A visitor’s guide to the 2021 Dane County Fair

What to see & what to do, when the fair returns July 15-18

MADISON, Wis.– “The Future is Bright” for the 2021 Dane County Fair! That’s the tagline for this year’s fair, and the sentiment of many families, food-lovers, and farmers after COVID canceled last year’s festivities. The annual summertime event returns to the Alliant Energy Center July 15-18.

Here is information to help plan your weekend!

When to go: The four-day fair runs Thursday, July 15th through Sunday, July 18th. The gates open at 9 a.m. each day. Outdoor exhibitors and vendors operate from 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. The exhibition hall is open from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m., except for Sunday, when it closes at 5 p.m. The carnival operates from noon- 11 p.m.

How much it costs: 2021 fair admission is $8 for visitors 12 & up, $3 for kids 6-11, and free for children 5 & under. Adults can purchase a season pass for $20, which allows them access to all four days of the fair. Click here to buy your tickets online.

What’s included in the price of admission: Fair admission includes parking, as well as access to nightly concerts, stunt shows, a variety of animals in the pavilions, youth exhibits in the Exhibition Hall, and carnival specials. Click here for a schedule of the free shows and events happening each day.

What’s NOT included: Carnival ride tickets and food are available for an additional charge. Visitors can purchase individual tickets or an unlimited ride wristband for $30 on the fairgrounds. Several local businesses and typical fair vendors will have meals, snacks, and desserts for sale. Click here for a list of this year’s vendors.

How to save money: Admission is just $3 on Thursday and Friday before 3 p.m. for everyone 6 & up. Also on Thursday, all past & present military personnel, police officers, firefighters, and first responders can receive free admission for themselves and one guest as part of Hometown Hero Day.

Schedule of events: The fair offers a variety of different events during each of its four days.

Click here to find out what’s happening Thursday.

Click here to find out what’s happening Friday.

Click here to find out what’s happening Saturday.

Click here to find out what’s happening Sunday.