The unmistakable smell of fried dough walking through the bright lights and loud sounds in the middle; the rush of a roller coaster, the view from a Ferris wheel; watching a show or catching fireworks – nothing signals the end of summer like a trip to a state fair.

And whether they end summer with Labor Day festivities or extend the fun into August, Texas-style, the following state fairs all have one thing in common : they are among the most emblematic gatherings in America. From carnival classics and agricultural traditions to regional culinary showcases and signature attractions, these state fairs are celebrations of the solstice, as well as harbingers of its impending end – a bittersweet and loud way to close the book about the hot weather and the long, balmy days of the summer season.


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The great meeting of Minnesota

Without a doubt one of the best (and biggest) state fairs in the Midwest is by far the Minnesota State Fair. Located near the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, the sprawling fairground complex is a colorful, kaleidoscopic riot of rides, showcases, concerts, and good old-fashioned entertainment that literally has something for everyone. Breeding competitions Three different amusement parks and everything in between, this late summer adventure is a whirlwind of food, fun and fabulous fairgrounds.

  • Appointment: From August 25 to September 5, 2022
  • Hours: Fairground hours 7am-11pm; 7am-9pm Labor Day. Check the website for a full list of times for all buildings, rides and attractions
  • Tickets: The regular price of admission at the door is as follows: Adults (13-64) $17.00; Youth (5-12) and Senior (65+) $15.00; Children under four years old: free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door during admission hours
  • 2022 Highlights: The Beach Boys and The Temptations; Jim Gaffigan: The Fun Visit; Blue Ribbon Bingo; The Old Iron Show; New breeding and agricultural competitions; 75th Anniversary Agriculture and Horticulture Building

  • Food drink: Aldo’s burgers; Union Hmong cuisine; The herbivorous butcher; RC’s BBQ; Minnesota Farmers Union Coffee; Sweet Martha’s cookie jar

There’s something very Pacific Northwest about the Oregon State Fair– in addition to all the usual bells and whistles in the form of midway rides, live music and agricultural displays, the Salem-based fair also offers events that showcase the outdoor vibe and setting distinctive nature of the region. Think the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show meets gardening contest; crab and clam expos meet fried coffee, and you’ve got yourself a unique and wonderful fair that’s fun for all ages.

  • Appointment: From August 26 to September 5
  • Hours: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays September 4 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, August 28 to Thursday, September 1, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; September 5 (Labour Day) 10am-10pm
  • Tickets: Adults (13-64) $12; Children (6-12) $10; Seniors (65+) $3; Children under five: free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Carnival tickets and other event tickets are extra
  • 2022 Highlights: Motor Mania; Hell on Hooves Rodeo; 4-H and FFA animal competitions; Nelly (in concert); The rhythm continues the fanfare; Village of Craftsmen
  • Food drink: Sharky’s Fish & Chips; Yakisoba noodle dinners; Sushi Roll’n; Taqueria Los Pandita’s; Oregon Dairy Women

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america the biggest state fair

It’s no surprise that Texas boasts of having the largest state fair in America, an annual fair, almost one month shindig is a perfect panoply of Lone Star State-sized entertainment and events. Located at Fair Park in Dallas, the Texas State Fair overflowing with a rousing repertoire of live entertainment, car shows, dog races, pig races, rodeos – the list goes on and on. And it wouldn’t be a Texas event without the football, as guests can watch the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma square off in their annual Red River Showdown game.

  • Appointment: From September 30 to October 23, 2022
  • Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (last entry at 9 p.m.)
  • Tickets: Season pass $50; One-day premium admission $24 (online only); Daily admission tickets on sale September 12, valid only for the day indicated on the ticket, Adults from $15; Children/Seniors starting at $5. All adults pay children’s price when purchasing tickets after 5:00 PM
  • 2022 Highlights: Parade of Stars; Texas Rodeo State Fair; Mike’s mighty show; All-Star Stunt Dog Show; TX Stunt Jam at the Xtreme Sports Zone; World of Birds Show presents SOAR!
  • Food drink: Okra balls with fried seafood; broken chest; Fried Oreos; Lucky Dumplin’; funnel cake; State Fair Wine & Beer Garden

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america The oldest state fair

A true classic among state fair stars, The Great New York State Fair is the oldest in America – so you know they have must do something good. A showcase of New York State’s best agricultural, educational and technology industries, the fair is also home to classic carnival rides and attractions, free concerts and, of course, stunning fireworks on Christmas Day. opening and Labor Day. And don’t forget the food – fairground favorites mix with New York State originals to create a foodie’s paradise in this wonderful downtown Syracuse.

  • Appointment: From August 24 to September 5, 2022
  • Hours: Exhibition center hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; no entry or re-entry after 10 p.m. On Labor Day, the fairgrounds will close at 9 p.m.
  • Tickets: Admission at the door $3 online. Children (12 and under) and seniors (65 and over) are free every day. One-day parking for vehicle and motorcycle $5. Midway tickets (rides) are sold separately
  • 2022 Highlights: Hollywood Circus; Boy George & Cultural Club; Chubby auditor; Beef Day; Native American Day; sea ​​lion splash; Broadway Skyliner Tour
  • Food drink: Twin Stills Moonshine Distillery; Grow Brewing Co.; New York’s Coco Bongos; The Bacon Bomb—Hami’s BBQ; Pierogi of Babcia

There’s still time to end the summer in style at one of these iconic state fairs. Packed with a parade of delicious food, festivities, events, celebrations and concerts galore; and all the high-octane, bustling midway nostalgia, these awesome state fairs are the perfect way to say sayonara to the summer solstice.