State Fairs to Visit in 2021: Maryland to North Carolina

If you’re a state fair fan, this list of the U.S. state fairs from Maryland to North Carolina is the perfect place to find fairs that you and the family can enjoy! Visit each site for more details.

(Note: All dates are tentative, due to COVID-19. Check the web sites for specific information and guidelines.)

Maryland State Fair

The 12-day Maryland State Fair is held annually each August in Timonium. The first fair was held in 1879 and has grown to include more than a thousand exhibitors and nearly half-million visitors each year.

The Big E

The Big E (formerly known as Eastern States Exposition) includes all six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Set for September 2021, the 17-day event takes place in West Springfield, MA and is an annual autumn extravaganza of entertainment, exhibits, and agriculture.

Michigan State Fair

The Michigan State Fair is held each September at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. More than 170,000 people attended the 2019 fair, and one-third of the proceeds from sales of all-inclusive passes are donated to the Shriners local organization. (The 2020 fair was virtual due to COVID-19.) The original Michigan State Fair debuted in 1849 and was one of the first statewide fairs in the continental United States. 

Minnesota State Fair

The 12-day Minnesota State Fair, often called the “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” attracts more than 2 million guests each year. The fair began in 1854 as a territorial fair and became the Minnesota State Fair in 1859, a year after Minnesota was granted statehood. The next fair is set for August 2021, running to Labor Day, September 6. 

Missouri State Fair

The 11-day Missouri State Fair, set for August 2021, began in 1901 and is the number one site for major competitions highlighting the best of the best in the state. It takes place at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia and includes a range of activities, exhibitions, and competitions.

Montana State Fair

The Montana State Fair will be celebrating its 90th anniversary in July 2021 with a nine-day event including carnival, exhibits, and the Big Sky Rodeo including four nights of competitive rodeo action and several activities for each themed-night.

Nebraska State Fair

The Nebraska State Fair, set for August 2021, features the nation’s most innovative exhibition focusing on interactive agriculture and educational experiences. It’s located at Fonner Park in Grand Island. The first fair—a territorial fair—took place in 1859 in Nebraska City, before Nebraska attained statehood in 1867.

Nevada State Fair

Originally founded in 1874, the Nevada State Fair had been the state’s longest-running event until it was closed in 2011. The fair returned in 2016 as the Nevada State Fair, held in Carson City. The four-day free event is set to take place in June 2021.

New Jersey State Fair

The eight-day New Jersey State Fair set for August 2021, takes place in Augusta. Events include exhibits, performing arts, and a carnival as well as a grandstand for outdoor entertainment. The fair’s roots extend back to 1923 when it was a horse show, and since 1999 the state fair has been held in conjunction with the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, drawing 220,000 residents annually. 

New Mexico State Fair

The New Mexico State Fair, virtual in 2020, is set for September 2021 in Albuquerque with upcoming events to be determined. The first fair was held in 1881 and was called the Territorial Fair, with a name change to “state fair” in 1911, a year before New Mexico became a state.

The Great New York State Fair

The New York State Fair, scheduled for August 2021, is held in Syracuse at the New York State Fairgrounds. More than 1.3 million people visited the 13-day fair in 2019, which was first held in 1841, enjoying musical entertainment, competitions, and midway shows.

North Carolina State Fair

The North Carolina State Fair, virtual in 2020, will return October 2021 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, with events that include livestock and horse shows as well as other entertainment. The fair dates back to 1853 and has been in Raleigh since 1928.

 

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