The Georgia National Fair is arguably the best in the south, sprawling across the massive fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia through part of October. Folks who went as kids are now bringing their own children to experience Georgia agriculture, Reithhoffer Midway rides, the big tent circus and traditional fair food.
Fair food has a reputation of being fried and outrageous, but the Georgia National Fair has something for everyone. Roasted corn, grilled chicken piping heavenly aromas into the air, blooming onions, Georgia Grown snacks, candy apples, Amish Kettle Corn, boiled peanuts; there are so many choices for snacking there, or bringing tasty treats home.
Reithhoffer Midway is a magical stretch of every fair ride imaginable. Funhouses, swings, the tilt-o-whirl, scrambler, zipper and more than one glittering ferris wheel iconically dot the temporary skyline from a distance; there’s just something about Reithhoffer Midway.
Georgia agriculture ties in heavily to the event and there’s lots to experience and see earlier in the day. The cow demonstration let’s kids learn about dairy farming up close, while watching the milking process. If the Georgia heat doesn’t deter you, some ice cold chocolate milk is handed out to anyone who wants a taste! Huge buildings that are permanent fairground fixtures house horse shows and other livestock you can say hello to.
The Georgia Grown building is filled with vendors from around the state selling and offering taste tests of their wholesome products, from southern cheese straws, jellies, juices and whole fruits.
Scarecrows line around the buildings and have been crafted by locals; at some point, winners will be selected and ribbons placed on the ones voted to be the best. This is a great stop for photo ops; the scarecrows are super fun and crazy!
Although there can be a hefty line, the circus is completely worth the wait. A few shows take place during the day, so be sure you know the times. Admission is included with what you’ve already paid to enter the fair. Elephants, flipping dogs, acrobats and motorcycles are acts that have wowed the crowd in the past. Cotton candy, popcorn, light up toys and slushies are shuffled through the crowd by old school vendors.
Last but not least, drop by the petting zoo. Exotic, friendly animals fill the small walk through zoo. Buy some carrots and let the goats nibble out of your hand, or simply enjoy saying hello to the monkeys and birds.
The Georgia National Fair is a great way to sink into the culture of the state. If you’re lucky enough to be in town while the fair is rolling through, it’s definitely worth a stop.
Dates: October 5-15, 2017
Address: Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agriculture Center
401 Golden Isles Pkwy, Perry, GA 31069