Highland County Fair Fundraiser Promises Fun on July 6

The Highland County Fair is hosting a fundraiser on July 6 to help support the many organizations that provide food at the fair. Many clubs had to change plans last minute for the 2023 fair when the fire marshall deemed the lack of fire suppression systems unsafe. The problem continued into this year’s maple festival, as Highland County clubs scrambled to try to cover expenses to make frying possible. For many of the Ruritans, churches, girl scout troops and other community organizations, as well as Highland County Public School, the ability to sell items at the fair and during Maple Festival prove to be their biggest fundraisers to scaffold area programs and scholarships. I got the chance to sit down with Aaron Sponaugle, a representative for the Blue Grass Ruritans, to talk about the impact these needed funds would make:


“We need to raise these funds to cover the costs of bringing the club’s food booths into compliance for the fire marshall. It’s pretty expensive, it’s in the 10s of thousands of dollars for the fire suppression and the hoods so they can fry in there. This is a problem we’ve come up with in the last year or so. So we’re trying to take the burden off the clubs. This is something the fair is doing to raise money to help.”


The whole day of July 6 is packed with fun, and multiple food vendors will be on site so bring your appetite. Gates open at 9:00am and general admission is $15 with 10 years and younger free. Admission is for the whole day and is all inclusive. Pit passes are $25 plus admission fee and are good for the Truck & Tractor Pull as well as the Demolition Derby.


“Now if you want to participate in the truck and tractor pull, there’s a hook fee associated with that. Of course if you’re running in the derby there’s a registration fee for that and an additional pit pass fee if you want to be down there. We have a car show/cruise in that morning. You can bring in something to show and give people something to look at. The truck and tractor pull will begin at 2 p.m. Hopefully the truck pull is over at 6 p.m. to give us about an hour to get everything organized for the derby, then the derby starts at 7 p.m.


As with the fair, there is a large contingent of volunteers coming together to run the event as well as a wide range of sponsors including top sponsors Brightway Inc. Gutshall’s Exxon and JMW Consulting, LLC; Cruise In Sponsors: Big Valley Performance, The Highlander, The Monterey Inn, Auto Zone in Staunton, and O’Reilly Auto Parts in Staunton, VA; Truck & Tractor Pull Sponsors: Wild Mans Diesel Performance, and James River Equipment; and Equipment Sponsors: Plecker Construction, and Staunton Tractor. 


For those who would like to help, Sponaugle adds, “We’ll always take volunteers. The clubs especially need the volunteers, not just now but all year round. And especially during the fair.”


For July 6, spectators are asked to enter the fairgrounds only from the Myers-Moon/barn entrance so there is less congestion for the truck pullers, tractor drivers, car showers and derby drivers. 

Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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