Posted on March 1, 2019 by Dina Miller
From the early morning sounds of the fair waking up – animals stirring in the stalls, carnival workers checking the rides, and concessionaires heating up their fryers – to the giant boom of fireworks at the end of the evening, it’s an American icon that draws people back year after year. Not only is Indiana the crossroads of the nation, but the heart of the Midwest, where county fairs have meant endless fun and family time for generations.
A number of counties that make up Indiana’s Cool North hosts a county fair with its own special flair. But they all have one thing in common – the ability to draw thousands of people each year for a week or more of pure Americana. You can spend days taking in a huge array of events, from 4-Hers showing their prized animals to local talent shows, thrilling rides, fabulous food, big-name entertainers, rodeos, and tractor pulls, but still not cover everything there is to do.
So mark your calendar, load up the family, touch the Heartland’s roots, and perhaps start a tradition of your own that will carry on in years to come. Welcome to Northern Indiana’s very cool fairs! Here’s what’s in store, with links to complete descriptions of each fair:
Where: St. Joseph County Fairgrounds, South Bend
When: June 28 - July 06, 2019
Evenings at the St Joseph County Fair feature the popular St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo, the Fair Queen Contest, a Monster Truck Throwdown, and, of course, four nights of the big fireworks show. Daily entertainment brings a host of talent. Don’t miss the three-ring circus and antique tractor parade each day.
Where: LaPorte County Fairgrounds, LaPorte
When: July 7-13, 2019
Two big Grandstand shows at the LaPorte County Fair include Chris Lane performing with Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett, and Hunter Hayes with his special guest Michael Ray. The Entertainment Tent brings a host of free performances that range from country to easy listening to soul. The fair is also staging some featured events – the NTPA tractor pull, Rolling Stone Rodeo, and the County Fair Queen contest.
Where: Kosciusko County Fairgrounds, Warsaw
When: July 7-13, 2019
Where: LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds, LaGrange
When: July 13-20, 2019
The LaGrange County Fair gets off to a great start with the big fireworks display opening night and the fair parade the following day. Sunday also brings a main stage performance by For King and Country and Rebecca St James. The whole family will love the daily shows. Be prepared for different thrills with rodeo competition, midget auto racing and extreme supercross racing.
Where: Marshall County 4-H Fairgrounds, Argos
When: July 14-20, 2019
To be announced…
Where: Porter County Expo Center and Fairgrounds, Valparaiso
When: July 18-27, 2019
The yearly lineup of grandstand talent at the Porter County Fair is so impressive that it easily matches some much larger state fairs across the country. This year, Darci Lynne take the stage, as well as the Newsboys, and Sawyer Brown and Diamond Rio.. And for fairgoers who love to watch exciting action, this year’s fair will feature A-Bar Rodeo Bull Riding for fast-paced competition, the Super Show Tractor Pull, A Tuff Truck Challenge and Demolition Derby.
Where: Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, Goshen
When: July 19-27, 2019
Naturally, the Elkhart County Fair is filled with non-stop entertainment, including five nights of shows on the Grandstand stage that range from Echosmith and REO Speedwagon, to Jordan Kirkdorffer. A tractor pull, rodeo and demolition derby round out the 9 days of Grandstand entertainment. You can buy tickets for reserved track seats for the performances, but Grandstand seating is free, on a first-come basis.