Summer may be winding down but fairgrounds around D.C. are heating up. Throughout August and September the Maryland and Virginia counties surrounding Washington, D.C. will each host a summer fair. Re-live your childhood with carnival rides, animal shows, crafts, music, and all the funnel cake and cotton candy you can get your hands on.
From pony rides to apple pie eating contests, these county fairs are sure to get you out of the big-city mentality and into good old-fashioned small-town summer fun. Here’s a guide to all Maryland and Virginia summer 2013 fairs:
Fairs in Maryland
Howard County Fair – (August 3-10) Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairgrounds Rd. W., Friendship, Maryland; $5 admission, children under 10 free.
Join Howard County in its 68th annual county fair, featuring animal shows, magicians, live music, amusement rides, and more.
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair – (August 9-17) Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut St., Gaithersburg, Maryland; $10 admission, children under 11 free.
This week-long fair features carnival rides, live animals, monster truck shows, musical entertainment, and local craft and baked goods.
The Maryland State Fair - (August 23-September 2) Timonium Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland; $8 adult admission, $3 children 6-11, children under 5 free.
World famous performers Carly Rae Jepson with The Wanted and Three Days Grace will take to the stage at this year’s 132nd annual Maryland State Fair. There will also be amusement rides, farm animals, food, crafts, horseracing, bull riding, and even chainsaw sculptors to entertain visitors of all ages.
Prince George's County Fair – (September 5-8) Prince George's County Equestrian Center and the Showplace Arena Water St., Upper Marlboro, Maryland; $6 adult admission, $5 children 6-11, children under 5 free.
Maryland’s oldest running fair, dating to 1842, Prince George’s County Fair continues to excite visitors with rides, live animal exhibits, a family circus, baby contests, and much more entertainment and food.
Ann Arundel County Fair – (September 11-15) Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 General's Highway (Route 178) Crownsville, Maryland; $6 adult admission, $4 children 8-15, children under 7 free.
The Ann Arundel County Fair offers every type of traditional fair entertainment, from carnival rides, craft shows, and animal exhibits to pony rides, tractor pulls, pig races, and pie eating contests.
Charles County Fair – (September 12-15) Charles County Fairgrounds
8440 Fairgrounds Road La Plata, Maryland; $5 admission, children under 10 free.
Every September since 1924 the Charles County Fair has entertained locals with rides, games, food, and live music and shows, as well as exhibits of livestock, crafts, corn, quilts, and flowers. Located on 30 acres of southern Maryland, the fair even has room for lawnmower races.
The Great Frederick Fair – (September 13-21) Frederick Fairgrounds
797 E. Patrick St. Frederick, Maryland; $7 admission, children under 10 free.
One of the oldest agricultural fairs in Maryland, the Frederick County Fair, in addition to rides and music, offers unique events such as equine and jousting exhibits, an antique car parade, a landscaping contest, and more.
Calvert County Fair – (September 25-29) Calvert County Fairgrounds
140 Calvert Fair Rd. Prince Frederick, Maryland; $5 admission, children under 11 free.
The Calvert County Fair, a staple of the Maryland fair scene since 1886, features carnival rides, farm animal exhibits, baby and children’s contests, and musical entertainment including a “Calvert County Idol” competition.
Fairs in Virginia
Loudoun County Fair – (July 29- August 3) Loudoun County Fairgrounds, 17564 Dry Mill Rd. Leesburg, Virginia; $10 adult admission, $5 children 6-12, children under 6 free.
The Loudoun County Fair offers a carnival, live music and entertainment, games, animal shows, bull riding, a demolition derby, and its popular “Kiss-a-Pig” fundraiser.
The Fairfax County 4-H Fair – (August 1-4) Frying Pan Park, 2709 W. Ox Rd., Herndon, Virginia; free admission.
The Fairfax County 4-H Fair features farm animal exhibits, children’s rides, craft exhibitions, and a pie-eating contest.
Arlington County Fair - (August 7-11) Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 S. Second St., Arlington, Virginia; free admission.
The Arlington County Fair will have food, rides, crafts, and indoor and outdoor entertainment from pony rides and racing piglets to performances by the Harlem Wizards.
Prince William County Fair - (August 9-17) Prince William County Fairgrounds, Rt. 234, Manassas, Virginia; $10 adult admission, $5 children 5-13, children under 4 free.
Virginia’s largest county fair features carnival rides, barn shows, craft demonstrators, a clown circus, and a whole lot more.
Written by: Alyson Raphael