WASHINGTON – It’s that time of year again. Time for that distinct smell of funnel cakes in the air, long lines in front of the ticket booth and tents showcasing the best local cows and pigs.
But, many of Virginia and Maryland county fairs go beyond the expected scene this year, with movies, concerts, pagents and extreme stunt shows. Below is a list of some of the fairs by county and date:
Warren County offers more than the usual exhibits and rides. Some of the highlighted shows this year are the Star Family Circus and ATV dirt drag races.
On top of the popular midway rides and games, the Arlington County Fair also will feature shows and activities including an all new show from the Harlem Wizards, racing piglets, pony rides and outdoor movies.
Prince William County is all about the carnival rides and games, with specials such as $2 Day and Half Price Day on tickets. There will be concerts at night as well as local contests and demonstrations throughout the day.
This year, Clarke County features concerts, contests and beauty pagents. Dailey and Vincent Bluegrass will be playing on Aug. 15 and Lonestar, this year’s featured band, on Aug. 18. There also is the Little Miss and Miss Clarke County Pagent, Figure 8 Demolition Derby and a rodeo.
The Virginia State Fair puts emphasis on educational entertainment, along with the expected rides and games. Other exhibitions focus on teaching about agriculture and history of Virginia, with many contests and exhibits showcasing local talent and craft.
Howard County offers a huge variety of entertainment for this year’s fair. Shows featured include a magic show, performances from rock and country bands and a talent show.
Montgomery County Fair is jam-packed with different events. The list of attractions includes: pig, duck, and goat races, monster truck show, and a singing contest.
Maryland State Fair mixes the modern and old-fashioned with performances by Victoria Justice, The Band Perry, and events such as thoroughbred horse racing, pig races and “Battle of the Beast” bull riding and barrel racing.
The fair is Maryland’s oldest running fair, established in 1942.
The fairgrounds of Anne Arundel County Fair will be filled with a pop-country twang with headlining music this year. 2011 Annapolis Idol winner Suzy Estrada with be the opening act and the band broadBAND, a pop country group from Nashville, Tenn., will be headliner.
Charles County Fair boasts pig races, lawnmower races and concerts from country, bluegrass, dance and classical musicians.
The Pistol Annies will perform and so will The Gaither Vocal Band. The fair features lots of rides, a grillers challenge and a pony show.
St. Mary’s County Fair brings back traditional acts such as the “Queen of Tolerance” pageant, jousting and a Police Department K-9 demonstration. New to the fair is ice carving, Mitchell Showboat comedy and marionette shows and robotics demonstrations.
Calvert County Fair is all about the animals. Throughout every day of the fair, shows such as Flying Pages Aerial & Animal Equestrian Artistry, Vicenta’s White Tigers and Southern Maryland Barnyard Runners will be playing on the grounds.
Follow WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)