Cotton candy and hot dogs. Three rides on the carousel. Fistfuls of tickets and as many prizes as your arms can carry. What’s not to love about a good, old-fashioned county fair? We’re lucky to live among several counties where the fair tradition is going strong. In fact, you could spend every weekend in August bouncing from pony rides to the top of the Ferris wheel if you want to! Here’s our rundown of local fairs.

Photo: Brittany Randolph via Flickr

Loudon County Fair
When: July 24-29
Best known for: Kiss-a-pig fundraiser and livestock auction
Highlights: rodeo-bull riding, goat show, magic acts, floral exhibits, obstacle courses, live musical entertainment
This year, look for: the Monster Truck Event

Where: Loudon County Fairgrounds, 17564 Dry Mill Rd. (Leesburg, Va)
Cost: adults $10, kids 6 – 12 $5, kids under 6 free

Fairfax County 4H Fair and Frying Pan Park Farm Show
When: August 3-6
Best known for: Carnival Rides
Highlights: old-fashioned games, pie-eating contest, cow milking, hayrides, horse shows, live entertainment
This year, look for: the big truck event

Where: Frying Pan Farm Park 2739 West Ox Rd., (Herndon Va)
Cost: admission is free, tickets are $1 each

Howard County Fair
When: August 5–12
Best known for: Kids and Critters Barn
Highlights: carnival rides and games, livestock exhibits, talent shows and contests
This year, look for: Howard County’s Got Talent

Where: Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairground Rd. (West Friendship, Md)
Cost: ages 10 and up $5, seniors $2, children under 10 free


Photo: Derryk A. via Yelp

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair
When: August 11–19
Best known for: being the largest county fair in the state of Maryland
Highlights: carnival rides, live animals, monster tricks, demolition derby
This year, look for: Carrie McQueen roaming the fairgrounds on stilts

Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Perry Pkwy. and Route 355 (Gaithersburg, Md)
Cost: ages 12 and up $10 per person, 11 and under free

Maryland State Fair
When: August 24 – September 4
Best known for: concert series on the Racetrack Infield Stage
Highlights: nature play space, educational exhibits about food and farming, carnival rides, fair foods, square dancing, livestock competitions
This year, look for: the Grand Parade Celebration

Where: Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd. (Lutherville-Timonium, Md)
Cost: advance adult tickets $6, seniors $5, children ages 6 – 11 $2, children under 2 free but require tickets for rides

Photo: Holly Schroeder via Flickr

Arlington County Fair
When: August 16-20
Best known for: indoor exhibitor hall and entertainment
Highlights: Harlem Wizards, racing piglets, kids’ court, carnival rides
This year, look for: Find the Disco Ball contest

Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 South Second Street, Arlington VA
Cost: admission free, tickets cost $1 each

Prince George’s County Fair
When: September 7–19
Best known for: being Maryland’s oldest fair, dating back to 1842
Highlights: fireworks, arts and crafts, carnival rides, livestock, crafts
This year, look for: the beautiful baby contest

Where: Show Place Arena, 14900 Pennsylvania Ave. (Upper Marlboro, Md)
Cost: adults $6, children ages 6 – 17 $5, children under 5 free

Do you have a favorite county fair? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

–Tricia Mirchandani

Photo: Derryk A. via Yelp