Fair Play: The 2014 County Fair Season

Flying high at last year's Montgomery County Fair

Flying high at last year’s Montgomery County Fair

There aren’t many events where you get farm animals, carnival rides and games, the junk food gamut, live entertainment, pony rides, piglet races, and wares for sale all in once place. But they do happen, and we’re about to get a glut of them. Yep, it’s County Fair time. And I highly recommend experiencing one while you can. Here’s the list of local fairs taking place, starting as soon as tomorrow.

Howard County Fair
What: The fair begins this weekend, and you have through next Saturday to enjoy rides, Shazam Magic Shows, musical entertainment in the evenings, pig races and pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, and more. Most of the rides cost extra, and packages are available, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s available if you plan to go.
When: August 2-9, 8am – 11pm daily, though activity times vary, so be sure to check the schedule.
Where: 2210 Fairground Road, West Friendship, MD
How Much: Admission is $5/age 10 and up, $2/seniors, free for kids under 10. Rides and games are extra.

Arlington County Fair
What: We’ve been and have had a blast! It’s big enough for a fun-filled day, but not so huge that it’s overwhelming and you feel rushed get to everything. There are carnival rides for everyone from toddlers to adults, and the kids especially loved the pony rides and piglet races. You can also check out competitive exhibits, enjoy live entertainment, cheer on racing animals, view outdoor movies, and take the little ones to the Kids Court for moon bouncing, face painting, and more.
When: August 6-10, hours vary by day, so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 Second St., Arlington, VA. Get parking/shuttle information here.
How Much: Admission is free. Buy tickets to use for rides and other activities: $1/ticket, $20/24 tickets, $40/48 tickets.

Montgomery County Fair
What: This fair is a family fave. (You can get a glimpse of our experience there last year and read areview of it from a few years ago), so trust me when I say that there is so much to do, you have to see the schedule on the website for yourself to get the full scope. Highlights include plenty of 4-H exhibits and demos, including opportunities to pet some of the animals; animal races, pony rides, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, tons of carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, and monster trucks and a demolition derby, and much more.
When: August 8-16, Times vary by day so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: 16 Chestnut Street, Gaithersburg, MD (Get directions)
How Much: Admission is $10, free for kids 11 and under. Tickets for rides cost extra. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $25.

Prince William County Fair
What: Virginia’s largest annual county fair will include 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), animal shows, craft demos, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. Note that August 16 is Kid’s Friday when all admissions are $5. August 10 Veterans are admitted for free. Monday, August 11, admission is half price. On Tuesday, August 12, is $2 Tuesday. And Wednesday, August 13, is Ladies’ Night, free admission for women.
When: August 8-16, Hours vary by day, so check the daily schedule on their website (scroll down the page).
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds. Get directions here.
How Much: Admission is $10/ages 14-59, $5/seniors and ages 5-13, free for ages 4 and under. Be sure to look for daily specials, too.

Prince George’s County Fair
What: A variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages — 4-H exhibits magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more.
When: September 4-7, hours vary by day.
Where: The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. Get directions here.
How much: Admission is $6/ages 12 and up, $5/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under. Rides and games are extra.

Anne Arundel County Fair
What: Farm exhibitions, rides, lots of live entertainment, watermelon eating contests, and more.
When: September 10-14, check the website for hours.
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds in Crownsville, MD. Get directions.
How much: Admission is $6/ages 16 and up, $4/ages 8 – 15, free for ages 7 and under. Rides and games cost extra.

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