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While encountering a giant pumpkin at a state fair means you're in the competitions tent, encountering a giant pumpkin in your driveway means your fairy godmother just did away with your Ferrari or you live in a pumpkin patch. Observe pumpkins in their competitive form with today's Groupon: for $7, you get a one-day admission to the State Fair of Virginia at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell (up to a $15 value). The fair starts on September 29 and ends on October 9. Check the schedule of events to select the best possible redemption date.
The State Fair of Virginia entertains festival-goers with 11 days of competitions, shows, concerts and educational animal displays. Tote a little one to the agricultural area and marvel at real-life animals, such as alpacas, horses, and newborn piglets; or head to the competitions arena to cheer for wines, baked goods, and arts and crafts that are competing for prizes. Like three-dimensional cartoons, but not as real, daily animal shows including Rosaire's Racing Pigs and K9's in Flight entertain audiences of all ages or hoof-shape preferences. On September 30 at 7:30 p.m., Tracy Lawrence's "Time Marches On" will tickle ear canals and prep the fair grounds for Marshall Tucker Band's timeless ballad, "Can't You See" on October 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Free parking and free admission for children aged two and younger keep families from having to walk to the festival or hide newborns in their pockets. Although rides are not included in today's deal, for an extra fee, customers can ride any number of the fair's mechanical beasts.
The Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival gives visitors a chance to get an up-close view of more than 20 hot-air balloon teams from across the country, and then observe them in their natural habitat: the sky. The weekend-long festival is held on the grassy expanse of Meadow Event Park. The main attractions are the morning and early-evening flights, when all 20 colorful vessels take to the air at once and gracefully interrupt the annual paper-plane migration.
On Saturday, a sweeping balloon-glow display will light up the night sky. Meanwhile, off-site rides instill wonder with dawn or near-dusk flights in one of the balloons—and include transportation back to the grounds in the chase car. And yet balloons aren't the festival's only draw: regional crafts vendors display their hand-made apparel and arts, while craft beer and wine tastings pair with food from local restaurants. Throughout each day, live bands play classic rock and new wave, old-school jazz and R&B, and folk-infused country.