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Family Fun

Arlington County Fair

Food, fun and frivolity draw thousands to the annual Arlington County Fair, one of the largest free events on the East Coast.

It may be a small county, but big fun is on tap at the Arlington County Fair, straddling the Ballston and Columbia Pike neighborhoods.

Each year for one week in mid-August, Arlington’s Thomas Jefferson Community & Fitness Center is transformed into a festive hub of activities — from live outdoor music to carnival rides and games to food vendors (think: funnel cakes and deep-fried candy bars). One of the largest free events on the East Coast, the fair has been providing classic fair activities and entertainment for more than 40 years, attracting some 80,000 people annually.

Entertainment Tent

Tap your toes to stage performances by local and regional artists in the Entertainment Tent on Saturday and Sunday. Take a seat under the tent, grab some food for a picnic and cheer on the performers. Or toast them with an ice-cold brew or glass of wine provided by the New District Brewing Company in the beer garden.

Pie Eating Championship

Go hands free, literally, at the Pie Eating Championship that requires participants to eat one slice of pie with no hands. Talk about feeding your face! The first three contestants in each age group to finish everything on their plates are winners.

Kids Court

Let the kiddies indulge in all the free activities they want at the Kids Court, such as interactive games, coloring, face painting, obstacle courses, bounce houses, amusement rides and midway games.

Goat Yoga

Baa! Stretch out with some goat yoga that brings the cute, cuddly bovids to your downward-facing dog. Friendly goats from Walnut Creek Farm will roam among the yogis during this casual, outdoor yoga practice. Some of the animals can even bring good luck to bingo players during rounds of “bingoat.” 

Hog Races

Find a spot up close on the racing track when the Hollywood Hogs All-Star Racing Team performs. Watch the cute, cuddly piglets scramble down the track during multiple races each day.

More Fun

Still need more? Try a weekend foam party, axe throwing, escape room and an e-bike ride with BikeArlington. Or check out the artmobile from Richmond’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with its exhibit of portraits from the permanent collection.

Smiling children ride a swing ride at the Arlington County Fair

Entertainment includes stage performances in the Entertainment Tent by local and regional artists, the FREE Kids Court activities like face painting and bounce houses, thrilling amusement rides, and midway games, and other programming you won’t want to miss.

Aerial view of the Arlington County Fair grounds in the evening, with tents and rides illuminated by lights

The county fair runs from August 17-21 with various hours. Check the Arlington County Fair's daily hours of operations.

Two children ride a spinning tea cup amusement ride at the Arlington County Fair

The Arlington County Fair provides something for everyone including but not limited to carnival rides, live performances, shopping, and fair food.

A young pig jumps over an obstacle during a pig race at the Arlington County Fair in Arlington, VA.

Find out about shuttle services and plan your transportation to the Arlington County Fair.