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County fairs for frugal summer fun

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If families that desire a 'state fair' experience on a smaller scale or with a more rural approach, a county fair may be a good idea. Some are very low-key, like the Polk County Fair, and have no food vendors or rides. Other county fairs run on a larger scale like the Iowa State Fair, such as the Adair County Fair. A few area fairs are within one hour of drive time from the Des Moines metro area and begin this week.

For county fairs farther away, visit the Association of Iowa Fairs website.

Warren County Fair
Warren County Fair Warren Co. Fair

Warren County Fair

The Warren County Fair large county fair and will be held later this month on July 24 - 29. There are grand stand shows, carnival rides, and more. Keep up with the Facebook Page for a more rural Iowa experience than the State Fair.

Story County Fair
Story County Fair Story County Extension

Story County Fair

The Story County Fair will run from July 19 - 24, 2013 in Nevada, which is about an hour away from Des Moines. This is a smaller fair with no rides or grand stand shows. Rather, it is focused on 4-H, FFA, and Open Class exhibits.

Polk County Fair
Polk County Fair Polk Co. Fair

Polk County Fair

The Polk County Fair is held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in the 4-H Building and adjacent barns on July 17 - 21, 2013. This is a smaller fair, with 4-H and FFA Clubs as well as Open Class (general public) presenting exhibits.

Adair County fair
Adair County fair Adair Co. Fair

Adair County fair

The Adair County Fair runs from July 17 - 21, 2013, and is a larger fair. Grandstand acts like the Demolition Derby are included in the admission price of $6/adult and $3/kids (ages 5 - 10); preschoolers are free. Wristbands give visitors a 4-day pass for $22.

Madison County Fair
Madison County Fair Madison County Fair

Madison County Fair

The Madison County Fair is a mid-size fair with a traditional agriculture perspective. It runs from July 17 - 21, 2013. Admission tickets are cheaper when pre-purchased. For example, one adult costs $6 presale, $8 at the gate.

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