The 100th Champlain Valley Fair begins August 26

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The 100th Champlain Valley Fair begins August 26

Sat, 08/13/2022 - 5:07am -- tim

“The Ten Best Days of Summer” runs August 26 through September 4

Vermont Business Magazine The ten best days of summer are just around the corner and the Champlain Valley Fair is turning 100. From its beginnings in 1922 when the Champlain Valley Exposition formed to today, we’ve kept true to time-honored traditions and grown into Vermont’s largest annual event. Visitors to the fair have numerous opportunities to learn about Vermont’s agricultural economy, enjoy amazing foods from over 60 food vendors, find their thrill on the Midway with more than 40 rides available, and plenty of free entertainment.

“We’re thrilled to open the 100th Champlain Valley Fair and celebrate our agricultural and community-born roots,” stated Jeff Bartley, Marketing Director at the Champlain Valley Exposition. “The origins of the Champlain Valley go all the way back to 1922 when a group met to organize, finance, and choose the current location as the site of the Champlain Valley Exposition. Now, we are Vermont’s largest annual event and remain a community staple for not just the Fair, but craft shows, car shows, the Vermont Quilt Festival, and so much more!”

Bartley continued “This year’s Fair features a new margarita bar, deep-fried hot dogs in a pickle, glass blowing demonstrations, a Yo-Yo master, and daily BMX shows. Of course, after a year’s hiatus due to COVID-19, we are thrilled to welcome back large acts in the NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Grandstand!” 

Bartley concluded, “We also encourage our fairgoers to download the Champlain Valley Fair app featuring our daily schedule, food vendors, a map of the grounds, ability to purchase Grandstand tickets, and other interactive features. The app is free to download and is available in both the Google Play and Apple Stores.”

The Champlain Valley Fair will open at 3 p.m. on Friday, August 26. An opening ceremony will take place on the “Bayner Stage” located on the Adsit Mall in front of the Grandstand at 3:30 p.m. More details on this important event will be released soon. Statewide leaders, local officials, and board members have been invited to attend this special ceremony.  

Celebrating the 100th Champlain Valley Fair

To celebrate the centennial Champlain Valley Fair and honor our rich history, the following efforts have been made.

100th Champlain Valley Fair Logo and Commemorative Coin

Attached is the 100th Champlain Valley Fair logo. It was important for us to display our history including farming, agriculture, midway, and recent Route 15 improvements. We’ve also selected the Champlain Valley Exposition colors to be used to bring the fact that both the Fair and the Expo are now 100. We had a commemorative coin that will be given to those who have helped make the Fair what it is today. A limited number will be available for sale in the Homecraft Department located in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion during the Fair.

Images of America: “Champlain Valley Fair”

In 2021, local photographer and friend of the Fair Stephen Mease approached Tim Shea and Jeff Bartley about creating an Arcadia Images of America book to highlight the Champlain Valley Fair’s first century. Mease spent countless hours researching, scanning, documenting, arranging, and writing captions for over 200 historical images of the Fair.  The book will be for sale in the Homecraft Department, local bookstores and online at arcadiapublishing.com. A copy of the book cover is attached.

“CVE Century Ale”

In collaboration with 14th Star Brewing Company (St. Albans), the Champlain Valley Fair will welcome the “CVE Century Ale.” This clean, crisp, and refreshing American Golden Ale has just enough bitterness to balance out the sweetness from the malts. Enjoy a pint of the CVE Century Ale in Halvorson's Tavern located between Roadhouse Way and Steakhouse Road. A portion of every pint sold will be donated to local agricultural non-profits. The logo for the beer is attached.

Proclamations

We are working with Governor Phil Scott’s administration on a State Proclamation congratulating the Champlain Valley Fair for turning 100. We plan on reading the proclamation at the opening ceremony.

New Entertainment

Every year, we try to refresh our free entertainment. This year, we welcome a Yo-yo Show for the first five days of the Fair, Dialed Action Sports – BMX Show, enhanced cooking demonstrations in the Ware Building, and a Glass Blower.

