Today is the day — the opening of what is being called “The Best Fest!”
If you live in Lake County I consider the fair a rite of passage that everyone has to experience at least once! Personally, I love going. I love the small-town feel of it and talking to all the 4H kids about their animals. And the people watching is great, too! If you’ve never been, why not make this your year? Here are 10 reasons you should visit the fair.
10 Reasons to Visit the Lake County Fair
1. The Food
Where else can you get corndogs as tall as a small toddler and every kind of food on a stick? Don’t forget to try out something totally crazy like fried Oreos or a donut cheeseburger (yes, that’s a thing!). Visit Lake County shared with us the Top 5 Foods at the Lake County Fair.
2. Demolition Derby
Otherwise known as everyday in my house. I can’t take my kids for fear they will come up with new and crazier ideas for destroying things, but car and truck fans will love it! This year they have expanded, and it be offered two nights: Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
It is a county fair after all and the agricultural barns are full of show cows, goats, pigs, horses, rabbits and more! There is so much to see you could spend hours walking through these barns and visiting the animals. Be sure to talk to the kids showing their animals as they love to talk about the hard work they have put into getting ready for the fair.
I give you two words: petting zoo! There is a free petting zoo and animal encounters in the Family Fun Boulevard. We’ve experienced birds of prey shows and other animal experiences while there. Be sure to check the Lake County Fair Schedule for the day you go.
5. More animals!
In the Expo Hall there will be dog obedience seminars and a world record attempt by Sailor the Dog for the longest distance of a dog walking on a ball. There are also the Banana Derby Races that happen several times a day. What is a banana derby? Monkeys riding on the back of dogs. Enough said.
There is usually a display area with new and old tractors that the kids can look around and climb atop. You won’t want to miss the Farm Heritage Associations Antique Tractor Parade, which happens on Friday and Saturday at 5:00 p.m. My tractor-loving boys think it’s the greatest part of the fair as it’s a parade featuring only their favorite things!
7. Education Made Fun!
In the Expo Hall there are lots of opportunities for hands-on fun and learning. In past years the Farm Heritage Association has taught rope-making classes. My kids have seen and sampled honey being made, cows being milked and more!
Walk through the Expo Hall and be prepared to be inspired by works of art ranging from fashion design to needlework to cake decorating to photography. Impressively, most of the entries are by local kids! It’s a great way to inspire your children to pick up a new hobby or work harder on the one they are already honing.
9. The Midway
It’s the carnival of carnivals with rides for everyone from tots to daredevils. Save money (because let’s face it — if you have school-age through teenagers you could bleed money on the midway) by going during the special all you can ride wristband hours; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from Noon-5:00p.m. The kiddos can ride all they want for $20.
10. Because it’s our Heritage
Of course there are cheesy displays, typical fair food, loud music and crowds, but there are also farmers. Agriculture is what built Lake County, and it is still alive and vital in this day and age. You can learn a lot about your local farmers and about great efforts they put into their fields and livestock. You can see the pride on their faces and learn the history of the land. For kids who are growing up without that farm-to-table experience it’s a great way to connect them with their food and their earth and maybe inspire them!
The 88th Annual Lake County Fair runs through Sunday, July 31st.
Most vendors at the fair are cash only. The fair now accepts credit cards for ticket purchases only. See the website for full schedule and details. Heading to the fair with kids? Be sure to check out our 10 tips for Tackling the Fair with Kids!
Lake County Fairgrounds
1060 East Peterson Rd., Grayslake
847-680-7200 | Facebook