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The Arlington County Fair is returning next month

Arlington residents can look forward to music shows, amusement rides and bouncy castles as the Arlington County Fair is set to return next month.

The annual county fair is scheduled to be held between Wednesday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 21, at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, at 3501 2nd Street S. It is free to attend and open to the whole family.

Here is the fair schedule for the outdoor area:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 17: 5-10 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 18: 5-10 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 19: 2-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 20: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 21: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Although canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the fair has been held for more than 40 years and attracted over 84,000 people from Northern Virginia and the D.C. Metropolitan area to attend in past years, according to the fair’s website.

The Night Market is a new event this year. It is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 18, between 5-10 p.m. It is only open to vendors selling personally made handicrafts and art pieces. Apart from crafts, other business and nonprofit organizations are expected to run indoor booths as well.

The fair is also planning to host local music groups and solo artists for weekend performances on the turf field. The performance schedule has not been released.

For children and families, the fair is set to hold a Kids Court with different games, including a pie eating contest. Additionally, there will be a variety of amusement rides will be provided by the Cole Shows Amusement Company. Each ride is expected to take three to six tickets, with each ticket selling for $1.25.

Other activities include competitive exhibits scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 17, and Thursday, Aug. 18, where participants can showcase the products they made, in categories such as baked goods, needlework, handicrafts, and photography, according to the Competitive Exhibits Guide. The theme for this year’s exhibit is “What a Ride!” and an award ceremony for the winners is set on Saturday, Aug. 20.

This year’s fair is also expected to feature a beer garden organized with New District Brewery. That’s in addition to the usual fair fare, such as funnel cakes, deep fried Oreos, pizzas and other items.

The executive board for the fair previously discussed changing the venue to Long Bridge Park but ultimately decided against it after public feedback favored staying put the the TJ Community Center, which is centrally located in Arlington but a distance away from transit and the county’s denser population centers.

The upper field at the community center was closed for renovations for the first half of this year and reopened in June after being fitted with a synthetic turf, according to a county website.

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