Throughout the year, there are more than a hundred Pennsylvania fairs that provide a great opportunity to enjoy the state’s culture, food, and to learn more about its traditions.
No matter what part of the state you are in, there’s sure to be a few fairs nearby. So, if you are thinking about visiting a fair in PA this year, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know, as well as a list of the Pennsylvania Fairs that are being held in 2022.
So, whether you are looking to go to a small local fair, a PA county fair, or the Pennsylvania Farm Show (the equivalent of the Pennsylvania state fair), this is the guide for you.
What happens at a Pennsylvania fair?
PA fairs are a great time for the entire community to come together to enjoy rides, competitions, a variety of performances, and great food.
Rides are one of the most noticeable parts of most fairs in Pennsylvania, and people come from far and wide to enjoy these pay-as-you-go carnival rides. While not every fair has a large selection of rides, they are incredibly popular at most fairs around the state.
Pennsylvania fairs also feature a wide variety of competitions. Whether you are interested in who has the largest pumpkin, the most beautiful rooster, or the best chocolate chip cookies, there’s a competition for you at your local fair.
Many fairs also have beauty pageants with the winner being crowned the fair queen and going on to compete for the title of Pennsylvania Fair Queen.
PA fairs are also known for their great performances. All fairs feature a variety of performances by local and regional acts. Typically, these are musical performances, but you might also see magicians, acrobats, dancers, and more.
Some of the larger fairs also bring in major national musical artists, celebrities, races, and even demolition derbies.
Pennsylvania fairs also feature some incredibly delicious food.
The first rule of eating at a Pennsylvania fair is to throw healthy eating out the window. That’s not to say that you can’t find a nutritious meal at a fair, but, generally speaking, all of the most popular items to eat would make your doctor cringe.
While typical fair foods like corn dogs, funnel cakes, and pizza can be found nearly everywhere, there’s almost always a local favorite that everyone is craving. If you aren’t sure what that is, look for the longest food line or ask around at the event.
When are the fairs in PA?
Fairs in PA are generally held between June and September, though there are a few that are held in the spring as well as in October.
The one major outlier is the Pennsylvania Fair Show, which is held each January in Harrisburg. However, this fair is entirely indoors, so the weather doesn’t affect things too much.
While it varies from fair to fair, many are open during both the week and on weekends. Generally, the fairs will open in the late afternoon or evening on weekdays and will be open all day on weekends.
If you can, visit during the week as Pennsylvania fairs tend to be much less crowded on weekdays than on weekends. If there is an admission cost for the fair, there will often be special deals on weekdays, meaning you can often visit for less than you can on the weekend.
Make sure to check the website of the fair you are planning to visit to see if there are any admission specials on the day you want to attend.
Notable PA Fairs
While there are well over 100 fairs held each year in Pennsylvania, there are a few that are notable either for their size or their age.
The York Fair in York, Pennsylvania, is the oldest fair in the United States and bills itself as “America’s First Fair.” It has been held since 1765 and is one of the most popular fairs in south-central Pennsylvania. It is held each year in early September.
While not quite as old as the York Fair, the Bloomsburg Fair is over 160 years old and is one of the largest fairs on the east coast drawing more than 400,000 people each year. It is held in late September.
Speaking of large fairs, the Big Butler Fair in Butler County is the largest fair in western Pennsylvania, drawing visitors from all over the Pittsburgh region and beyond. It is always held in late June and early July over Independence Day and features a large fireworks display.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the defacto Pennsylvania state fair and is held each January in Harrisburg. This is the largest indoor, agricultural event held in the United States.
The Ephrata Fair in Lancaster County is over 90 years old and is home to the largest street fair in Pennsylvania. The fair takes over the town with many great vendors, rides, and events. There is even a large parade, which is uncommon among fairs in the state. The fair is held in late September.
If you are looking for a unique fair experience, the Centre County Grange and Encampment Fair is for you. Nearly 1,000 campsites dot the fairgrounds as thousands camp out for the duration of the event. This pop-up tent city has been popular for decades and creates a great atmosphere around the event. The Centre County Grange and Encampment Fair is always held in mid-August.
The Great Allentown Fair in the Lehigh Valley was first held in 1852, making it one of the oldest Pennsylvania county fairs. It is also considered one of the state’s largest fairs. It is held each year in late August and early September.
List of Pennsylvania Fairs in 2022
Below, I’ve listed all of the dates for the Pennsylvania fairs that are being held in 2022 (starting in June).
The fairs are listed chronologically, so scroll down and find a great fair to visit this year!
