Seven lesser-known features of this week’s Arlington County Fair

Ferris wheel at the county fair (staff photo)

The Arlington County Fair is set to kick off this Wednesday and run through Sunday, Aug. 21.

As usual (though it was not without some debate) the fair is being held at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, at 3501 2nd Street S. It is free to attend and open to the whole family.

Apart from the usual food and craft vendors, competitive exhibits and amusement rides, we’ve compiled a list of some lesser-known fair features this year.

The poster for axe throwing and the escape room at the fair (via Arlington County Fair)

1. Axe throwing

Fairgoers can try their hands at axe throwing inside a mobile trailer operated by Odyssey Mobile Adventures. Coaches are set to be present. Those interested need to first buy tickets on site, which are priced at $10 for 10 throws.

2. Escape room

The same company that runs the axe throwing is also set to provide an escape room for those interested in testing their problem solving abilities. Tickets are priced at $20 per group of a maximum of five people. Both activities are scheduled to be open all week.

The poster for the sensory hour at the fair (via Arlington County Fair)

3. Sensory hour

A new feature this year, this hour is set to happen between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 20). During the hour, the fair plans to eliminate loud noises and music so that patrons may enjoy the fair without feeling overwhelmed.

This is a collaboration effort with the county’s Therapeutic Recreation Office, which focuses on providing equal access in recreation programs, like the fair, to individuals of differing needs and abilities. Sensory break tent areas are also scheduled at different hours over the weekend, according to an Arlington County Fair Instagram post.

The poster for the beer garden at the fair (via Arlington County Fair)

4. Beer (and rosé) garden

This year’s beer garden is a partnership with Arlington-based New District Brewing Company. Beers on tap include an IPA, pilsner, kettle sour and hard seltzer. For wine drinkers, a Virginia winery is providing its 2021 La Grange rosé as well this year.

The garden is set to open throughout the week, with a special trivia night on Thursday. Packs of beer and wine tickets may be purchased in advance.

5. Electric bike ride demonstration

Set to be held at the basketball courts, interested participants can try riding on some personal electric vehicles, such as e-bikes, cargo bikes and e-scooters.

Staff from BikeArlington and WalkArlington — county programs that are jointly organizing the free rides — will be on site to assist and answer questions. There will also be a raffle for those who go on a test ride. The event is free and open all week.

6. Bingoat

This family-friendly bingo event is set to feature goats from Walnut Creek Farm. Goats are expected to roam around the venue where the bingo game is held, from 4-5 p.m. on Saturday.

Although a part of the fair, this event is scheduled to be held at the indoor community center at Faith Lutheran Church at 3313 Arlington Blvd, which can be accessed from the fair via the pedestrian bridge across Route 50.

Participants should be comfortable with animals. Children who wish to attend must be older than 10 years old and accompanied by an adult.

7. Pizza eating contest

Who is the ultimate pizza eating champ in Arlington, who can power through a cheesy slice in the least amount of time?

This competition Friday night will reward those with jaws and stomachs of steel, with prizes for different age categories. Those under five will eat Twinkies instead.