We welcome back the Flying Cortes Trapeze Spectacular, K-9’s in Flight, the McKenzie Racing Pigs, and the Butterfly Encounter & Planetarium.

Steve Bayner’s Final Year

We also welcome back the infamous Steve Bayner Hypnotist Show. It’s bittersweet for us to announce that Steve Bayner is retiring. Bayner has been a staple for Fairgoers and has provided thousands of memories that will last a lifetime. “We are very thankful for our long-standing friendship with Steve Bayner, and we wish him all the best in retirement,” Bartley said.

The full daily schedule is as follows: 

Hours: 

Opening Day: 3 p.m.  – midnight 

Daily: 10 a.m. – midnight; Fair Buildings/Vendors/Displays: 10 a.m.  – 10 p.m. (except opening day); Midway: Noon – 11 p.m.

Daily Specials and Themed Days 

The Fair continues to offer specials and themed days to entice of people of all ages to the Champlain Valley Fair. The following specials are planned: 

Through August 14 – Discounted Online Tickets and Ride Bracelets Available 

Through our website (www.ChamplainValleyFair.org), we are offering discounted admission tickets and ride bracelets through August 14. 

Friday, August 26 – Opening Day (Gates open at 3 p.m.) 

Adults – $8; Kids – $3; Ride Bracelets -$17 

Monday, August 29 – Friday, September 2 - $8 after 5

After 5 p.m., adult admission to the Fair is $8 

Monday, August 29 – Kid’s Day sponsored by Opportunities Credit Union 

Kids (age 5-12) $4 all-day 

Monday, August 29 - Military Appreciation Day sponsored by Revision Military

Military members (past and present) receive free admission with a valid Military ID 

Tuesday, August 30 – Senior Day sponsored by Williston Place and Mansfield Place

Adults aged 55 or older save $3 off their admission ticket with I.D. at the gate – Valid only on Senior Day  

Wednesday, August 31 – Maplefields Carload  

$79 gets everyone who arrives in your vehicle admission, parking, and a ride bracelet (legal load limit) with Maplefields coupon. All guests must enter the fairgrounds together.  

Thursday, September 1 – College Night 

College students gain FREE admission with a valid College I.D. A special concert has been planned for college students! 

Thursday, September 1 – Vermont Foodbank Day sponsored by the Vermont State Employees Association and Vermont Federal Credit Union

Bring two non-perishable food items before 2 p.m.  and get in free. Bring two more and save $10 off a ride bracelet. 

NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Grandstand 

We are thrilled to welcome back a full line-up of acts to the NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Grandstand. The schedule is as follows

Friday, August 26: Scotty McCreery with special guest Dylan Scott (Country)

Saturday, August 27: Nelly with Justin Champagne (R&B/Rap/Hip-Hop)

Sunday, August 28: Night of Fire and Destruction (Monster Truck Show) 

Monday, August 29: Jesse Agan’s Tribute to QUEEN (Rock)

Tuesday, August 30: “Dirty Deeds” A Tribute to AC/DC (Hard Rock)

Wednesday, August 31: Figure-8 Auto Racing 

Thursday, September 1: Demolition Derby with Joe McGinnis

Friday, September 2: Dropkick Murphy’s with Bouncing Souls

Saturday, September 3: The Dokken Lynch Reunion Tour with Warrant and Jack Russell’s Great White (Rock)

Sunday, September 4: Jeff Dunham (ventriloquist and stand-up comedian)

You can purchase tickets at champlainvalleyfair.org

New this year this year in the Grandstand:  SPECIAL CHAMPLAIN VALLEY VIP EXPERIENCE

$175 includes one pit ticket, access to a VIP lounge with complimentary VIP parking, hors d'oeuvres, and two drink tickets. Tickets to the Champlain Valley VIP Experience must be purchased by August 19, 2022

Strates Shows (Midway Partner) Returns with a Timeless Classic

For over three decades Strates Shows signature merry-go-round has been a memory maker for fairgoers of all ages. This unique two-story, hand-painted carousel is a timeless favorite on the midway and has become one of the “first” midway rides ever enjoyed by thousands of children and their parents. (42" minimum unless accompanied by an adult). The Double Carousel returns to the Champlain Valley Fair in 2022!

