Every year in July, the Champaign County Fair comes to the Fairgrounds in Urbana for over a week of fun, food, rides, music, and farm shows. The event dates back to the early 1850s, when pioneer families would show off livestock and grain samples during a community picnic. Each day of the Champaign County Fair is full of great events and activities, giving you a great reason to come back for more! Curious about how to tackle the Champaign County Fair’s robust schedule of events and activities? We’ve got you covered with our 2019 Champaign County Fair Guide. You’ll find a breakdown of each day’s events,
Champaign County Fair Gate Fees
Prices to enter the Champaign County Fair vary. Adults 13 and older cost $5, and children 12 and under are free. An exhibitor pass is given to those showing an item for $10, and a season pass for the entire duration of the event is $25. General parking is free, and all admission must be cash. Children 12 and under must also be accompanied by an adult.
Events and Activities Guide to the Champaign County Fair
FRIDAY, JULY 19 (PREVIEW NIGHT):
Once the gates open at four, take some time to explore the area. Once carnival rides begin at 5 p.m., you can expect food, fun, and a growing crowd to really make this first night a success. At 6, you can head to the grandstand for Stock Car Races; fair standard pricing of $10 for general admission and $12 for box seats. From 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., enjoy music from the Sunset Strip Band at the Beer Pavilion, and get excited for a whole lot more fun as the week continues.
SATURDAY, JULY 20 (MILITARY DAY):
Gates open at 10 a.m., and you can ease your way into Saturday exploring the fairgrounds before the Sundowner’s Car and Bike Show starts at noon! Not a car person? Music from the Crazy Johnny Band also gets going at 12 p.m., so you won’t be without entertainment! The carnival opens at 1 p.m., and then at 2 p.m., it’s the Military Appreciation Parade! Stick around for the evening, where the grandstand will host a Demolition Derby at 6:30 p.m., with standard pricing plus infield seats at $15 for adults and $8 for kids. Evening music from the Bluetone Drivers!
SUNDAY, JULY 21 (WESTERN DAY):
Gates open again at 10 a.m., with a Western Horse Show starting the day at the Horse Arena. When the carnival opens at 12 p.m., consider picking up a $25 Unlimited Ride Bracelet for all the thrills you can handle! A free mini circus side show starts at noon as well, continuing into the evening, where a Draft & Mini Horse Show starts at 5; general admission is $2, and box seats are $4.
MONDAY, JULY 22 (KIDS DAY):
The Monday festivities kick off at 8 a.m. with an Open Swine Show at the Livestock Arena, followed by Dairy and Sheep shows at 8:30 a.m.. Gates open at 10 a.m., kicking off with preschool rides in Kiddie Land until noon. Once that wraps up, head over to the Cincinatti Circus Co.’s The Big Show! The carnival area opens at 5 p.m., followed by a second performance of The Big Show at 5, and one again at 7 p.m.
TUESDAY, JULY 23 (SENIOR CITIZEN DAY):
The Open Beef Show opens Senior Citizen Day at 8:30 a.m. at the Livestock Arena, with a full gate open at 10. Activities for Seniors take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for free, with a Marvin Lee & Friends concert at 10 a.m. as well for those looking for more of a show. The Junior Dairy Show starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Livestock Arena, and $25 Unlimited Ride Bracelets run from the carnival opening at 5 p.m. until 10:30. At 7 p.m., the grandstand will host Harness Racing, with free general admission and $2 box seats. Fancy yourself a singer? The IL State Fair Karaoke Contest begins at 7:30 p.m., so warm up those pipes and get ready to rock!
WEDNESDAY, JULY 24 (LIVESTOCK DAY):
The Junior Swine Show starts off Wednesday at the Livestock Arena, followed by the Junior Beef Show and the Junior Sheep Show at 8:30 a.m.. Gates open at 10 a.m., carnival fun kicks off at 6:30, and heart racing Motorcycle Races start at 6:30 p.m. at the grandstand with standard pricing and infield tickets running you $15 for adults and $8 for kids. The Crazy Johnny Band is back too, playing from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m. at the Beer Pavilion.
THURSDAY, JULY 25 (4H DAY)
The 4H Sheep Show kicks off at 8:15 a.m., followed by the 4H Rabbit Show at 8:30 a.m., the 4H Swine Show at 9 a.m., the 4H Goat Show at 9:30 a.m. and the 4H Beef Show at 10 a.m. Gates also open at 10 a.m., and from 1-4 p.m. grab a limited ride booklet for kids ages 3-12. The Kid’s Tractor Pill rolls on at 3 p.m., with a full caniavl opening at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m., it’s the Motor Madness Motorsports Extravaganza, with standard pricing for general admission, box seats, and infield tickets.
FRIDAY, JULY 26
The 4H Horse Show kicks off the penultimate day of the Champaign County Fair at the Horse Arena, and a full gate opening at 10 a.m. At 5 p.m., the carnival opens, and at 7 p.m., the week’s top billed concert takes place. Dustin Lynch, Dylan Scott, and Jimmie Allen play, with ticket prices varying. Need tickets still? Grab them here. The party doesn’t stop there, with DJ Forrest playing the Beer Pavillion from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.
SATURDAY, JULY 27 (AG DAY)
The final day of the fair starts at 10 a.m. with gates opening, followed by a 12 p.m. ITPA Tractor Pull; general admission is $10, box seats are $12, and infield views will cost you $25. The $25 Unlimited Ride Bracelet is back from 12-5 p.m., and at 3 p.m., stop by the Beer Pavilion for Garrett and the Geezers. At 5 p.m., make sure to catch another terrific tractor show, the IPA Tractor Pull & Semi-Truck Pull. General admission tickets to the evening pull are $10, box seats are $12, infield tickets are $15 if you enter the grandstand after 3 p.m.
Is this your first Champaign County Fair? If so, you’re in for a real treat! If you’re returning, we don’t have to tell you how fun the next week will be, so enjoy! If you stop by the Champaign County Fair at any point during the week, be sure to tag us in photos with the hashtag #OutsideofOrdinary so we can see how you’re making the most of this annual event! For more information, visit the Champaign County Fair website.