burckard||Food Vendors|
|Billy Goodman, Chair|
|Judy Winslow, County Representative||Livestock|
|Sherry Clark, Chair|
|Heritage Food Competition||Mark Edwards, Vice-Chair|
|Michelle Billups, Chair|
|Heritage Arts & Crafts Competition||Donna Claud, Chair|
|Thelma Parker, Chair||Robbie Claud, Vice Chair|
|Allen Brown, Chair||Mike Petersen, Chair|
|Mike Russell, Vice Chair|
|Motorsports||Gary Askew, County Representative|
|Jeff Stakes, Chair|