LouFamFun Writers’ Tips for Visiting the Kentucky State Fair


These tips were written after attending the 2013 Kentucky State Fair:

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Erin: “Most years we always wait until the end of the fair to visit, usually the last weekend of the fair. It helps a little as it’s a little less crowded, but this year I wanted to go earlier because our daughter had two 4-H entries that won 1st place at the Jefferson County Fair, which meant they automatically went onto the Kentucky State Fair! We went during the week to be sure to see her art projects early and see the most animals we could for our toddler’s entertainment. If your child (age 9+) has access to a 4-H club near you, I highly recommend it! They work on projects all year that can be entered in the fair, and because they are an urban extension service, they cover the entry fees – plus! There’s nothing like arriving at the fair, looking for your artwork, and finding it. It’s so cool!”

Maggie: “We tried something new at the fair this year-wrist bands for
unlimited rides.  They used to only offer
them on certain days, but now they’re offered every day for different
prices.  We went on Friday night so our
wrist bands were $20 apiece.  What a
deal!  My kids got to ride all the rides
they wanted, going on most of them at least a dozen times.  The downside to this, of course, is that the
lines for rides were longer than I have ever seen them before.  We had to wait sometimes 5-10 minutes for
some of the rides.  But everyone had fun
and we stayed later than we ever have before riding all the rides we could
handle.  We’ll definitely do this next

Brandy: “We happened to be walking past the Farm Credit Mid-America Show Ring as the stands were filling up for Miller’s Border Collies show. We were too late to snag a seat, found a great place to stand off to the side near the goats. The owner brought the dogs out one by one and together they demonstrated how Border Collies round up animals on a farm. The dogs respond to verbal commands as well as different whistles. For this show they worked together as a team to herd ducks into different pens in the ring. Every now and then one of the younger dogs would get a little ahead of himself and the owner would call out “lay down” and the dog would flatten out like a pancake. The kids got a kick out of that! The show was brief, but entertaining and was a nice break from the afternoon sun.”

Caryn: “This year I decided to try out the final day of the fair. I
had fears of large crowds and out of stock vendors, but we gave it a try.
Surprisingly, it didn’t seem any more crowded than a regular weekend,  and we were only disappointed by the bee and
honey group having run out of honey sticks – a tradition for our family.
Several of the vendors had “Last Day” sales on merchandise with great
deals! But the best thing about the last day of the fair was the horses.

On the last day of the fair, all the show horses have gone
home and the draft horses come out to play. Have you ever wondered how many
pounds a horse can pull? You can find out at the Draft Horse Pull competition,
which happens to be one of the oldest sports in the world. This year the
competition started with the lightest weight horses pulling 4,000 pound sleds.
As the horses got heavier, and as the competition continued, the weight on the
sled got heavier. I was amazed at how fast those horses pulled the wood sled
full of cinder blocks, and how fast they took off to pull the sled as soon as
they were hooked up. More than once the teams tried to take off before they
were hooked up, pulling the handlers behind them. They are amazingly strong!

Each team took their turn pulling the sled about 28 feet. As
the sled approached 8,000 pounds, the horses started to have some difficulty.
We watched as the teams were unable to pull the sled the full distance and were
eliminated from the competition. I really enjoyed watching and cheering the
horses on, but my kids were ready to leave after about 45 minutes and needed to
be distracted with ice cream and snacks to remain for the full 2 hours of
competition. It was a very casual atmosphere where you could come and go as you
please, eat and drink, and chat with your neighbors. The announcer did a great
job of introducing the teams, talking about their other wins, and telling us
more about the sport. Next time, I think I’ll sacrifice our good seats in
exchange for watching just the last part of the competition when the horses
start to really show off. It was lots of fun, but a little long for my kids.

The last part of the fair we enjoyed was the animals getting
packed up for home. Watching the farmers try to get some of the animals in
their trailers was like watching The Running of the Bulls, but with pigs
knocking over families and children as they raced down the aisles (no one was
hurt, just startled). It was entertaining to watch, not to be part of, and it
was something new we had never seen at the fair mid-week. Overall, I’d say
there are positives and negatives to attending the last day of the fair, but we
enjoyed it just as much as the less crowded times.”

The 2014 Kentucky State Fair is August 14-24, 2014.

You can also see past reviews:
2010 again
All Day Round Up – visiting for a FULL day!
4H & Food

Louisville Zoo
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