Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Celebrate summer at Allen County Fair

Lot more than 4-H animals at annual event

The Allen County Fair begins Tuesday, July 26.

Joshua Schipper

Whatzup Features Writer

Published July 20, 2022

Joyful screams, unique experiences, and great food will be back at the Allen County Fairgrounds when the annual Allen County Fair returns for six days beginning Tuesday, July 26.

Balloons, trucks, and more

Out of all the events the fair has to offer, Michelle Love, secretary of the Allen County Fairgrounds executive board of directors, says families will definitely enjoy the hot air balloon show Thursday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m.

“You get within 10 to 15 feet of them, they inflate, they fly out,” she said. 

Once the hot air balloons return, they will illuminate during the Hot Air Balloon Glow at 9:30 p.m.

“They will inflate, and the flames illuminate the balloons, which they do to music,” Love said.

A truck and tractor pull will be Friday, July 29, with contestants seeing how far their daily drivers and diesel trucks can pull a weighted sled. However, not all trucks are created equal.

“There’s also a lot of people that tour and go around, and they have very modified trucks they use,” Love said.

Throughout the week, fairgoers have the opportunity to ride in a monster truck. Tuesday evening  from 6-7 p.m., kids 12 years old and under can take a ride free of charge. 

“It is a specially designed monster truck,” Love said. “There are chairs in the bed of the truck that you get strapped into, and the driver takes you for a ride.”

On Wednesday, fairgoers will be able to get up close and personal with professional trucks and machinery to learn about the tools that help people do their jobs. 

“We get organizations and vendors all throughout Allen County that bring their equipment and their trucks out and we have them on display,” Love said.

“What’s nice is that kids and families can get up in the cab. So, it may be a dump truck, garbage truck, and we’re going to have a fire truck, but we also have a lot of large machinery. Even WANE-TV is going to be out there with their mobile news van, where you can kind of get in the back and see their equipment.”

Some events slated for the Allen County Fair are geared toward senior citizens. Love says that the fair will host “a lot of educational seminars” in an air-conditioned room where people will learn about monarch butterflies and how to do chair yoga.

Helping others

While ticket prices at the gate vary throughout the week, weekday entry before 2 p.m. is free, and kids 5 yaers old and under are always free. 

On Sunday, entry is free if fairgoers bring five non-perishable food items to donate through the Fairs Care program to Associated Churches of Fort Wayne.

“It’s kind of a win-win for us as an organization to give back, and then also allow people a way to get to the fair for free, too,” Love said,

Many may not know that the proceeds generated from ticket sales at the fair benefit the Allen County Fairgrounds.

“The fair actually is our main fundraiser, so proceeds that we get from the fair is actually what helps keep the fairgrounds running year-round,” Love said.

Event to end summer

Of course, rides will be a part of the 2022 Allen County Fair. 

Love says the Midway organization that services the fair is actually the second-largest in the nation.

“Rides that you actually would see at more like the state fair and bigger venues actually come here to Allen County, because we’re such a big county,” she said. “It’s great because it’s not just all like little kiddie rides: there’s definitely that appeal to the teens as well. And there are nights where they can get wristbands for unlimited rides.”

Love calls the Allen County Fair the “culmination of summer,” and emphasizes that the fair offers something for people of all ages. 

Whether you’re a child who wants to go on a pony ride or someone yearning to pet a llama, the Allen County Fair has something for everyone.

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