250th Anniversary Facts for the May 20 Edition

The Botetourt County Fair

Once upon a time there were Fairgrounds off US 220, adjacent to Old Fincastle Road and Hawthorne Hall Road near the Town of Fincastle.

The first Botetourt County Fair was held in the fall of 1879. It ran for 70 years ending at that location on 1949.

In 2013, The Botetourt County Fair was resurrected on the grounds of Buchanan Town Park by Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension and 4-H.

The old fairgrounds had a nice grandstand and some livestock pens on a nice flat tract of land adjacent to the back side of Grove Hill Farm.

The most renowned feature of the fair was the horse races – Botetourt’s version of the “Camp Town Races: Do dah, do dah!”

The last fair was held on the fairgrounds in 1949 the best that can be discerned.

The grandstands fell into disrepair and finally were demolished in the early ’70s, to the best recollection of many local respondents. When the weather is really dry and the grass is short, you can still make out the rise of the racetrack.

~ Cathy Benson. Sources postings on Facebook from History of Botetourt County VA 1770-present by Rena Worthen, et al and clippings from The Fincastle Herald.

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