Midwest State Fairs 2018


One of my favorite things about summer is fairs, and here in the upper Midwest we have some of the best of them in the whole world. Here are the details on the Iowa state fair, and the fairs of states that share a border with us, in alphabetical order. 
If fairs are your thing too, be sure to also check out my 2018 Siouxland County Fairs Roundup post, coming soon!

cow sculpted from butter from Iowa State Fair
World Famous Butter Cow by Sculptor Sarah Pratt, photo courtesy of Iowa State Fair media library

Iowa State Fair

  • When: August 9th-19th
  • Where: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Grandstand acts & other highlights:
    • Casting Crowns
    • Reba McIntire
    • Daughtry with Ben Rector
    • Old Dominion
    • Jim Gaffigan
    • Sugarland
    • Papa Roach and Chevelle
    • Thomas Rhett with Danielle Bradbery
    • Peter Cetera
    • Earth, Wind, and Fire
    • Florida Georgia Line
    • largest state fair food department in the country
    • one of the world's largest livestock shows
    • food from over 200 stands including 50 new foods for 2018 like rainbow popcorn and maple bacon ice cream
    • goat yoga
    • new Fair After Dark program
    • Red Trouser Show acrobats
    • the Nadas
    • the Rubber Chicken Show with Greg Frisbee
  • For more info: Check out the Iowa State Fair website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, YouTube channel, Instagram feed, and Pinterest page

Illinois State Fair

  • When: August 9th-19th
  • Where: Springfield, Illinois
  • Grandstand acts and other highlights:
    • Brantley Gilbert
    • ARCA Racing Series 100 Sportsman Nationals
    • Flo Rida & Ludacris
    • USAC Silver Crown 100 Sportsman Nationals
    • Brett Eldredge
    • 311 & the Offspring
    • Boy George & Culture Club
    • Luke Combs
    • Dueling Pianos
    • Foreigner with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
    • Halestorm and Mastodon
    • Rides, food, kids zone and more
  • For more info: Check out the Illinois State Fair website or find them on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube

Minnesota State Fair

  • When: August 23rd-September 3rd
  • Where: Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Grandstand acts and other highlights:
    • Beach Boys with the Righteous Brothers
    • Good Vibes with Jason Mraz & Brett Dennan
    • Boy George
    • B-52s
    • Niall Horan with Maren Morris
    • Sugarland
    • the Current's Music-on-a-Stick
    • Earth Wind and Fire
    • Old Dominion with Morgan Evans
    • TruTV Impractical Jokers
    • 311 & the Offspring
    • Hairball
    • Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Competition
    • live cooking demonstrations from Sean Sherman (author of the Sioux Kitchen) and other professional chefs
    • over 900 free shows from 100+ acts throughout the fair, tons of animals, classic fair rides and much more.
  • For more info: Check out the Minnesota State Fair website, or find them on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, or instagram 


Missouri State Fair

  • When: August 9th-19th
  • Where: Sedalia, Missouri
  • Grandstand acts and other highlights:
    • Montgomery Gentry & Whiskey Myers
    • Rock of the 70's starring Foghat
    • Hank Williams Jr. & Frank Foster
    • Casting Crowns & Zach Williams
    • Southern Uprising Tour with Travis Tritt, the Charlie Daniels Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, and the Outlaws
    • Aaron Watson & Tim Montana
    • Cole Swindell and RaeLynn
    • ASCS National Sprint Car & Ulma Late Model Races
    • Missouri State Fair Shoot-Out
    • Outlaw Truck & Tractor Pull
    • Roots & Boots Tour
    • Big Air Extreme Basketball Show
    • Amazing Anastasini Circus
    • Cowboy Mounted Shooting
    • Missouri Cow Chip Throwing Championship
    • Truck & Farm Tractor Pull
    • MO State Fair Idol
  • For more info: Check out the Missouri State Fair website or find them on FacebookYouTube, twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest

Nebraska State Fair

  • When: August 24-Sept 3
  • Where: Lincoln, NE
  • Grandstand acts and other highlights:
    • Kelly Clarkson
    • Sugarland
    • Old Dominion
    • Up With People
    • Model Train exhibit
    • Prehistoric Nebraska exhibit from the Omaha Children's Museum
    • petting zoo and camel & pony rides
    • Sea Lion show
    • Trapeze show
    • daily parades
  • For more info: Check out the Nebraska State Fair website or find them on Facebook, twitter, YouTube or instagram

South Dakota State Fair

  • When: Aug 30-Sept 3
  • Where: Heron, SD
  • Grandstand acts and other highlights:
    • Toby Keith
    • Foreigner with Night Ranger
    • Gary Allan and Sawyer Brown
    • Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull
    • Cowboy Mounted Shooting
    • Ranch Rodeo
    • Kids' Fish Catch
    • Arm Wrestling
    • Cheese Scultping
    • stock dog trials
    • Strongest man competition
  • For more info: Check out the South Dakota State Fair website or find them on Facebook, flickr, YouTube, or Twitter

Wisconsin State Fair

Cheese Curds at the Wisconsin State Fair (picture courtesy of WI State Fair)

  • When: August 2nd-12th
  • Where: West Allis, WI
  • Grandstand acts & other highlights:
    • Montgomery Gentry
    • BoDeans
    • Alice Cooper
    • Happy Together Tour
    • Casting Crowns
    • Why Don't We
    • Cole Swindell
    • the Temptations and the Four Tops
    • TLC
    • Foreigner
    • Racing Pigs
    • Sea Lion Splash
    • K-9 demonstrations
    • 30 free stages with musicians, jugglers, comedians, contests, and more
    • more than 200 food and beverage locations

  • For more info: Visit the Wisconsin State Fair website, or find them on Twitter or Instagram




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