Monday, May 21, 2012

State Fair of Virginia Sold for $5.35 Million

(UPDATE: This comes from today's Richmond Times-Dispatch: The State Fair of Virginia’s intellectual and physical property was sold at auction today for $5.35 million. Motley’s Auction & Realty Group conducted the auction, to be held at the Meadow Event Park, home to the state fair since 2009. The buyer was not immediately identified. The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County was sold after SFVA Inc., the nonprofit that put on the annual fair, defaulted last year on about $75 million in loans. SFVA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in December, but converted the case to a Chapter 7 liquidation in March.)

Looks like the State Fair of Virginia will get a reprieve. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a deal has been made that will allow the fair, which is more than 100 years old, to continue to operate and even to continue giving scholarships.

A bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, but that may not go on. SFVA Inc. is the owner that filed for Chapter 11 reorganization after defaulting on $75.6 million in loans, then converted to more serious Chapter 7.

The fair is held on 360 acres at Meadow Event Park in Carolina County (near Richmond) and writing a story on it was one of the last assignments I had as a feature writer at the local daily in Roanoke in 1981 before being fired. If a buyer can be found, that purchaser could buy the whole fair and have enough capital in place to have the scheduled September fair, the T-D says. The court needs to approve any deal.

I'm rooting for the fair. It's a piece of honest-to-god Americana we need to keep.

(Photo: Richmond Times Dispatch)

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