One of the best things to do in summer is to head to one of the country’s most popular state fairs. These fairs began in the 19th century as a way of promoting agriculture. State fairs not only include livestock exhibitions, but also live entertainment, amusement rides, carnival games and food vendors. Here are some of the best state fairs to check out this summer.
Best State Fairs to Visit with Your Family
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Ohio State Fair
The Ohio State Fair takes place in Columbus, Ohio at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds. The first Ohio State Fair was held in 1850 and lasted three days, although today it takes place over the course of 12 days. This year, the fair will be held from July 27 to August 7. There are all kinds of things to do throughout the fair including camel rides, pig races, pony rides and a petting zoo.
California State Fair
The California State Fair takes places in Sacramento, California at the California Exposition. The first California State Fair was held in 1854, although the first fair at its current location was held in 1968. This year, the fair will be held from July 8 to July 24. The state fair features tons of entertainment, delicious foods, amazing exhibits, tasty wine tastings and popular livestock shows.
Great New York State Fair
The Great New York State Fair is held in Geddes, New York at the New York State Fairgrounds, which is spread out over 375 acres. The first Great New York State Fair was held in 1841, making it one of the oldest and one of the largest United States state fairs. This year, the fair will be held from August 25 to September 5. The fair features the Chevy Court, an outdoor concert venue; the Midway, an area showcasing numerous carnival rides, carnival games, and concession stands; agriculture displays, attractions, competitions and events and several buildings featuring various displays like sand sculptures, horticultural exhibits and exhibits in the categories of arts, crafts and cooking.
Related: Activities for Kids in New York City
Kentucky State Fair
The Kentucky State Fair takes places in Louisville, Kentucky at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The first Kentucky State Fair was held in 1816 but did not officially become a state fair until 1902. The year, the fair will be held from August 18 to August 28. The fair is spread out over 520 acres, featuring indoor as well as outdoor exhibits. Also, there are also several competitions, magical illusionist performances, home improvement demonstrations and the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show.
If traveling to one of these best state fairs isn’t in the budget, you can still have fun close to home! Many areas host their own county fairs during the summer. Just check your local paper to see if and when a fun fair is coming to your town! Here’s another tip for you: most fairs, from giant state fairs to tiny local carnivals, have a special night where you can pay one price to ride all the rides. If you’re on a tight budget, schedule your visit for that night. You’ll often pay between $10-25 per person, but if your kids ride a lot, it’s worth it. When using tickets, rides can cost as much as $3 up to even $5 for one turn.