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Local business stories mirrored efforts to revive economy
The State Fair of Virginia was saved when the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and a Tennessee company bought it.
SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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;">7. Debate continues over downtown direction: Downtown Fredericksburg was at the center of many debates, including whether Capital Ale House's annual Oktoberfest event should be allowed to close Caroline Street, whether the city should join the Main Street program, if and how the new courthouse should be built, whether to proceed with plans to improve Riverfront Park and dredge the Rappahannock River, and where to hold the Turkey Trot race. Meanwhile the William Street corridor continued to build its reputation as the city's "Restaurant Row," with many eateries opening and more planned, while the first townhouses went up at the nearby Amelia Square.
;">8. Potomac Supply sold: Once one of the Northern Neck's largest employers, the Potomac Supply Corp. lumber company declared bankruptcy before ultimately being sold for about $10 million to private equity firm American Industrial Partners. The plant remains open under the new ownership.
;">9. Central Park bounces back: After getting hit by numerous store closings during the recession, Central Park bounced back in 2012. Barnes & Noble, Buy Buy Baby and And That (the store is run by Christmas Tree Shops) filled large vacancies, while a new AAA car-care center opened and Jimmy John's made plans to open in 2013.
;">1o. State Fair sold: The State Fair of Virginia and the Meadow Event Park in Caroline County were sold following a bankruptcy filing by the previous owner. The new owners, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and Tennessee-based Universal Fairs, put on their first State Fair this past fall and looked to book additional events for the property.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405