History of the Fairgrounds
The Danville - Pittsylvania County Fairgrounds, located off route 62 in Ringgold, Virginia, began as the dream of one man and his family. Larry Burnett remembered his childhood, when he used to get excited about going to the county fair at the original Danville Fairgrounds. "The week of the fair, the whole town was buzzing," said Burnett. "I enjoyed that. My wife and I started talking about it, how as kids we got so excited when the fair came to town. We'd come home from school, throw our books down, and go to the fair." Burnett wanted a whole new generation to treasure these memories.
Burnett remembered the former local fairgrounds as a gathering place, a place where parents could bring their children for rides and games, where friends could meet for ice cream, and where young men could bring their sweethearts. Now, years later Larry and his sweetheart, Cindy, have recreated this magical place for the next generation.
Construction began only two short years after the Burnetts purchased the approximately 1,000 acre farm off of State Road 62. At first what resembled an open field for football games and kite flying, the Fairgrounds has grown into a fully modern facility. Grandstands were added, providing seating for a number of events including the annual rodeo, truck and tractor pull, and of course concerts during the fair. A large open-sided pavilion now stands at the east end for parties, livestock shows and petting zoos, and the occasional softball practice in the cold winter months. Another large enclosed pavilion stands close to the entrance, used for a variety of exhibits during the fair. At the north end, sunken down into the woods you'll find a natural amphitheater where in the past the Blue Grass Festival was held. And last but not least, the common grounds used for a number of things, but most importantly the Fall Fair.
The fairgrounds and all of it's events are operated completely by the Burnett family and friends. Willard, father of Larry, and brother, Ray, have both been in the act since the beginning. It only seems fitting to operate the Fairgrounds together, as they have done in years past with two other family businesses, Burnett's Construction and Cavalier Farms. Other family members are also involved, whether it be with Finances, Public Relations, Administrative, or Concession work, everyone is fully involved, especially when the fair rolls around. Friends of the family have contributed tremendously when it comes to support and man-hours during all events. It takes a lot of people to make an event run smoothly, from selling tickets, to selling concession food, to running errands and answering the phones; a volunteer's work never seems to be done.