Millions flock to state fairs every year for Ferris wheels, family fun and deep-fried <i>everything.</i> Here are some of the best (and biggest) around the country.
The Bluegrass State's big-name concerts -- including Rascal Flatts, Journey and Hank Williams Jr. -- and serious horse shows draw over 600,000 visitors to the state fair in Louisville each year.
California's State Fair in Sacramento earns the nickname "Big Fun" with a petting zoo and water park for kids, as well as live thoroughbred racing and a brewfest for adults.
The Oregon State Fair's biggest attractions in Salem include the Hart of the Garden made up of over 8,000 flowers and the Fairlift which gives visitors a bird's-eye-view as it travels from one end of the fairgrounds to the other.
It's true that everything's bigger in Texas, including its state fair in Dallas which draws over 3 million people annually to see the 52-foot-tall mascot Big Tex and eat an astonishing array of fried foods.
With over 75 rides, 100 food booths, a stellar concert lineup and warm weather, it's easy to see why the Arizona State Fair draws over 1 million visitors to Phoenix in October and November.
In addition to agriculture, the Ohio State Fair in Columbus is heavy on entertainment where you can hear the likes of Gavin DeGraw, Jason Aldean or see a new star born during Ohio Idol.
Don't let the name fool you, this is Washington's largest fair which draws 1.3 million visitors to Puyallup each year for rides, rodeo and the new Rainforest Adventure, where kids get the chance to experience an authentic tropical rainforest atmosphere in a lush exhibit complete with toucans, anacondas, snapping turtles, and more.
Like most fairs, one of the biggest draws to the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights is the live music at the Grandstand. The second-biggest state fair in the country (second only to Texas which runs twice as long) offers entertainment that ranges from country music legend Alan Jackson to stock car races to the ever-popular live broadcast of Garrison Keillor's <i>A Prairie Home Companion</i>.
Iowa State Fair's slogan is "nothing compares," and it's true nothing compares to the life-size, 600-pound butter cow on display for the more than a million fairgoers in Des Moines each year. It also one-ups a fair staple: Food on-a-stick, offering over 50 types including the deep-fried cupcake and hot bologna on a stick.
Held just outside Milwaukee in West Allis, otherwise known as America's Dairyland, it's no surprise the biggest attraction at the Wisconsin State Fair is the cream puffs -- betcha can't eat just one.
Even though it’s located in Springfield, Massachusetts, The Big E Fair is actually New England's regional fair. Despite not technically qualifying as a state fair, any fair where you can try Maine lobster and baked potatoes as well as Vermont's maple syrup and Ben and Jerry's ice cream easily makes this list.