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An Insider’s Guide to the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

One of the largest county fairs in Maryland, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair has been a major draw for locals and visitors since 1949, with activities, over than 5,000 farm animals, food, and carnival rides for all to enjoy. Sitting on 62 acres, this year’s fair will be held from August 13 – 21, 2021 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds (501 Perry Pkwy, Gaithersburg, MD 20877).

To help you make the most of your visit this year, below is a breakdown of everything you need to know before you load up on cotton candy and funnel cake at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair.

Getting to the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

The Montgomery County Fairgrounds is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It is easily accessible for families living throughout the county, and those traveling from Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Richmond. The fairgrounds are located right off of I-270. Take Exit 11 for Montgomery Village and Quince Orchard Rd. If you are taking I-270 North, keep going through the first light. Otherwise, if you are coming from I-270 South, make a left onto Montgomery Village Ave. Then, at the second light, make a right onto Route 355 South. A right at the following light will take you right onto Perry Parkway, where the Fairgrounds’ entrance will be on the left.

There is ample onsite parking for $10 cash or credit card. But, there is also free parking and shuttle bus service available from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Rd. and Odenhal Ave. (701 Russell Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877).

Ride in Montgomery County, Maryland

Fun and Entertainment at the Fair

The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair has rides and attractions for all ages. There are kid-friendly trains, slides, merry go round, and tea cups. For adventurous adults, there are the gondola wheel, a haunted mansion, magic maze glass house, tilt a whirl, and many others. Purchase a one-day Megapass wristband to get on virtually every ride in the carnival.

Every day, the fair also features great free entertainment. At the Xfinity Grandstand, enjoy Truck Drag Racing and ATV Drag Racing. Watch Swine Racing, a Comedy Hypnotist and, Extreme Illusions and Escapes at the PEPCO, an Exelon Company Community Stage

There will also be fun contests with great prizes for everyone to get in on including photo contests, coloring and cheese carving. Of course, don’t forget to share your images with the Visit Montgomery Instagram page by tagging @visitmoco.

Eating at the Fair

Whether you are looking for something sweet or savory, the fair offers an extensive array of food vendors. Cheese lovers should stop by the Big Cheese, which sold 10,000 gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches during last year’s festivities. Fans of the deep fried variety can get deep fried Twinkies, Snickers, Milkways, S’mores, and cheesecake at the fair. Demetri’s Greek Foods will have gyros, kabobs, pita sandwiches, and baklava to enjoy. Local popular Italian restaurant, Mama Lucia, will also be serving classics like lasagna, fettucine alfredo, baked ziti, and pizza.

Tickets and Hours of Operation

The fair runs from Friday, August 13 – Saturday, August 21 and offers an exciting fair schedule throughout the week. On Monday through Thursday, the fair gates open from 10am – 11pm and the carnival opens from 12noon – 11pm. The hours are extended on Friday, August 20 and Saturday, August 21 with fair gates opening at 10 am – 12midnight and the carnival opens from 12noon – 12midnight.

Children ages 11 and under can get into the fair for free. Adults will cost $15 each at the gate and $12 if you purchase online. You can also purchase a season pass for $94, which includes unlimited admissions and parking fees.

Once you get inside the fair, it can get overwhelming with so much to see and do. Print out the fair map beforehand to make sure you hit up your favorite concession stand or ride.