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US State Fairs: Agricultural Competition in a Carnival Atmosphere

US State Fairs: Agricultural Competition in a Carnival Atmosphere

In the United States of America, State Fairs are still considered a summer highlight for many; and not just for various foods on a stick or deep-fried ice-cream.

Promoting state agriculture through competitive exhibitions of livestock and displays of farming products, the state fair is a larger version of the county fair and often includes only exhibits or competitors that have won in their categories at the local-level county fairs.

Attending a state fair or two is a great way to appreciate much of what the United States is all about.

The first U.S. state fair was held in Syracuse, New York, in September 1841 and the Great New York State Fair continues to attract over a million visitors annually to this day.

The largest state fair is the Grand State Fair of Texas, in Dallas. Fair Park, the most visited attraction in Texas, is even a National Historic Landmark; where visitors to the fair can also learn more about the history of the Lone Star State.

The Kentucky State Fair is a favourite for its horse shows; the Iowa State Fair is famous for its sculpted butter cow; the Minnesota State Fair for its fun rides and Gizmo Sandwich; Alaska State Fair for its giant vegetables; the Washington State Fair for the Puyallup Rodeo Weekend; and the Ohio State Fair for its fishing demonstrations.

Picking the best U.S. State Fairs to visit is not a piece of funnel cake and may depend more on where you are when than what you're in to.

Alabama has two state fairs and something called the Alabama National Fair while Idaho has North, East and West state fairs.

Louisiana has the State Fair of Louisiana in Shreveport, the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair and the Cajun Heartland State Fair.

Of course Texas does it bigger and better with state fairs in all directions. There's the State Fair of Texas, the South Texas State Fair, the East Texas State Fair and the North Texas State Fair.

Pennsylvania has no state fair. Neither do Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Nor does Massachusetts, although it does hold The Big E at the Eastern States Exposition; a combined state fair for all six (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) New England states. Each state has its own dedicated area during the fair.

US State Fairs:

July 15-31: California State Fair, Sacramento.

July 21-30: Delaware State Fair, Harrington.

July 22-30: North Dakota State Fair, Minot.

July 27 to August 7: Ohio State Fair, Columbus.

July 29 to August 21: Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis.

August 4 to 7: Bangor State Fair, Bangor (Maine).

August 4-14: Wisconsin State Fair, West Allis.

August 5-13: New Jersey State Fair, Augusta.

August 11-20: Skowhegan State Fair, Skowhegan (Maine).

August 11-20: West Virginia State Fair, Lewisburg.

August 11-21: Illinois State Fair, Springfield.

August 11-21: Iowa State Fair, Des Moines.

August 11-21: Missouri State Fair, Sedalia.

August 12-20: Montana State Fair, Great Falls.

August 15 to 21: Upper Peninsula State Fair, Escanaba (Michigan).

August 16-20: Vermont State Fair, Rutland.

August 16-20: Wyoming State Fair, Douglas.

August 18-27: Tennessee State Fair, Lebanon.

August 18-28: Kentucky State Fair, Louisville.

August 19-21: Idaho State Fair, Boise.

August 19 to September 5: Alaska State Fair, Palmer.

August 24 to September 5: New York State Fair, Syracuse.

August 25 to September 5: Minnesota State Fair, Saint Paul.

August 25 to September 11: Maryland State Fair, Lutherville-Timonium.

August 26 to September 5: Colorado State Fair, Pueblo.

August 26 to September 5: Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island.

August 26 to September 5: Oregon State Fair, Salem.

September 1-5: Hopkinton State Fair, Contoocook (New Hampshire).

September 1-5: South Dakota State Fair, Huron.

September 2-25: Washington State Fair, Puyallup.

September 8-18: New Mexico State Fair, Albuquerque.

September 8-18: Utah State Fair, Salt Lake City.

September 9-18: Kansas State Fair, Hutchinson.

September 12-17: North Alabama State Fair, Muscle Shoals.

September 15-25: Oklahoma State Fair, Oklahoma City.

September 16 to October 2: The Big E, West Springfield, Massachusetts.

September 23 to October 2: Virginia State Fair, Doswell.

September 23 to October 30: Arizona State Fair, Phoenix.

September 30 to October 23: State Fair of Texas, Dallas.

October 6-16: Mississippi State Fair, Jackson.

October 6-16: Georgia National Fair, Perry.

October 7-16: Alabama National Fair, Montgomery.

October 12-23: South Carolina State Fair, Columbia.

October 13-23: North Carolina State Fair, Raleigh.

October 14-23: Arkansas State Fair, Little Rock.

October 27 to November 6: Greater Baton Rouge State Fair, Baton Rouge.

October 27 to November 13: State Fair of Louisiana, Shreveport.

February 9-20, 2023: Florida State Fair, Tampa.

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