Sunday, December 4, 2011

Yes, Virginia, Our State Fair Has Declared Bankruptcy

image: The Virginia State Fair in better times, circa 2010

You know that times are getting tough when state fairs start to declare bankruptcy:
Many residents of Richmond, Henrico and her surrounding counties have found memories of the State Fair. We remember going when it was located off Laburnum Ave, and most of us can still conjure up the aromas of cotton candy and hot dogs, mixed with the earthy smells emitting from the livestock exhibition buildings.

Today it was announced in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that VASF will be filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. According to President and CEO Curry A. Roberts, this is a one-time financial event, and is a responsible step to take.

Most of the problem is in the repayment of the principal and interest in the organizations' financial portfolio, of which half of the loans have already been repaid since 2007. The drop in the stock market in 2009 was a major factor in creating the financial disparity leading up to the filing today.
Who knew that state fairs were heavily invested in the stock market? Actually, I have to admit I really don't know all that much about state fairs. I haven't attended a fair of any kind since I left my small Illinois hometown for good nearly a quarter-of-a-century ago, although I used to have a lot of fun at the annual local county fair when I was a kid.

In these modern times with most family farms having been bought out by giant agribusinesses, state fairs seem like quaint relics of a bygone era. Looks like soon they will just be gone.


  1. In related news the 2011 The Earth Week Eco-Fair was held in Charlottesville, VA without any bankruptcy.

  2. @babystrangeloop - as someone who visits Charlottesville frequently and has always been impressed with the town, all I can say is that doesn't surprise me.

  3. Most of the problems in the organization's financial portfolio, half of which has to repay the loan principal and interest repayment.

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