Our Stories

2021 Champaign County Fair Guide

July 15, 2021

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 2021 Champaign County Fair Guide. You’ll find a breakdown of each day’s events, special showings and performances, and the perfect tool to soak up all of the things to do at the Champaign County Fair this year.

Note via the Champaign County Fair Board: The Fair Board and staff are currently working to put on the Champaign County Fair as scheduled. The health and safety of fair-goers is our top priority and we'll continue to work closely with the C-U Department of Public Health and the National CDC.


Prices to enter the Champaign County Fair vary. Adults 13 and older cost $5, and children 12 and under are free. General parking is free and all admission must be cash. Children 12 and under must also be accompanied by an adult.



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 8, Gary Allan performs with Travis Denning, with a DJ set kicking off at the Beer Pavilion at 9.


You can ease your way into Friday watching the 4-H Horse Show at 9 a.m. Gates open at 4 and the carnival opens at 5 p.m. Stick around for the evening headliner: The Beach Boys. The iconic band takes the stage at 7:30. You can also enjoy another DJ set at the Beer Pavilion at 9.


Things kick off with the judging of the Kesler Hall exhibits at 9, and gate open follows at 10. When the carnival opens at 1 p.m. A Military Day Parade takes place at 2 followed by Stock Car Races at 6:30 p.m. End the night at the Beer Pavilion with the Sawyer Brothers Band. 


The Sunday festivities kick off at 10 a.m. with a horse show right at open! The carnival kicks off at noon with free circus sideshows running all day until 7. One note for the carnival: consider picking up a $25 Unlimited Ride Bracelet for all the thrills you can handle! At 1, enjoy a Draft Horse Pull followed by the Draft & Mini Horse Show at 5.


The Open Swine, Dairy, and Sheep Shows open Kids Day at 8:30 a.m. at the Livestock Arena, with a full gate open at 10. Activities for kids including pre-school rides in Kiddie Land start at open as well. Plus, be sure to head over to the Cincinnati 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 once again at 7 p.m.


The Beef Show leads at 8:30 a.m. Gates open at 10 a.m., followed by activities for seniors from 11-2 p.m. The Junior Dairy Show is scheduled for 1:30, carnival opening is set for 5 with the return of the $25 unlimited ride bracelet, and the Harness Racing Post time takes place at 7. Singers take note: the IL State Fair Karaoke Contest starts at 7:30 p.m.


Livestock day leads with a Junior Swine Show at 8, Junior Beef at 8:30, and Junior Sheep Show at the same time. Gates open at 10, the carnival at 5, and Motorcycle Races kick off at 6! Back at the beer pavilion, show up around 9 for the Crazy Johnny Band.


The 4H Sheep Show kicks off at 8:15 a.m. along with the 4H Rabbit Show, with 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 carnival opening at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m., it’s the Monster Truck Prairieland Nationals, with standard pricing for general admission, box seats, and infield tickets.


The penultimate day of the fair starts at 10 a.m. with gates opening, followed by the carnival opening at 5. The real highlight of this day is the Demolition Derby taking place at 7. Beer Pavilion entertainment for this evening will be 3 Gun Whiskey at 9.


Things close at the Champaign County Fair with open gates at 8 and the ITPA Tractor Pull at noon. That's when the carnival opens too, so don't forget to pick up that $25 ultimate ride bracelet to finish the fair strongly! The Beer Pavilion plays host to Garett and the Geezers at 3 with the IPA Tractor Pull and IL Championship Semi-Truck Pull at 5.

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.

Keep up with events, news, and information from Visit Champaign County on our social media channels. Give us a like or follow on FacebookTwitterTikTokand Instagram!

We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website, although the cookies we use do not contain personally identifiable information. By continuing on this website or by clicking “ I Accept Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device. You can learn more about our privacy policy, how we use cookies, or how to disable cookies by clicking on the " Learn More " link at the end of this statement. Learn More.

I Accept Cookies