Rockingham County Fair holds Senior Day

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 5:48 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The Rockingham County Fair held its Senior Day on Thursday where those aged 60 and older could get in for just $2.00.

Around 250 seniors, including many from assisted living facilities, came out to the fair in the morning and got to enjoy all it has to offer while avoiding the afternoon crowds.

“It kinda makes you feel special. It’s nice getting old sometimes,” said Debby Fadley, a fairgoer.

Fadley and her husband Wayne have been going to the Rockingham County Fair for 50 years. They joined many other seniors on Thursday for a day that is always a big hit.

“We spend most of the day having golf carts run to pick up the folks and take them all over the fairgrounds. They love the entertainment that’s up here under the tent and then they’ll go to the barn to watch a show or two down there,” said Kathy Burke, a fair volunteer who runs Senior Day.

Over a dozen local assisted living communities took part in the day. It’s something that the senior residents always look forward to.

“A lot of them told us all week that they were ready to get on the buses this morning. Some of them were saying they were excited to see their family’s animals that they have here, and a lot of them were very excited about the food. We’re just thrilled that we could bring them out and enjoy the day with them,” said Kelsey Hartman, manager of culture and training at the Bridgewater Retirement Community.

The day’s events for seniors included musical performances, a one-man circus, and a special show from the Wolves of the World act. For many of the seniors, the day brings back old memories.

“They look forward to it just like we all do and I think for a lot of them they grew up going to the fair. We were just talking about how we all grew up going to the fair and riding rides and checking out the animals so it’s an experience that never gets old,” said Hartman.

While their favorite part of the fair has changed as they’ve aged, Debby and Wayne Fadley still have a great time each year at the fair.

“We enjoy the shows. I guess things have changed because when we were smaller it was the rides but not anymore,” said Debby Fadley.

For those who make the day happen, seeing the joy it brings is a great reward.

“I enjoy just seeing all of their faces light up when we get to see all the different exhibits,” said Hartman. “The volunteers all pull together to help this happen but we’re glad to see the joy that these folks really enjoy doing this,” added Kathy Burke.

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