The Delaware State Fair returns Thursday, with something for everyone: Rides, livestock shows, carnival games, blue ribbon food competitions, a circus, racing pigs, a camel show, a magic show, concerts – and people watching.
It adds up to more than 200 hours of entertainment in a single day – not including the carnival or grandstand concerts, said Danny Aguilar, assistant general manager and director of marketing.
“We’ve got our mobile app that we’re bringing back and we strongly encourage folks to download the mobile app and look at the schedule ahead of time because there’s so many activities,” Aguilar said.
The fair will run through July 29 at the State Fairgrounds in Harrington. The first fair there was held in 1920 and was known as the Kent and Sussex County Fair. The event became the Delaware State Fair in 1962.
Find a thorough itinerary of every day’s events here.
To assure safety, the fair will add metal detectors at the entrance, Aguilar said.
“That’s basically just an enhancement to our existing prohibition on weapons,” he said, “so we’ll be screening folks, just looking to add that element to the security side.”
Fair-goers can expect good weather.
According to the National Weather Service, a summer shower might hit here and there, but the forecast calls for less than 50% chance of precipitation. Highs are forecast just below 90 degrees with the nighttime low falling to around 70.
- Tickets cost $10 for those older than 12, $5 for children six through 12 and free for those under six. Gates open at 9 a.m. to the fairgrounds. On Thursday, gates open at noon
- Pets or emotional support animals are not permitted on the fairgrounds.
- General parking is free, but to skip long exit lines, VIP parking can be added to the ticket purchase for $20 a car. Handicap Parking can be found behind the administration building in the fenced-in blacktop lot.
- Wagons, coolers and ice chests containing personal food and beverages are allowed into the fair, but glass containers, alcohol metal knives and forks are not.
- Fair officials note that the fair food includes gluten free and vegetarian options.
- Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias: July 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the M&T Bank Grandstand. Tickets range from $40 to $70.
- Rapper, songwriter, actor Nelly: July 21 at 7:30 p.m at the M&T Bank Grandstand. Tickets range from $34 to $74.
- The I Love the 90s Tour: Performances from Vanilla Ice, Rob Base, Color Me Badd, Tone Loc and Young MC. July 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the M&T Bank Grandstand. Tickets range from $34 to $74.
- Country singer Jackson Dean: July 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the M&T Bank Grandstand. Tickets range from $29 to $64.
- Country/bluegrass/gospel singer Riley Green: July 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the M&T Bank Grandstand. Tickets range from $34 to $74.
- Country singer Zach Williams: July 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the M&T Grandstand. Tickets range from $29 to $64.
- Singer Lainey Wilson: July 26 at 7:30 at the M&T Grandstand. Tickets range from $39 to $74.
- Singer Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line: July 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the M&T Bank Grandstand. Tickets range from $39 to $74.
Purchase tickets here.
Friday, July 21 is Pepsi Day. Present a specially marked Pepsi coupon to receive $2 off one adult ticket.
Monday, July 24 is Food Lion Hunger Relief Day and Seniors Day. This means free admission for those who bring in five non-perishable Food Lion brand items, as well as a free ticket for people over the age of 60.
Tuesday, July 25 is Kids’ Day, and children 12 and under get in for free.
Wednesday, July 26 is Armed Forces Day. Any active duty and retired military personnel with valid military ID gets a free ticket.
Thursday, July 27 is Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Governors Day and Seniors Day, and again, those 60 and older get in for free.
Attendees can also save $15 on unlimited ride wristbands if they purchase in advance. They can be bought here for $25, or $40 if bought on or after the beginning of the fair.
It’s not a state fair without some pigs and chickens, right?
The fairgrounds will have plenty of animals for children to be amazed by and interact with.
Tuesday, July 25, Quillen Arena will be the site of the Junior Livestock Extravaganza, which is a selection of grand and reserve champions in market lambs, hogs, goats and beef. The event is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Exhibitors compete at the beginning of the fair in their weight classes to get a spot in the audience showcasing the skills of raising an animal.
The overall livestock champion showman is selected at the end of the night for one exhibitor who demonstrates the most skill and knowledge in showmanship of all species.
The Junior Livestock Auction, held at the Kent Building Thursday, July 27 at 6:30 p.m., represents the culmination of a full year’s hard work and dedication, completing an important early agri-business education program.
Each year, more than 350 exhibitors select their sheep, pig, goat, or beef animal to compete at the Delaware State Fair. Judges then select the cream of the crop to be showcased and sold.
Request to be a buyer here.
Livestock shows and exhibits will be held throughout the 10 days, and children can expect to interact with goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and cows.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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