In Loudoun’s country fair season kicks off, the Lucketts Fair stands out as the reminder of old-fashioned country fun and activities.
In its 44th year, the fair on Saturday and Sunday will feature its traditional activities, including some of the region’s best bluegrass music, the popular fruit pie competition, street entertainers, antique farm machinery, and its famous hand-churned local ice cream.
From animal to wool, visitors can watch sheep herding, shearing and turning raw wool into yarn demonstrations, as well as a blacksmithing demonstration. Also new this year will be a silent auction, featuring items from local sources.
Inside the circa 1913 Lucketts Community Center—once the area’s high school—baked goods will be for sale. Fair mementoes will be available for purchase, including wine glasses, been pints, and Old Schoolhouse Brew coffee beans, at the community center’s advisory board tent. Fans of fine quilting can purchase raffle tickets in the hopes of winning a hand-made Amish quilt.
One of the most popular activities is the hotly contested fruit pie judging, held at 2 p.m. Saturday. Again, celebrating their agricultural roots, local gardeners can compete in the Biggest Zucchini and Tomato contests.
Literary interests are not ignored. Enthusiasts can meet more than 15 authors in the Reader’s Garden, where they will discuss and autograph their books, which will be available for purchase. Topics range from Civil War history to murder mysteries to children’s stories.
Out in the back field, visitors can clamber aboard antique tractors and check out the hands-on farming exhibits presented by the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum. A hay maze will be available to delight small explorers.
Juried crafters and demonstrations, clogging and educational and historical displays, also will be featured.
Two key features of the Lucketts Fair have always been the music and the food, and the entertainment offerings have been expanded this year. Numerous nationally known bluegrass bands will be joined by musicians of the Chorus of the Old Dominion and a barbershop quartet center, and Patrick Szabo and his NASCAR Chevy.
The Lucketts Fair has a reputation for food that is “finger lickin’ good,” and this year’s event includes barbecue and ribs, crab cakes, Cajun and Greek specialties as well as funnel cakes, kettle corn and the hand-made ice cream.
Community Center Director Hilary Cooley has long experience in running fairs—having cut her teeth years ago working as an area chairman at the Waterford Fair. She is happy with this year’s offerings.
“Having coordinated this fair for 15 years, I never tire of it; it is exciting, growing and ever changing, and there is new fun to be had every year,” she says.
The fair was established 43 years ago to raise funds to save the former high school from demolition. Now restored and serving as a fully functioning community center, the building serves as the central point of the fair. Proceeds from the fair provide scholarships for day care and after-school programs for area families. Funds also are used to enhance educational programs.
Admission is $7 at the gate and free for age 7 and under. Gates open at 9 a.m. For more information, call 703-771-5281 or go to TheLuckettsFair.com.