2018 State Fairs

Discover the magic of state fairs

Ohio state fair
••• Ohio state fair. Holly Hildreth / Getty Images

State fairs, originally held to celebrate the harvest, have grown into enormously popular annual events. For couples on a budget and last-minute vacationers, state fairs offer great, affordable dining and entertainment close to home.

Alabama National Fair

Alaska State Fair
August 23 - September 3, 2018

Arkansas State Fair
October 11 - 21, 2018

Arizona State Fair
October 5 -28, 2018. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

California State Fair
July 13 - July 29, 2018

Colorado State Fair
August 24 - September 3, 2018

Connecticut Fairs
Multiple Dates

Delaware State Fair
July 19 – 28, 2018

Florida State Fair
February 8 - 19, 2018

Georgia National Fair
October 4 - 14, 2018

Idaho State Fair
August 17 - 26, 2018

Illinois State Fair
August 9 - 19, 2018

Indiana State Fair
August 3 - 19, 2018

Iowa State Fair
August 9 - 19, 2018

Kansas State Fair
September 7 - 16, 2018

Kentucky State Fair
August 16 - 26, 2018

Louisiana State Fair
October 25 - November 4, 2018

Maine State Fair
TBA Skohegan
TBA Bangor

Maryland State Fair
August 23 - September 3, 2018

Massachusetts State Fair
September 14 – 30, 2018

Michigan State Fair (Upper Peninsula)
August 13 - 19, 2018

Minnesota State Fair
August 23 - September 3, 2018

Mississippi State Fair

Missouri State Fair
August 9 - 19, 2018

Montana State Fair

Nebraska State Fair
August 24 - September 3, 2018

New Hampshire State Fair

New Jersey State Fair

New Mexico State Fair
September 6 - 16, 2018

New York State Fair
August 22 – September 3, 2018

North Carolina State Fair
October 11 - 21, 2018

North Dakota State Fair
July 20 - 28, 2018

Ohio State Fair
July 25 - August 5, 2018

Oklahoma State Fair
September 13 - 23, 2018

Oregon State Fair
August 24 - September 3, 2018

Pennsylvania Fairs
Multiple Dates & Locations, 2018

South Carolina State Fair
October 10 - 21, 2018

South Dakota State Fair
August 30 - September 3, 2018

Tennessee State Fair
September 7 - 16, 2018

Texas State Fair
September 28 - October 21, 2018

Utah State Fair
September 6 - 16, 2018

Vermont State Fair

Virginia State Fair
September 28 - October 7, 2018

Washington State Fair
August 31 - September 23, 2018 (closed Tuesdays and Wednesday September 5)

West Virginia State Fair
August 9 - 18, 2018

Wisconsin State Fair
August 2 - 12, 2018

Wyoming State Fair

The taste of state fairs

A bounty of edibles fresh-picked from the farm, ethnic delights, and other unique temptations await those with an appetite for something different at state fairs. At the Minnesota State Fair, you can choose from dozens of different foods-on-a-stick...

Regional specialties also reign at state fairs: To determine who makes the finest cheese in Wisconsin, attend competitions featuring colby, cheddar, and other local varieties.

At the Vermont State Fair, see how to make maple syrup -- and savor maple cotton candy and maple donuts. And at the California State Fair, sip on blue-ribbon wines.

Animal lovers head for the livestock exhibits at state fairs, where they can see the cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and other farm animals up close that 4-H club members work so hard to nurture all year.

Four-legged creatures are also put through their paces in state fairs. Horse shows and dog agility demonstrations draw animal lovers. Those with a greater appetite for speed can catch state fairs' grandstand racing and demolition derbies.

At night, the midway illuminates the grounds of state fairs

Crafty types will appreciate state fairs' demonstrations of needlework, dress-making, and stained-glass making. Award-winners in canning, baking, cake decorating, and other domestic skills show onlookers how the experts do it. If you're not handy yourself, craftspeople and vendors hawk everything from hand-pieced quilts to amazing new inventions at state fairs.

At night, the midway illuminates the grounds. The big Ferris wheel provides an eagle's-eye view of the state fairs activity, and the carousel turns it all into a blur of colors and sounds -- especially when there are fireworks.

Visitors of all ages flock to games where prizes large and fuzzy await ring-tossing, balloon-popping champions. (Tip: If your heart is set on walking away with a larger-than-life stuffed animal, offer to buy it outright: In the long run, it'll be cheaper than "winning" it.)

And the bands play on...

Expect to see the biggest names in show business performing on the state-fair circuit -- and ticket prices are comparatively low.

Don't miss the old-fashioned country pleasures of state fairs

Old-fashioned country pleasures such as fiddling, square dancing, hog-calling, and hay rides are a staple at many state fairs. And state fairs are also the best place to hear country music outside the Grand Ole Opry. 

All over America, the good times are rolling. Whatever your vacation plans, make time to come to the fair.

Also see: