Starts Friday – The State Fair of Virginia returns after taking a break last year — except for a food fair — because of COVID. Organizers pledge a “classic fair experience” with midway rides, racing pigs, Young MacDonald’s Farm, two nights of rodeo and all the deep-fried food your stomach can (or can’t) handle. Get a blast from the past with bands from the 1990s and early 2000s, such as C+C Music Factory (“Things That Make You Go Hmmm …”) on Friday and the Baha Men (“Who Let the Dogs Out?”) on Oct. 2. Ralph Stanley’s son, Ralph Stanley II, will perform with the Clinch Mountain Boys this Sunday. 10 a.m. to9 p.m. at The Meadow Event Park, 13191 Dawn Blvd., Doswell. Tickets: $10-$15; unlimited rides: $30-$32. Through Oct. 3. StateFairVa.org or (804) 994-2800
Starts Friday – The Jurassic Encounter: Drive-Thru Dino
Head to the Richmond Raceway for a drive-thru dinosaur experience where you will see more than 55 static and animatronic life-size dinosaurs. According to organizers, the Richmond Raceway Complex will be transformed into a prehistoric setting with dinosaurs and fossils of all sizes, a paleontological camp, and an erupting volcano. Noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Through Oct. 10. 4690 Carolina Ave., Lot F, Gate 7. Tickets: $15 to $50 per vehicle for 30-minute tour.
Starts Saturday – Halloween Haunt and The Great Pumpkin Fest
Halloween is starting early this weekend with Halloween Haunt and The Great Pumpkin Fest at Kings Dominion. Halloween Haunt turns 20 this year and features five mazes, four scare zones and new live shows, along with hundreds of monsters roaming the midways. The event is held at night, so guests can get their adrenaline fix on more than 20 rides as fog and darkness blanket the park. The Great Pumpkin Fest returns Saturday with family-friendly daytime Halloween fun in Planet Snoopy. The Great Pumpkin Fest will be held Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31. Halloween Haunt will be held from 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and from 6 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 31. 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell. Tickets start at $45. KingsDominion.com
Sunday – Party on the Avenues
Party on the Avenues returns for a family-friendly festival on Libbie Avenue from Patterson to Guthrie. Featuring vendors, kids activities, food trucks and adult beverages for sale, along with entertainment from The Jangling Reinharts, the Swingers Jump Rope Team, and The Significant Others. Free to attend; pay as you go. Noon to 6 p.m. WesthamptonRVA.com/PartyOnTheAvenues