Summer time is the best time to spend outdoors, and what better place to do that than outdoor summer carnivals and festivals? And there are so many around the United States to choose from, so you’ll never have to travel far to hop on a ride or dig into anything deep fried and doused in sugar. There are huge festivals in huge towns, yes, but we can’t overlook those smaller carnivals in small towns. Either way, make an effort to check out at least a few carnivals, fairs or festivals before the summer ends.
Wisconsin State Fair
At the Wisconsin State Fair, the rides get put on the back burner while the extensive list of foods take precedence. It’s all about their food creation and innovative dishes, which, isn’t a bad thing, if you’re like us! Sink your teeth into a Caribbean crepe, dig into peanut butter bacon bison burgers, try deep fried maple bacon cookie dough, and you can’t leave without trying the deep fried cheese curds!
Though the food is quite awesome, the one million visitors are there for the rides, too. Your visit won’t be complete without a ride or two on the Super Nova Roller Coaster, New York, New York Funhouse or a long slide down the Giant Slide.
The fun doesn’t end there! Choose from their 30 free stages plus their Main Stage for entertainment at every corner at the fair. Headliners like Reba McEntire and Casting Crowns are just a few that have taken the stages. Other kinds of entertainment like jugglers, comedian and hypnotists are just a few of the acts that are never hard to find at the Wisconsin State Fair.
Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival
Summer is cool, but the heat is not! The average temperature on a summer day in Fairbanks, Alaska is just 73 degrees, which makes the yearly Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival a cooler choice without actually enduring the cold temps on a typical visit to Alaska. This place is all things art! No matter the skill level, they offer on-hour, one-day or one-week art workshops designed to aid the visitor in seeing their own artistic value. Nearly 10,000 come together at the festival to study, perform and engage their spirit. There are 200 workshops to choose from and over 100 events each season. Nothing is excluded at the festival! The variety includes music, dance visual arts theater, culinary arts and so much more. You don’t see yourself making an artistic breakthrough anytime soon but still want to consume art, you can still check out the art that’s on display.
Atlanta Ice Cream Festival
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Take a trip to Atlanta to celebrate the icy treat with other ice cream lovers! Piedmont Park is the perfect place for a locals-approved must-see area for visitors to Atlanta. The eighth edition of the annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival is happening in just a few weeks and includes a balanced competition for attendees who are ready to eat as much ice cream as humanly possible all while getting a good, sweaty workout in. It’s free to enter, so why not see what all the fuss is about? Head out to enjoy America’s favorite dessert, but be prepared to enhance your mind on maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Have some fun participating in a few activities, like the Fight Cancer Walk, Sumba, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Line Dancing. Or check out the free Screening Booth and give blood while you’re there! Getting some exercising in while snacking on some dessert really goes to show that you can actually have it all!
State Fair of Texas in Dallas
Everything is bigger in Texas, and state fairs are no exclusions. Loud, proud and full of star-studded attractions, the Dallas State Fair is the best celebration of all things Texas. The biggest attraction here continues to be the Chevy Main Stage which hosts about 80 musical acts during the fair’s four week schedule. Recently, it’s been home to quite a few big names, like Blondie in 2013 in the Sunshine Band in 2011. Let’s not forget to mention the Texan cook-off, when locals go head-to-head to see who can create the best Tex-Mex chili, an absolute must-have for fans in the Southern kitchen.
It is a state fair after all, and the more than 70 rides make it a big one! These rides include the Thrillway, the Kidway, and iconic 212-ft. Texas Star Ferris Wheel, the 500-ft. Top o’ Texas Tower and the 1914 Dentzel Carousel, a staple that’s been on the fairgrounds since the early 1950s.
New York State Fair in Syracuse
Here, the awesome Grandstand has attracted chart-toppings artists for quite a few years, ranging from Justin Bieber to Journey, the 80s rock band. Though there aren’t any carnival rides at this specific fair, they have basically everything else from prestigious horse shows to musical concerts. And don’t forget to bring that appetite! The number one reason people visit the Great New York State Fair is the food. This year is the best so far. They have the old standbys that are still there, but this year they’ll be joined by new vendors for everyone including those for the health conscious to those who are ready for adventurous foods!
The fairgrounds is a key player in New York’s equine industry, hosting over 40 horse events each year. Over 50 trade and consume shows also bring about 300,000 people to the Fairgrounds. A total of 50 entertainment events bring over 100,000 people to the venue each year.