Here are some fun facts about the ride:

  • Debuted on the Strates Shows in 1986
  • Has consistently been one of the all-time top grossing rides on the midway
  • It was constructed by the Bartezone company in Venice, Italy
  • Original cost was $375,000
  • Made of fiberglass, it took three Italian artists four months to hand paint the horses and gondola-like seats; as well as several dozen pirate scenes depicted on the ride’s ceiling.
  • Originally was illuminated by more than 3,500 incandescent lights which have been modernized over the last three decades
  • Due to the delicate nature of much of the decorations, it takes special care to set up; 10-15 hours of labor.
  • At full capacity, 70+ riders can enjoy the ride

About the Strates Shows

The Strates Shows is a 99-year-old family-owned and operated outdoor amusement and carnival business with headquarters in Orlando, Florida. Founded in 1923 by Greek immigrant James E. Strates as the Southern Tier Shows in Elmira, New York, the Strates Shows is one of America’s premiere providers of carnival midways. Over the decades, the Strates Shows has brought many innovations to the carnival industry, including cooperative promotions, a centralized ticket system, advance ticket sales, and the FunCard electronic ticketing system that utilizes bar codes to control access to carnival rides on the midway and provides seamless, transparent accounting to partners. The Strates Shows will celebrate its centennial year of operation in 2023.

New Bags, Containers and Coolers Policy

The safety of our fairgoers, volunteers, and staff is always a top priority. After extensive discussions with Essex Police Department, our security team at GMCS, and staff; and to align with fair and event industry practices; the Champlain Valley Fair is enacting a “Bags and Containers” policy. Any questions can be directed to the Champlain Valley Fair staff at info@cvexpo.org or 802-878-5545.

Bag, Containers and Coolers Policy

Clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC tote bags no larger than 12” x 12” x 12” are allowed. All other bags must be 5″x9″x2″ or smaller (the size of a small purse or clutch). Backpacks, drawstring bags, coolers, duffel bags, tote bags, oversized purses, and other similar style bags are NOT permitted. Exceptions include diaper bags and bags containing essential medical equipment. All bags will be subject to search as referenced above. 

Please pay close attention to the prohibited items list below.

  • Bags larger than 5″x9″x2″ in size
  • Firearms
  • Knives, box cutters, tool of any kind, or any item that could be used as a weapon
  • Pepper spray or mace
  • Coolers of any types or size
  • Alcoholic beverages, illegal substances
  • Noise-making devices
  • Confetti or glitter
  • Fireworks
  • Drones
  • Skateboards, hoverboards or other personal recreational vehicles, except for ADA-required devices
  • Projectiles (e.g., flying discs or beach balls)
  • Visible obscene, indecent, or inappropriate clothing
  • Laser pointers or similar devices
  • Professional audio/visual equipment including tripods and monopods are prohibited in the Grandstand. Consumer-rated cameras and video cameras are permitted but cannot be used to reproduce the event and must not interfere with other attendees’ enjoyment of the show.

 Such items will be prohibited from being brought into the Champlain Valley Fair. There is no storage area for any items at the Champlain Valley Fair. Guests arriving by public transportation should take particular care not to bring any prohibited items, as no exceptions will be made.

Champlain Valley Fair management reserves the right to change or modify this policy without notice.

Media Contact and Public Information Contact 

The media is welcome to the Champlain Valley Fair.  Requests for on-site support, interviews with staff or vendors, demonstrations, or technical support should be directed to Jeff Bartley at 802.878.5545 (office), 802.503.5801 (cell/text), or jbartley@cvexpo.orgWhen someone from the media is onsite, please touch base with Jeff either by phone, text, or email.

About the Champlain Valley Exposition 

The Champlain Valley Exposition is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission of serving the people of Vermont and the region by promoting agriculture, education, arts and culture, commerce, and entertainment activities. You can learn more about the Champlain Valley Exposition and the dozens of events hosted on the grounds at www.CVExpo.org

Essex Jct., VT – Champlain Valley Exposition www.CVExpo.org