State Fair or County Fair? You Be the Judge.

There are certain things that you can expect at any agricultural-based county or state fair: the smell of carney food, livestock, 4-H exhibits and the thrill of the Midway. This month (July) you have your pick between the Cecil County (Maryland) Fair and the Delaware State Fair. I had the opportunity to attend both (2012) and found that each have their virtues.Girl with Horse

Regardless of which event you choose you are sure to have fun.

The Cecil County Fair is a smaller venue and therefore has fewer carnival rides. And because the 4-H and agricultural competitions are on a county level rather than statewide you can expect smaller exhibits and less livestock than at the Delaware State Fair.

When it comes to the 4-H exhibits, I must admit, I am not sure what makes one summer squash a prize winner over another. I assume there are some qualities that make one more desirable to the judges. I’ll just have to trust their evaluation.4H

However, I do enjoy viewing the arts and crafts exhibit, especially those in the kid’s classification. The creativity and quality of work done by the children and teens amazes me. And when it comes to the quilts and the stitchery competitions I am in awe of the detail in the handiwork.

Both fairs provide a fine sampling of 4-H displays.

GoatThe Cecil event is a bit less commercialized than the State Fair. What I mean is you will find fewer vendors hawking their goods at the County Fair. There are a few vendors, most selling cowboy hats, belt buckles, leather goods and some clothing. At the State Fair you can find merchants peddling everything from cookware to pianos and even a small marsupial called Sugar Babies (also known as Sugar Gliders or Pocket Pets).

The Delaware State Fair brings in some big-name entertainers such as Sugarland, Larry the Cable Guy and Miranda Lambert. You won’t find the “Stars” at the County Fair but all the entertainment, except rides are included in the admission price (rides not included with admission at either event). Most evenings the entertainment at the State Fair you will require you to purchase a separate ticket.Rides at CCF

Despite space limitations and running for fewer days (and I’m sure budget restrictions), the Cecil County Fair does a good job bringing in quality entertainment throughout the duration of the fair. With two nights of rodeo, three nights of demolition derby (plus a matinee on 7/28), tractor pulls plus live bands each night, offering a variety of music styles, fair-goers are sure to be entertained.cowboy

The Delaware fair also offers free performances. They have multiple showings of the Hollywood Circus and hypnotist Catherine Hickland daily, plus cooking demonstrations, a juggler, smaller concerts and a nightly parade. The final night there is a fireworks display as well.Aerial performer

With both events nearing the end of their 2012 season you will want to make your choice, get the family together and go have a grand ol’ time at the fair.


Originally posted to on July 27, 2012. Written by Susan Decoteau-Ferrier.

Susan Decoteau-Ferrier

Travel writer/blogger, photographer. Avid potter and wanna-be artist. Wife, Mom to 6 fur kids, gardener, coffee snob.

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