Sykesville Ag & Youth Fair – June 20-25 in Sykesville (Jefferson County)
Schnecksville Community Fair – June 21-25 in Schnecksville (Lehigh County)
Wolf’s Corners Fair – July 3-9 in Tionesta (Forest County)
Mercer County Grange Fair – July 5-9 in Mercer (Mercer County)
Berks County Fair – July 10-15 in Leesport (Berks County)
Franklin County Fair – July 10-16 in Chambersburg (Franklin County)
Lycoming County Fair – July 13-23 in Hughesville (Lycoming County)
Jefferson County Fair – July 17-23 in Brookville (Jefferson County)
Jacktown Fair – July 19-23 in Wind Ridge (Greene County)
York Fair – July 22-31 in York (York County)
Lebanon Area Fair – July 23-30 in Lebanon (Lebanon County)
Bedford County Fair – July 24-30 in Bedford (Bedford County)
Shippensburg Community Fair – July 25-30 in Shippensburg (Cumberland County)
South Mountain Fair – July 26-30 in Arendtsville (Adams County)
Troy Fair – July 28-August 6 in Troy (Bradford County)
Fayette County Fair – July 28-August 6 in Dunbar (Fayette County)
Clarion County Fair – July 31-30 in Fairmount City (Clarion County)
Clinton County Fair – July 31-August 7 in Mackeyville (Clinton County)
Clearfield County Fair – July 31-August 6 in Clearfield (Clearfield County)
Fulton County Fair – July 31-August 6 in McConnellsburg (Fulton County Fair)
Potter County Fair – July 31-August 6 in Millport (Potter County)
Union County West End Fair – July 31-August 6 in Laurelton (Union County)
Cochranton Community Fair – August 1-6 in Cochranton (Crawford County)
Schuylkill County Fair – August 1-6 in Schuylkill Haven (Schuylkill County)
Wayne County Fair – August 5-13 in Honesdale (Wayne County)
Butler Farm Show – August 5-10 in Butler (Butler County)
Venango County Fair – August 6-13 in Franklin (Venango County)
Montour-Delong Community Fair – August 8-13 in Danville (Montour County)
Cameron County Fair – August 7-13 in Emporium (Cameron County)
Huntingdon County Fair – August 7-13 in Huntingdon (Huntingdon County)
Mifflin County Youth Fair – August 8-13 in Reedsville (Mifflin County)
Tioga County Fair – August 8-13 in Wellsboro (Tioga County)
Kutztown Fair – August 8-13 in Kutztown (Berks County)
Warren County Fair – August 9-13 in Pittsfield (Warren County)
Dayton Fair – August 12-14 in Dayton (Armstrong County)
Bullskin Township Community Fair – August 14-20 in Wooddale (Monroe County)
McKean County Fair – August 14-20 in East Smethport (McKean County)
Harford Fair – August 15-20 in New Milford (Susquehanna County)
Middletown Grange Fair – August 17-21 in Penns Park (Bucks County)
Somerset County Fair – August 18-27 in Meyersdale (Somerset County)
Centre County Grange Encampment & Fair – August 19-27 in Centre Hall (Centre County)
Westmoreland Fair – August 19-27 in Greensburg (Westmoreland County)
Crawford County Fair – August 21-27 in Meadville (Crawford County)
West End Fair – August 21-27 in Gilbert (Monroe County)
Williamsburg Community Farm Show – August 21-26 in Williamsburg (Blair County)
Elizabethtown Fair – August 22-27 in Elizabethtown (Lancaster County)
Hookstown Fair – August 23-27 in Hookstown (Beaver County)
Greene-Dreher-Sterling Fair – August 26-September 4 in Newfoundland (Wayne County)
Wattsburg Agricultural Society Erie County Fair – August 28-September 3 in Wattsburg (Erie County)
Big Knob Grange Fair – August 30-September 3 in Rochester (Beaver County)
Allentown Fair – August 31-September 5 in Allentown (Lehigh County)
Wyoming County Community Fair – August 28-September 2 in Meshoppen (Wyoming County)
Sullivan County Fair – August 31-September 5 in Forksville (Sullivan County)
Juniata County Fair – September 3-10 in Port Royal (Juniata County)
Ox Hill Community Fair – September 4-11 in Plumville (Indiana County)
Spartansburg Community Fair – September 4-10 in Spartansburg (Crawford County)
Waterford Community Fair – September 5 in Waterford (Erie County)
West Alexander Fair – September 5-10 in West Alexander (Washington County)
Jamestown Community Fair – September 6-10 in Jamestown (Mercer County)
Luzerne County Fair – September 7-11 in Dallas (Luzerne County)
McClure Bean Soup Festival & Fair – September 12-17 in Middleburg (Snyder County)
Albion Fair – September 13-17 in Albion (Erie County)
Denver Fair – September 13-17 in Denver (Lancaster County)
Southern Lancaster County Fair – September 14-16 in Quarryville (Lancaster County)
Oley Valley Community Fair – September 15-17 in Oley (Berks County)
Hollidaysburg Community Fair – September 16-19 in Hollidaysburg (Blair County)
Beaver Community Fair – September 18-24 in Beaver Springs (Snyder County)
Gratz Fair – September 18-24 in Gratz (Dauphin County)
Ephrata Fair – September 20-24 in Ephrata (Lancaster County)
Bloomsburg Fair – September 23-October 1 in Bloomsburg (Columbia County)
West Lampeter Community Fair – September 28-30 in Lampeter (Lancaster County)
New Holland Farmers Fair – September 28-October 1 in New Holland (Lancaster County)
Manheim Community Farm Show – October 3-7 in Manheim (Lancaster County)
Dillsburg Community Fair – October 10-15 in Dillsburg (York County)
Pennsylvania Farm Show – January 8-15 in Harrisburg (Dauphin County)
Do you know of a Pennsylvania fair that isn’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below.