Nothing kicks off summer on Cape Cod like the opening of the Barnstable County Fair! This year the Barnstable County Fair runs from Monday, July 18th to Sunday, July 24th. This festive event has been a favorite since its start in 1844. It’s a Cape favorite and a great way to celebrate the community and the season! This year you can even purchase your tickets Online. The fair is a great time for kids and adults alike! Make it a tradition for your family.
Back Strong after the Pandemic
While the Cape Cod Fairground had been serving as a Covid-19 testing site during the pandemic, this event is sure to be a celebration of the return to normal, so many are craving, along with the fried dough!When the 2020 fair was canceled due to the pandemic, it joined the ranks of the few past cancellations in the fair’s 170+ year history caused by severe weather, war, and a polio outbreak. The first fair was held in October of 1844 at the county courthouse and involved livestock and handicraft exhibits.
From there, the fair gained popularity and added events, including sulky races, horse and oxen pulling, livestock shows, fireworks, and lots of food! The Merry-go-round, carnival barkers, Agricultural Ball, baseball games, and trotting races followed, and soon the fair was a favorite, drawing visitors in from the surrounding areas.
After success in the 1920s, the fair lost steam until it was revived in 1954 by a committee of citizens devoted to bringing the Barnstable County Fair back to its former glory, this time in Marstons Mills. In 1973 the Barnstable Agricultural Society celebrated its 107th year with the debut of the current site in Falmouth.
Much like years past, the fair still celebrates the traditions of livestock shows, exhibitions of baked goods, crafts, quilts, vegetables, flowers, canned goods, and other agricultural delights. The fair has adopted modern fair fun as well, with carnival games, midway rides, music, shows, and more. Guests can indulge in the wonders of fun fried fair food and enjoy trying their luck in the carnival games. Be sure to look for the wristband days for unlimited rides!
Main Events at the Barnstable County Fair
Main Stage and Arena events for the 2022 fair include musicians Allie Colleen, Peter Noone & Herman’s Hermits, Parmalee and Arrival, an Abba Tribute Band from Sweden. On Tuesday the Fair features Demolition Derby events, including Team Demolition and the Kids Power Wheel Derby. Followed on Wednesday by the World’s Largest Demotion Derby, always a crowd pleaser.
Ground Acts include Circus Incredible, showcasing amazing aerial feats and acrobatics sure to impress fair-goers of all ages. Flatout Freestyle will wow the crowds with their FMX and BMX thrill show. You will also find Kevin Adair strolling the grounds on stilts entertaining everyone with his juggling acts.
General Admission to the Barnstable County Fair includes the main stage shows and is $15 for adults, $5 for children 6-11, free for children 5 and under, $12 for seniors and military ($10 on Friday). Multi-Day passes are available. There are options for free and paid parking. For families with children the Wristband Days( Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday) are a good option, where the kids can take unlimited rides for one set price. Wristbands for unlimited rides are $30 or $35 to include the roller coaster.
Check the Barnstable County Fair’s website for the details on times and availability of wristbands. The proceeds from the fair are reinvested in the fairgrounds, awarded as scholarships to young people pursuing careers in agriculture or conservation, or distributed to many local charitable causes. Check out the many other Annual Events on Cape Cod !!