Press Club

Arlington County Fair Kicks Off in Two Weeks

Live music, theatrical performances and fair food are all on tap as Arlington County Fair returns two weeks from today.

After being canceled due to the pandemic, the event will return to the Thomas Jefferson Community Center and grounds, at 3501 2nd Street S. The fair kicks off Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 22.

“We weren’t sure we were going to be able to have the Fair this year but we made the decision a few short months ago and have been working tirelessly ever since to plan some exciting things for our community to enjoy,” said Arlington County Fair Board Chair Barbi Broadus.

For five days, people can experience county fair classics such as face painting and bounce houses, or try newer, trendier activities, such as axe throwing and goat yoga.

Fair attractions include:

  • Goat yoga — Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 and 10:30 a.m.
  • New District Brewing Company beer garden — opens Wednesday and Thursday at 5 p.m, Friday at 3 p.m., and noon on Saturday and Sunday
  • Robotics demonstrations — Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • The Miraculous Magical Balloon performance from Synetic Theatre — Thursday at 5 p.m. and Saturday 4 p.m.
  • Pie eating championship — Saturday from noon to 2:30 p.m.

All things kids can be found at the “kids court,” where there will be face painting, bounce houses and magic performances from Drew Blue Shoes.

Meanwhile, attendees can browse exhibitions of talented bakers and artists, who will receive awards on Saturday at 7 p.m.

While admission is free, rides and activities may require tickets that can be purchased on-site or online, where a detailed schedule of events can also be found.

After living through shutdowns, attendees can expect sizable crowds.

“For the past 45 years, the fair has been one of the largest free events on the East Coast with over 84,000 attendees from Northern Virginia and the Washington metro area,” said a fair representative in a press release.

The fair is working with Arlington County to ensure the event is as safe as possible, according to a press release. Federal and state Covid-19 guidelines will be followed.

In Arlington, case rates are starting to rise and Northern Virginia health officials are recommending people wear masks regardless of vaccination status. There is no renewed statewide mask mandate, however.

This year’s event will have some on-site parking spaces for fairgoers in the Alice West Fleet Elementary School garage on 115 S. Old Glebe Road. Overflow parking will be available at the Faith Lutheran Church (3313 Arlington Blvd).

For those looking to help out, the fair is looking for board members, volunteers, donations, sponsorships and local vendors.

The hours for the fair are:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 18: 5-10 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 19: 5-10 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 20: 2-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 21: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 22: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Outdoor entertainment consists of a daily lineup of musicians, from jazz and funk to rock and pop. The music schedule is below.

Thursday, Aug. 19:

4 p.m.: Beaty Willy (Acoustic Alternative Folk)
5:15 p.m.: Calico Cloggers (Dance Group)
6:30 p.m.: Crush Funk (Pop/Funk/Jazz)
7:45 p.m.: Bele Bele Rhythm Collective (Drum Group)
9 p.m.: Lesson Zero (Roots Rock/Classic Covers)

Friday, Aug. 20:

3:45 p.m.: Sara Baumgarten (Singer/Songwriter)
5 p.m.: Wesley Spangler (Country)
6:15 p.m.: Gabrielle Zwi & Ken Avis (Bossa Nova/Jazz)
7:30 p.m.: Arlingtones (Barbershop)
8:45 p.m.: Danny & Jimmy (Latin Urban Duo)

Saturday, Aug. 21:

3:45 p.m.: Red Sun King (Rock/Blues/Pop)
5 p.m.: Old Dominion Cloggers (Dance Group)
6:15 p.m.: The Sunshine Gangs (Rock & Roll)
7:30 p.m.: Cuzko (Latin/Pop)
8:45 p.m.: The Sprinting Turtles (Rock & Roll)

Sunday, August 19:

11 a.m.: Halau O’Aulani (Hawaiian music and hula)
12:15 p.m.: Modine, Queens & Friends (Song & Dance Group)
1:30 p.m.: TimeWarpRock (Rock and Synth Pop)
2:45 p.m.: DEMZ (60s-80s Classic Rock)
4 p.m.: Jaleo Arte Flamenco
6:30 p.m.: Griefcat (Indie/Country)
7:45 p.m.: Bumperyachts (Alternative Rock)
9 p.m.: 40 Miles Home (Acoustic)

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