(Source: www.businessinsider.com)

Is there a more quintessentially American pastime than eating something fried on a stick, ogling livestock, and taking a spin on a Ferris wheel?

To honor America’s favorite late-summer diversion, Foursquare helped us narrow down the best state fairs in the US.

See which ones have the most over-the-top food creations, the wildest rides, and the most impressive livestock that keep hundreds of thousands of guests coming back for more every year.

22. The Champlain Valley Fair in Essex Junction, Vermont

The Champlain Valley Fair is the largest fair in Vermont and features 10 days of rides, food, agricultural exhibits, and live entertainment. The fair draws nearly 280,000 visitors each year. 

 

21. Durham Fair in Durham, Connecticut

The Durham Fair, which has been around since 1916, is Connecticut’s largest agricultural fair. Nearly 200,000 people come annually for all the fair fun they can handle. Festivities include live music, exhibits, amusement rides and games, first-class animal competitions, a lumberjack show, a demolition derby, and even a wine festival.

It is also one of the largest fairs in the US managed entirely by unpaid volunteers.

20. Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, Virginia

The Shenandoah County Fair has been around since 1917, and showcases local agricultural, concerts, fair foods, and events such as pig scrambles, tractor pulls, harness races, beauty pageants, and live concerts.

18. Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Alaska (TIE)

The Alaska State Fair features the AT&T concert series with performances by famous artists like Josh Turner, Iggy Azalea, DNCE, Papa Roach, and Third Eye Blind. Its giant fruit and vegetable competitions are almost unmatched — some of the previous winners include a 138 pound cabbage, a 35 pound cauliflower, and an 18 pound carrot.

18. Marshfield Fair in Marshfield, Massachusetts (TIE)

From a midway featuring amusement rides and games to farm and agriculture exhibits, this fair is as American as it gets. The short, 10-day fair also features a blues music festival, a demolition derby, and tractor pulls.

 

16. Maryland State Fair in Lutherville, Maryland (TIE)

The Maryland State Fair has live thoroughbred horse racing, swine racing, concerts, and more, but one of its most popular venues is a full scale animal birthing center. There, visitors can witness the birth of calves, chicks, and piglets.

16. Washington County Fair in Greenwich, New York (TIE)

The Washington County Fair is attended by over 120,000 people annually, and is home to over 1,800 exhibitors, 1,900 animals, 40 carnival rides, and 50 food vendors. There’s a rodeo and antique flea market.

15. Middlesex County Fair in East Brunswick, New Jersey

Founded in 1938, The Middlesex County Fair in New Jersey is held on the first full week of August each year. There are dozens of food vendors, live music, and rides, as well as a horse ring, archery tent and livestock shows.

 

14. Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, Washington

The 12-day Evergreen State Fair has an abundance of food and drink options, equestrian events, a rodeo, carnival rides, and famous performers like Trace Adkins and Josh Turner, who graced the fair last year. Covering 193 acres, it’s the largest county fair in the Pacific Northwest.

 

13. Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg, Maine

Located two hours west of Augusta, the city of Fryeburg, Maine, does it up big for fair season. In fact, they are known for having the largest steer and oxen show in the world.

12. Delaware State Fair in Harrington, Delaware

The Delaware State Fair, which is believed to date back to 1869, has featured famous performers ranging from Demi Lovato, Ke$ha, and Kelly Clarkson to Flo Rida, Gloria Estefan, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Events like the Monster Truck Meltdown and Craft Beer Festival are a must.

11. Volusia County Fair in DeLand, Florida

Located only half an hour north or Orlando, Florida, Volusia County Fair features rides, music, an agricultural exhibit, livestock shows, and a wide variety of foods to try like deep-fried butter.

9. Deerfield Fair in Deerfield, New Hampshire

Deerfield Fair is New England’s oldest fair, as the first one took place in 1876. The four-day event hosts musicians, magicians, performers, horse shows, and more.

8. Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Illinois

The Illinois State Fair is known for its headlining artists, such as John Mellencamp, Brad Paisely, Jason Derulo, Alabama, and Blues Traveler, making it one of the best state fairs in the country for music lovers. 

Other attractions include The Ethnic Village, which features cuisine specialties from 15 different countries and international beers, Conservation World, which contains over 30 acres of green space as well as canoe rides, and the Happy Hollow, an exotic animal petting zoo.

The fair also played a key role in the creation of corn dogs. 

7. Elkhart County 4-H Fair in Goshen, Indiana

Elkhart County 4-H Fair is the Midwest’s largest county fair with more than 202,500 people attending the nine-day event this past year. 

The fair is known for its scrumptious foods, such as their giant elephant ears, sweet Indiana corn, and Hoosier-bred pork-tenderloin sandwiches.

6. West End Fair in Gilbert, Pennsylvania

The West End Fair in in its 96th year this year, featuring the theme “Country Scenes – Blue Ribbon Dreams.” Of course, there are rides, carnival games, livestock, and plenty of food and music, as well as demolition derbies, tractor pulls, and fireworks.

5. North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, North Carolina

The North Carolina State Fair lasts for 11 days, and is the biggest event in the state, as it has been known to draw up to 1 million visitors. There’s live music, fair foods, rides, and livestock, of course, but also a flower and garden show, a folk festival, and the Village of Yesteryear.

4. Lorain County Fair in Wellington, Ohio

Lorain County Fair is Ohio’s second-largest county fair, and has taken place annually since 1846. In addition to hundreds of agricultural shows, the Lorain County Fair also hosts daily horse races, an antique show, country music artists, and carnival rides.

3. Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa

Known as “America’s classic state fair,” the Iowa State Fair, which started in 1854, has inspired books, a Broadway musical, and three movies. 

While it features the usual shows, rides, fried foods, and games, the fair is most famous for its giant butter cow, which could be spread across around 19,200 slices of toast.

 

 

 

2. San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, California

San Diego County Fair is one of the largest county fairs in the United States, with over 1.6 million visitors each year. The fair combines agricultural and livestock exhibits with live entertainment, art, gemstone shows, vendors, and more in a scenic seaside location. There’s a beer festival, wine festival, and a cocktail festival, as well as over 100 food booths featuring Frankenfoods like beef sundaes, chocolate bacon, and fried cola.

1. Minnesota State Fair in St Paul, Minnesota

The Minnesota State Fair is the second-largest state fair in the US, with 1,997,320 attendees in the last year alone. The fair is famous for its bizarre foods, like bacon fluffernutters, deep-fried avocado, nacho-encrusted corn on the cob, and more.

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