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Fried food, farm animals and thrill rides greet State Fair of Virginia fans

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DOSWELL, Va. (WTVR) - The State Fair of Virginia opens Friday at The Meadow Event Park in Doswell.  There are several changes to the annual event.  Organizers said you can expect to see ten additional rides, as well as Bengal tigers.

There was a bit of uncertainty earlier in the year, as to whether or not the fair would return this year.  The fair faced financial difficulty, leaving it bankrupt.  But in May, the 331-acre Caroline County site went on the auction block and sold for $5.67 million.  Universal Fairs LLC, out of Tennessee, bought the fair and then partnered with the Virginia Farm Bureau. 

"I think we are going to see more people come out, one to believe that we did it and two to really just envelop themselves in it," said Sherri McKinney with the VA Farm Bureau.

Fairgoers are not the only ones excited to see it return.  Vendors are also thrilled because many rely on the economic impact from the annual event.

"This ice cream is as important to the family, as this fair is to the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Paul Horn with Deere Horn's Homemade Ice Cream.

"This is a family-oriented, children-oriented thing," said vendor Doug Terry.  "Ice cream is part of a fair and the little kids enjoy it, and the big kids enjoy it--like you."

The VA State Fair runs from September 28 to October 7.

Click here for more info, including ticket prices and hours of operation.

Watch this video for a preview and to learn about changes at this year's fair.