The county’s annual summer gathering resumes with outdoor hours from 2-10:30 p.m. and indoor hours from 4-10 p.m. The fair — which features games, rides, food, musical performances and fun for all ages — runs through Sunday, Aug. 20 at Thomas Jefferson Community Center.
Hours for the remaining days of outdoor fair activities are as follows.
- Saturday, Aug. 19: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (sensory friendly hours); 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 20: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (sensory friendly hours); 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
During sensory friendly hours, the fair aims to limit loud music and other noises.
Visitors can expect the traditional collection of entertainment and competitions, as well as a variety of food and drink options. Admission is free, according to the fair’s website. Ride tickets can be purchased online or on site, with each ride typically requiring 3-6 tickets.
ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott made a return visit to the fair earlier this week and noted a more carefree vibe than recent years.
“Biggest crowd I’ve seen since before the pandemic,” Westcott observed. “People seemed genuinely happy.”
Westcott’s photos, as well as a reader’s contributed photo, are above. A press release about the fair, noting some of the new features, is below.
Celebrating over four decades of tradition, the Arlington County Fair returns this week with entertainment and excitement for all ages. One of the East Coast’s largest free events attracting more than 125,000 visitors annually, the Fair is open from August 16-20 at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center and Park. The five-day extravaganza showcases the vibrant spirit of our community through competitive exhibits, thrilling rides, live music, local vendors, and much more.
The Fair opens with a formal ceremony and ribbon-cutting on Wednesday, August 16 at 5 p.m. at the playground in front of the TJ Community Center. The public is invited as we celebrate unity in diversity and embrace the spirit of inclusivity that “A Fair for All” represents.
Highlights of this year’s Fair include:
- The New District Brewing Company’s family-friendly beer garden features beer and wines along with a Root Beer Float Fire Truck that both kids and adults can enjoy.
- The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ ArtMobile exhibit, “Revealing and Obscuring Identity: Portraits from the Permanent Collection.”
- A Night Market on Thursday, August 17, from 5:00-10:00 p.m., where local makers will showcase their exquisite creations.
- Sensory-friendly hours will provide a calm and welcoming environment on Saturday, August 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 20, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. These hours are dedicated to creating a space without lights or sounds, with the addition of Arlington County’s Therapeutic Recreation Office’s sensory tent for additional comfort and calming activities.
- The Indoor Vendor Showcase features over 75 local vendors within the Thomas Jefferson Gym.
- Punch Bowl Social introduces an indoor pop-up park, while partner Nova Systemic sponsors a hands-on STEM area catering to kids of all ages.
- Performances by Drew Blue Shoes and Rocknoceros and other local talent.
- Odyssey Events’ Axe Throwing.
- eBike rides with BikeArlington.
- Pie-eating contest with Livin’ the Pie Life and the Arlington Jaycees
Visiting the Fair
For more details about transportation and parking, hotels, daily schedule of events, and operating hours, or to purchase ride tickets, visit the Fair website.
The Arlington County Fair is a 501c(s) nonprofit volunteer-driven organization that embraces a diverse community by educating, entertaining, and showcasing the best of Arlington. The Fair would not be possible without the support of individual donors, our corporate sponsors, and our close partnership with Arlington County and the Arlington County Department of Recreation.
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