By Alexander Shedd
The annual Salem Fair, the largest agricultural fair in Virginia, returned to town on June 29 for twelve days of rides and attractions at the Salem Civic Center. The fair featured a stunning fireworks display in honor of the Fourth of July holiday on Monday.
With free admission, the fair is open every evening and features highly popular attractions such as Scott’s World of Magic magic show, the Danny Grant Cowboy Circus, a petting zoo, classic carnival rides such as the ferris wheel and countless games and snacks.
The 34th Annual Salem Fair will continue at the Civic Center every weekday evening from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. through July 12. The event is a significant source of revenue for the City of Salem, with profits from the event being reallocated back into city resources.
New security measures were taken as part of fair preparations this year, including metal detectors, age restrictions (under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian) and an increased police security presence. At last year’s 33rd Annual Salem Fair, a 16-year-old opened fire on fairgoers on opening night, wounding two people before being arrested shortly after firing. Both victims made a full recovery and police and city representatives are optimistic about the increased security at this year’s fair, which has thus far gone without incident.