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Guide to the Woodbury County Fair

The 2023 Woodbury County Fair is just around the corner, and here's what you should know about attending one of Siouxland's most fun annual events:

a boy in a yellow shirt poses next to artwork with red and blue fair ribbons. in front, the words "Parents Guide to the Woodbury County Fair" and ""

When is the Woodbury County Fair?

The Woodbury County Fair is usually the first week of August from Wednesday through Sunday, with exhibit check-in for most competitions happening Monday before the fair. This year's fair will be August 2nd through 6th, 2023.  Some early events start at 7 or 8am, but most parts of the fair open at 10am, noon, or later. You can check out the full schedule on the Woodbury County Fair website to make sure you don't miss your favorite events and attractions at the Woodbury County Fair! But here are a few highlights:

  • Monday 7/31:
    • drop off entries for most Open Class & 4-H events
    • fair fun not yet open to the public
  • Tuesday 8/1: 
    • drop off for many of the animal events
    • judging for most open class events
    • fair fun not yet open to the public
  • Wednesday 8/2:
    • Most fair fun opens to the public at 10am, including open class and 4-H exhibit buildings, Old Town, and much more!
    • Family-friendly events in Old Town including a Chicken Toss at 11am, Pine Bowl Weaving at 2pm, the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center at 2:30pm, and a Make & Take at 3:30pm
    • Kids Glow Foam Dance Party 9-10pm
    • Grandstand entertainment: 714 Promotions Motocross
  • Thursday 8/3: 
    • Kids Day at the Fair--FREE admission for kids and tons of fun activities including two-legged races, frog and toad races, and hot wheels races, make & take crafts, hands-on science discovery station, and more!
    • Live music from Gari & Dani Show on the free stage at 11am & 4pm
    • Pie eating contest at 1pm
    • Grandstand entertainment: PRCA Rodeo
  • Friday 8/4
    • Senior Citizens Day & Armed Forces Day: free admission for people over 65, veterans, and active duty military
    • Kids Make & Take at 10:30am
    • Absolute Science Show at 4pm
    • Grandstand entertainment: Chris Cagle live in concert with opener Eli Alger & the Faster Horses
  • Saturday 8/5
    • Comedy Magic Show at 10:30am
    • Barn Buddies at 1:30pm
    • Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center at 2:30pm
    • Chore Games at 5pm
    • Parade of Antique Tractors & Machines at 6:30pm
    • Bill Riley Talent Search at 7pm
    • Grandstand entertainment: Outlaw Tractor Pull
  • Sunday 8/6
    • Last day of the fair
    • Church at the Fair with Catholic Mass at 7am, Elliot Creek and Lawton Community Church at 8:30am, and Holly Springs Bible Fellowship at 10:30am
    • Pine Bowl Weaving in Old Town from noon to 4pm
    • Butterfly release at 1pm
    • Sweet corn eating contest at 3pm
    • Hula Hoop & Bubble Gum Contests at 3:30pm
    • Grandstand entertainment: Domination Motorsports Demo Derby

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is SO much fun every day of the fair including live music, commercial exhibits, 4H and open class competiton exhibits to admire, Bingo, live farm animals both competing and in the petting zoo, and tons of great food!

Where is the Woodbury County Fair?

The Woodbury County Fair is held at the official Woodbury County Fairgrounds in Moville, Iowa, about 15 minutes past Menards on Highway 20. There is ample free parking at the fairgrounds for cars and trucks (check with the fair for info on RV parking etc!) There is quite a bit of construction on Highway 20 in August 2023, so please drive extra carefully this year and allow yourself extra time for travel. It took me probably 5 more minutes than it did in past years. 

What do you do at the Woodbury County Fair?

a blue ribbon hangs off a lime green Lego helicopter
Lego building is one of the fun events for kids at the fair

The Woodbury County Fair is full of fun for all ages including:
  • Live music including the Bill Riley talent contest, and performances from country stars, a one-man band, and much more!
  • Live animals, from prize-winning pigs to exotic critters like gators and zebra!
  • Fair food starting with coffee in the morning and delighting you all day long with funnel cake, pizza, and much more!
  • Carnival rides and games
  • Old Town, filled with authentic Woodbury County buildings from a century ago that kids can explore, a petting zoo, and home to many of the fair's best games, crafts, and activities for kids
  • 4H and Open Class competitions (for more info on how you can enter, check out my post on entering competitions at the Woodbury County Fair)
  • Grandstand acts, which vary slightly by year but have recently included rodeo and ATV rodeo, drag racing, tractor pulls, demolition derby, and bull riding!

Tips for visiting the Woodbury County Fair with Kids:

a boy in a blue shirt stands next to his little brother in a stroller. both are holding up Hot Wheels cars and smiling proudly.
Hot Wheels races are always a blast!

  • Kids can attend the Woodbury County Fair for FREE on Thursday, and on Thursday there are tons of special events for kids, including sack races, three-legged races, and much more!
  • Old Town is a great base for families with kids during the fair. There's tons of fun for kids there every day of the fair, including many of the special events for kids, plus food and drink, picnic tables, a petting zoo, and even free A/C inside the general store!
  • The best bathrooms for changing babies at the fair are just adjacent to Old Town, next to the barn with antique farm equipment.
  • The fair can get HOT so be sure to bring sippy cups, bottles, sunscreen, hats, and anything else your family wants or needs to be comfortable in high temps. While the buildings at the fair are really fun, we always find ourselves spending a fair amount of time outside, and it'd be easy to get sunburnt, overheated, or dehydrated if you aren't prepared. Or it can be amazing, perfect weather! But better to be prepared for heat than not.
  • Wagons or strollers work really well at the fair. While there can be muddy spots, especially in the parking lot, if it has rained, most of the fair walkways are either paved, or smooth hard grass paths that work well. Just plan on the wheels getting a bit dirty!
  • Any kid can enter fair competitions! Look into the Open Class Events or enter live competitions at the fair like the pie eating contest and Hot Wheels race!

For more info

To find out more about the Woodbury County Fair, visit the Woodbury County Fair website or Facebook page. For really detailed information, look for the "fairbook" on the website--it's 96 pages of information on the fair schedule and competitions!

See you at the fair!!


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