- Things to Do
- Restaurants & Nightlife
- Travel Planning
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.