The Best State Fairs in America

If you love fairs, get ready to be impressed. With dozens of state fairs happening around the country, you have many options to choose from. But these seven are truly spectacular.

From food festivals to big tent circus events, you’ll have plenty to do and leave with memories that will last a lifetime.

Oklahoma State Fair

Oklahoma state fair

Source: Facebook/okstatefair

There are many reasons to check out the Oklahoma State Fair, but what sets them apart is their lineup of unique and interesting competitions. Head to Oklahoma to cheer on competitors in arm wrestling, equine, creative arts, livestock, student art and wine.

All the while, you’ll be eating food from local Oklahoma vendors, giving you a true taste of what this state has to offer. Kids will also love the Disney on Ice show, which gives you a break from long lines and late-summer sunshine.

The Eastern States Fair

the eastern states fair

Source: Facebook/TheBigE

The Eastern States Fair is so much more than a fair. It’s two weeks of events and fun that you don’t want to miss. Runners should get there a few days early to participate in The Big 5K Road Race, Scramble and Kid Fun Run.

When the fair officially kicks off, you can enjoy the Timberworks Lumberjacks: Olympics of the Forest, dog shows, daily parades, horse shows and dozens of performances. You’ll never stop being wow’d at this state fair, making it a good one to add to your list.

Georgia State Fair

Georgia State Fair

Source: Facebook/GeorgiaStateFair

Head to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Georgia State Fair, home to dozens of unique shows and attractions that you can’t find anywhere else. Wrestling fans should head to the Universal Championship Wrestling show, which takes place for two days.

Don’t forget to stop by the White Tiger Exhibit, Pig Races, Nerveless Nocks Thrill Show and Hollywood Circus. What’s even better: All of these attractions are free with the purchase of admission to the fair so you can enjoy every single one in between jumping on your favorite rides and indulging in their diverse fair food.

State Fair of Texas

State Fair of Texas

  • When: Sept. 27 – Oct. 20, 2019
  • Where: Dallas, TX

Everything is bigger in Texas, including their fairs. The State Fair of Texas is one you can’t miss if you’re looking for a truly spectacular experience. Their schedule boasts pumpkin and chainsaw carving, college football, live animal shows, dance performances, kids tractor pulls and petting zoos — and that’s just the family friendly events.

Don’t miss the Contain Yourself(ie) walking path with 10 murals painted on containers, perfect for a unique selfie. Plus, there are four main stages for their music festival, featuring all genres, from country to jazz. Your best bet: Start with the Ferris Wheel, spot the best attractions and then make your way around this giant and entertaining experience.

Arizona State Fair

Arizona State Fair

Source: Facebook/azstatefair

The Arizona State Fair is home to the largest food festival in Arizona, attracting foodies from all walks of life. In between bites, you can also see the Arizona State MMA Championships, along with concerts from well-known names including Billy Currington, Pat Benatar, Trace Adkins, AWOLNATION and many more.

If you still want more, head to the Esports Gaming World, one of the largest and longest running Esports & Gaming Shows in the world. With more than one million visitors each year, you’re bound to have an unforgettable time and meet some fair lovers along the way.

South Carolina State Fair

South Carolina State Fair

Source: Facebook/SCStateFair

Go to the South Carolina State Fair for more than just fun rides and petting zoos. Buy tickets to the circus, too. With three free shows each day, you can take a break from the hectic fairgrounds to enjoy a show the whole family will enjoy.

What’s more, the fair is locally run, self-sustaining and a non-profit organization, so you’re supporting the South Carolina’s economy by making a visit.

North Carolina State Fair

North Carolina State Fair

Source: Facebook/ncstatefair

The North Carolina State Fair has so much more than rides and great food. They also offer dozens of entertainment options for East Coast fair go-ers. Not only do they offer their Homegrown Music Fest, but you can also buy tickets to the Folk Festival.

Plus, there are a handful of free shows for kids, in addition to the wild and crazy grandstand shows, including The Tractorpull and Monstersports Mayhem. If you love fairs for their great shows, this is the one for you.

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Jessica ThiefelsJessica Thiefels is founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting and has been writing for more than 10 years. She's been featured in top publications like Forbes and has contributed to Lifehack, Reader's Digest, AARP and more. Follow her on Twitter @JThiefels and connect on LinkedIn.

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