The Complete Guide To The Kentucky State Fair

Kentucky State Fair time is here again. From Aug. 19-29, If you are excited and ready to go, here’s a little guide about what’s happening at the fair this year. As with everything, this year we are still dealing with a pandemic and plans can change at the drop of a hat, so be sure to check the schedule on the day you decide to go to the fair. 

Every year when the Kentucky State Fair rolls around, we hear about some of the same things: the food, the concerts, the livestock and the rides. We’re going to tell you about all those things but don’t forget to see some of the other exhibits like the art and health exhibits.
Before we move on, be sure to download the fair app so that you have all the fair info at your fingertips. It can be obtained from Google Play or the Apple App Store. 

Fried And Fantastic Fair Food

For the foodies, there will be everything from cupcakes to poutine tots. Here are four hot fair food spots. 

  1. Cheezy Does it! – Just as it sounds, this local company specializes in all things cheese. Apparently their hot menu item is the chicken and waffles.
  2. Pat’s Footlongs – For more than 50 years, this is the place to go for corn dogs and other sausage-type fare at the fair. Love that homophonic goodness.
  3. Sivori – Sivori is at it again with their donut burger. If you know, you know. Rumor has it this is the place for poutine as well.
  4. Churros To Go – Honestly, churros anytime is a win. You can get chocolate or caramel.


If you’re more about the concerts instead of the food, you can expect the bill to be much like other years, but here’s a list if you need a little help deciding. Also, don’t forget to check out the music tents, the Coca-Cola Talent Classic, and Renata The Band playing on the Performing Arts stage. 

Here’s the schedule for the Texas Roadhouse Free Concert Series:

8/19 – Josh Turner with special guest: Alex Miller
8/20 – Ginuwine with special guest: Color Me Badd
8/21 – Colt Ford with special guest: Elvie Shane
8/22- Oak Ridge Boys with special guest: T. Graham Brown
8/23 – Zach Williams with special guest: CAIN
8/24 – The Happy Together Tour with The Turtles, Gary Puckett and Union Gap, The Association, and Classics IV
8/25 – P.O.D. with special guests: All Good Things
8/26 – Jackyl with special guests: The Kentucky Headhunters
8/27 – White Reaper with special guests: The Tommys
8/28 – Jameson Rodgers with special guests: Exile and JD Shelburne
8/29 – Cory Asbury with special guests: We The Kingdom and Jordan Smith 

For more concert information see the Kentucky State Fair website here. 

Down At The Farm: Agriculture And Animals

So, neither concerts or food are your things, and you’re really there to see the animals. Here’s what you need to know: 

  1. Agland – New to the fair this year, Agland has more than an acre of agricultural exhibits in the South Wing focused on Kentucky’s farm history.
  2. Two and Four Legged Friends –  If you head to the Pavilion, you’ll find everything from goats, sheep and pigs, to rabbits and “fancy” pigeons.
  3. Dairy Cattle – Go and moo with the cattle in the West Wing. Many breeds are there for the ogling, and there will be a milking parlor where over 50,000 gallons of fresh milk will be produced during the five-day dairy show. This runs Aug. 19-22
  4. Miller’s Border Collies – If you want to see herding dogs doing their thing, see the Miller’s Border Collies in the West Wing.
  5. World Championship Horse Show – Over 2,000 Saddlebreds, Hackneys and Road Horses will be ponying up for over $1 million in prize money. This show runs from Aug. 21-28 and costs $8-$11 depending on the day. Start times vary from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Come to Freedom Hall and find out what the excitement is about.

Rides, Crafts And Giant Gourds

If you’re a hard one to please, or you just don’t care about food, concerts or horses…you really just want to scream til you puke? Go to the midway and hit the rides. The Thrill Ville ferris wheel is the perfect place to take a date. It costs $30 for a one-day, unlimited ride wristband at the fair

 If you’re into hobbies, go visit the art galleries and the handmade crafts in the East Hall. The Gourmet Garden Stage happens in the South Hall. The largest pumpkin/watermelon contest will be happening, and take in a little shopping in the South Wing shops. Anything from clothing, to games, accessories and food can be found here. 


It’s cheaper to buy tickets online than at the fair. 

If you buy on the interwebs, it’ll cost you $10 admission with parking included. If you wait til you get there, it’ll be $10 admission along with $10 parking. Children 5 and under are free. 

There is also a group deal for the thrifty folks out there.

On Sunday, Aug. 22, active and retired military and their families get in free. On Aug. 24, fairgoers ages 55 and up can have reign of the fair at no cost. Parking is not included for either deal day.

You can buy tickets here.

Hours of Operation

Fair gates open at 7 a.m. each day. 

The exhibit hall schedule is as follows:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00am-8:00pm 

Friday-Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm 

Sunday, Aug. 22 : 10:00am-8:00pm 

Sunday, Aug. 29: 10:00am-6:00pm

Find the Thrill Ville schedule below:

Mondays-Friday: Open at 3 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: Open at 1 p.m.

Thrill Ville closes at approximately midnight

Mask up, Kentucky (it’s required indoors) and go visit the Kentucky State Fair.