Born and raised in a state that is often confused as a nonexistent city in New Jersey, the Delaware State Fair is one of the few events where we get to witness our own version of Times Square (fairground style).
In the early morning chaos that is our household, it’s like we’re participating in a high-stakes game show.
The kids are still rubbing the last remnants of sleep from their eyes as we wrangle them into clothes.
And we all know how tiny humans somehow transform with excitement which makes a simple task that is basically like herding cats on a sugar rush.
My husband and I realize we’ve been forced into a game of hide and seek with my son’s shoes.
When we finally close the door to our home, we’re opening the car ride to a mutual memory that is the state fair.
And we’re bringing you along with us.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Delaware State Fair.
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The Ultimate Local’s Guide to the Delaware State Fair
As we all tumble into the car, the air is electric with excitement sung to the tunes of Monster High (the latest favorite on our playlist).
The Delaware State Fair – the highlight of our family’s summer calendar – is finally here.
As Delawareans born and bred, the fair is more than just an event.
It’s a cherished tradition, a piece of our shared childhood that we’re now passing on to our children.
As true locals, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about the fair, from dates and events to the best food stalls and rides.
Hotels Near the Delaware State Fair
The Delaware State Fair dates for 2023 are set from July 20th to July 29th.
The fairgrounds, located in Harrington, Delaware, become a bustling hub of activity during these ten days.
The address for the Delaware State Fair is 18500 S. DuPont Hwy, Harrington, DE, 19952.
If you’re traveling from out of town or simply want to make a mini-vacation out of your trip to the fair, there are several hotels near the Delaware State Fair.
Now, I will admit that Delaware is a small state, and some of our cities have a very small-town feel.
Staying nearby allows you to maximize your time at the fair and enjoy all it has to offer.
But you also won’t be too far from our state’s capital or even the beaches, just in case you want to briefly venture away from the fairgrounds.
If you’re considering making the Delaware State Fair a multi-day adventure, I’ve got you covered.
I’ve compiled a list of nearby hotels, and for your convenience, I’ve included a Hopper link for each one.
It’s my go-to for booking travel stays – in fact, it’s the only way I’ve booked our family’s accommodations for the past three years.
As a true Delawarean, I’ve never stayed at these hotels.
They are not ranked in any particular order so, be sure to check out the reviews to find the perfect fit for your family.
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites 17271 S Dupont Hwy, Harrington, DE 19952 (302) 398-8800
- Quality Inn & Suites 1259 Corn Crib Rd, Harrington, DE 19952 (302) 398-3900
- Hampton Inn Milford 100 Lighthouse Estates Dr, Milford, DE 19963 (302) 422-4320
- Rodeway Inn 1036 N Walnut St, Milford, DE 19963 (302) 422-8089
- Comfort Inn & Suites 699 N Dupont Blvd, Milford, DE 19963 (302) 839-5000
- The Towers Bed & Breakfast 101 NW Front St, Milford, DE 19963 (302) 422-3814
- Causey Mansion Bed & Breakfast 2 Causey Ave, Milford, DE 19963 (301) 996-8910
Practicalities: Delaware State Fair Hours, Admission, and Parking
The Delaware State Fair hours typically run from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
But it’s always a good idea to check the official website for the most accurate information.
The Delaware State Fair admission fee is pretty reasonable, and there are plenty of parking options available.
You can actually save money by purchasing discount tickets for parking if you plan to attend multiple days.
They often offer discount tickets for early bird purchasers, so it’s worth checking out!
(Remember to arrive early to secure a good parking spot!)
Keep in mind, admission can vary depending on the day and any special promotions that might be running.
You can purchase tickets at the gate or in advance through the Delaware State Fair website.
No GPS Required Navigating the Delaware State Fair Map
If you’re not familiar with the area, don’t worry!
The Delaware State Fair website provides a detailed map and directory to help you navigate the fairgrounds.
Luckily being in a small state has its benefits in that you don’t have to fully map out your experience as you would Disney.
However, checking out the map will help you plan your day and ensure you don’t miss any of the exciting events.
This is one resource that I think we overlook as Delawareans because we have the convenience of attending for just a day.
And admittedly, I don’t think I’ve experienced “everything” at the state fair, even as a kid.
Regardless, the anticipation always builds up as you approach the entry gates of the fair.
An important note: the fair has implemented a thorough screening process for everyone’s safety.
So, be prepared for a quick check before you enter and account for potential time added especially if arrive at peak hours.
Sounds of Summer: Delaware State Fair Concert Lineup
The Delaware State Fair concert lineup is always a highlight of the fair.
With a mix of big-name stars and up-and-coming artists, there’s always a great show to catch.
My only regret of the State Fair was not being able to see Kane Brown when he came to the First State.
The concert seating chart can be found on the Delaware State Fair website.
Tickets for the concerts can be purchased separately from the fair admission tickets.
This year is no exception with artists like Fluffy, Nelly, and Tyler Hubbard set to perform.
Eat, Laugh, Repeat: Food at the Delaware State Fair
My husband and I met years later as adults, but I’m sure we crossed paths more than once waiting for fair rides and funnel cakes.
Speaking of food…
Against the suggestions of our trainers at Orange Theory, the fair is the one place where we willingly (and unashamedly) indulge without a shred of guilt.
Funnel cakes dusted with powdered sugar, corn dogs straight from the fryer, and cotton candy that melts in your mouth – it’s gastronomic.
And let’s not forget about the food contests!
The Ups, Downs, and Roundabouts of Delaware State Fair Rides
The Delaware State Fair rides are a major attraction for both kids and adults alike.
From your typical carnival-style roller coasters to classic Ferris wheels, there’s something for all ages, especially if you have small children.
The Harrington fairgrounds also host a variety of events, including livestock shows (which were my favorite as a kid), cooking contests, and more.
If you’re a thrill-seeker, consider getting the Unlimited Ride Wristband.
It’s a cost-effective way to enjoy an unlimited number of rides during any one day of the fair.
This post was all about the Delaware State Fair.
Born and raised in a state that is often mistaken for a city in New Jersey, the Delaware State Fair is our moment to shine.
It’s a testament to our community spirit, our love for good food and good fun, and our pride in being Delawareans.
As we join the cohort of fairgoers, I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude.
This is our tradition, our heritage, and today, we get to share it with our children.
And who knows?
Maybe one day, they’ll be sharing these same stories with their own kids.
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You’ll get a front-row seat to our Milk in the City adventures (and misadventures).
Because let’s face it, traveling with kids is never predictable.