The 170th annual celebration happens September 9-17, 2022! Everyone loves a good time at the fairgrounds, but if you grew up in Allegan like I did there’s only one county fair in your heart- the Allegan County Fair.

As a kid, the only good thing about back-to-school time was knowing the fair was right around the corner! When I got old enough, that meant walking straight to the fairgrounds after school and spending the afternoon with your buddies attempting to sit up while riding the GraviTron and stuffing your face with elephant ears.

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After cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Allegan County Fair will be bigger and better than ever! Here are five reasons to get excited for the Allegan County Fair:

1. The Entertainment

What do Johnny Cash, Michael Bolton, and Destiny’s Child have in common? They’ve ALL played the Allegan County Fair. Believe it or not, this fair is renowned for its ability to host legendary musical guests and performers. Or if you live close enough to the fairgrounds in Allegan like I do, you’re able to hear all these amazing concerts from the comfort of your own backyard! My claim to fame is seeing Britney Spears and 98 Degrees back in 1999. This year’s performers include Gabriel Iglesias, Sam Hunt, and Jimmie Allen. Check out the complete lineup here.

2. The Parade

Fair season would not be complete without the famed Allegan County Fair Parade, one of the largest in the state! As a self-proclaimed band geek, I spent several hot September afternoons marching the 1.5 mile parade route- and in a wool uniform no less! The parade has now moved to Monday evening. Make sure you’re downtown on September 12 at 6:30 p.m. to get a good candy catchin' spot!

3. The Food

Forget the rides, I’m all about the fair food! The Allegan County Fair is the one time I can get all my favorite treats in one spot: French fries with vinegar, jumbo corn dogs, deep fried Oreos, and of course elephant ears! Don’t forget to stop by the Episcopal church’s concession stand in the 4-H building for a slice of pie and a glass of milk- that’s tradition!

4. The History

One of my favorite places to explore while roaming the fairgrounds is the John Pahl Historical Village. The historic buildings such as the 1840s house, old doctor’s office, the blacksmith shop, and the print shop, were all moved to the fairgrounds from their original locations and are only open to the public during the Allegan County Fair and Allegan Fiber Fest. My favorites are the old schoolhouse and the train caboose and depot! The historic village is a great place to duck into when you need a break from the heat!

5. The Demolition Derby

Cars crashing into each other and catching on fire...what more can I say? Catch the Demo Derby finals on Saturday, September 17.

Bonus- The Big Rooster

Lauren G/TSM
Lauren G/TSM

I couldn’t tell you why there’s a giant rooster atop the admission gates to the fairgrounds, but it always brings a smile to my face and I hope it stays there forever! The Allegan County Fair wouldn’t be complete without the giant rooster.

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