With a full week of entertainment and excitement the Delaware State Fair opened its gates on Thursday, July 20 and ran through Saturday, July 29. The streets of the Harrington Raceway & Casino were filled with families enjoying music, food, carnival rides and the numerous sites the Delaware State Fair offers.
The Delaware State Fair began around a coal burning pot belly stove in the town of Harrington in 1919. Local community members decided that it was time to bring together a County Fair for the rural communities in the area. The Kent and Sussex County Fair made its debut in July of 1920, right on schedule. Thirty acres, 33 directors, 1,200 shares, six departments, three carnival rides, two types of racing and four days made up the very first Fair. The Kent and Sussex County Fair has since become what is known as the Delaware State Fair. There are now over 70 board members, a full year-round staff and over 3,000 competitive exhibits as the numbers keep growing.
Eating at the Fair for the first time can be similar to eating on vacation in a foreign country. The food looks vaguely familiar but there is also something very different about it. Fried Oreos, pickles and Twinkies were in abundance throughout the fair as a staple served after the main course of turkey legs, corndogs and pizza. Size and proportion of every meal are best described as “super-sized” and just about everything was found on a stick including bananas, slices of cheesecake and fried dough balls.
Animals from horses, pigs, sheep, rams and cows spent the week at the fair trying to stay cool as their owners hoped for the blue ribbon in their category. The organizers of the Delaware State Fair made sure that the animals were housed under roof with plenty of access to food and water. Animals of all sizes and shapes were shown throughout the week. Any type of produce that can be imagined was judged including, peaches, pumpkins, seeds, sunflowers and crabapples.
The Grandstand Concerts at the Fair were the main attraction and this year featured big names like Darius Rucker, Racal Flats, Brantley Gilbert and comedian Gabriel Iglesias. The entertainment also included a monster truck meltdown, demolition derby, harness racing and craft beer festival.
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