Montgomery County Fair: Best sights, sounds, deals and FOOD

It’s time for the Montgomery County Fair.

The 167th fair opens today, July 8, and continues through Sunday, July 14.

Today is Veteran’s/Senior Citizen’s Day (half-price admission all day!). The beloved ‘Pie Baking Contest’ is at 11:30 a.m. and motocross racing will take place at 7 p.m.

The Montgomery County Fair started in 1839 at Swaynies’ wagon yard on East First and Race streets.

>> RELATED: How did the Montgomery County Fair start?

This will be the second year the fair will be held at its new location, 645 Infirmary Road in Jefferson Twp.

This year, in typical Montgomery Fair style, it will be bigger and better than ever, organizers say.



The fair was held on 30 acres of land at 1043 S. Main St. near downtown Dayton for 165 years until 2018. The 2019 fair took place at the new location in Jefferson Twp.

»»RELATED: Looking back at the Montgomery County Fair, whose origins stretch back almost 180 years

“The neat thing about it all is, we are spread out. We are not compact like we were on Main Street,” John Yancik, president of The Montgomery County Agricultural Society, said of the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. “The fairgrounds are flat with no hills. Wear your gym shoes and plan to spend a long time.”


Gates are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (except Sunday) during the fair set for July 8-14. Gates are open from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, which is Family Day at the fair. There will be discounted ride passes on Family Day for $15 instead of $20.

The $10 admission includes grandstand events and free parking. Children under age 6 are admitted free with a paying adult.

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Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

“We have twice the amount of parking as we had before,” Yancik said. “Everyone is encouraged and welcome to come to the fair.

>> VIDEO: Tour the Montgomery County Fairgrounds 



Rides will be open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day except Sunday. That day, rides open 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. All day ride wristbands are $20. Wrist bands are discounted to $15 Sunday, July 14.

“I think everybody will be happy with what they see,” Yancik said.

>>PHOTOS: Did we spot you or your dog at the annual Bark in the Burg?

The Fairgrounds & Event Center of Montgomery County’s first phase includes two state-of-the-art buildings, the 26,000-square-foot Main Event Center and the 16,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall. Both are climate-controlled for year-round use for events.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam


New this year, two additional buildings have been added since the last fair season. There are now a total of four on the grounds. In addition, in the current climate-controlled buildings, handicapped accessible auto-door openers have been installed. There are more paved walkways this year and more picnic tables and benches thanks to many wonderful donors, according to a Montgomery County Fairgrounds press release.

There will be three large animal tents, Yancik said.

“It is a great time to see animals up close and enjoy an unbelievable assortment of fried food,” he said. “The 4-H kids will be more than happy to let the youngsters pet (the animals) and take their photos with them.”

Situated on 50 acres, this year’s fair will feature more than 65 food and retail vendors, many in the main air-conditioned building, all ranging from businesses selling gutters and shutters to artists doing henna tattoos.

>> AERIAL VIEW: New Montgomery County Fairgrounds

“The county fair is just exciting to come to,” Wallace said. “It is that country feel. It is an experience that only happens once a year.”

>>Centerville's Americana Festival to start with a bang this year

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam


Oh, the fair food.

Food options include midway classics like elephant ears, funnel cake and shaved ice as well as more unique items like stromboli, bacon corn dogs and chipotle grilled chicken tacos.

There will be endless fair food options, including ones you’ve never heard of but will love.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam


It wouldn’t be the fair without the always anticipated truck and tractor pull. The big event will be wrapping up the week on Sunday at 5 p.m. These entertainment events, including the tractor pull, are free with paid admission. Here are other big entertainment happenings you won’t want to miss:

  • “Bulls, Broncs, Barrels” July 13
    • Pre-show for kids- 6:45 p.m./ Rodeo at 7:30 p.m.
  • “2019 Skid Steer Rodeo” July 13
    • Complete the obstacle course in a skid steer faster than the competition and win up to $500. There is a $10 registration fee, but the rodeo is free to watch. Competition begins at 5 p.m.
  • “Demolition Derby” July 12
    • 7 p.m.

“It’s just an exciting moment for the community to see,” said Greg Wallace, the Montgomery County Fair executive director. “We have more vendors. We have brand new buildings.”


What: The 166th annual Montgomery County Fair

When: July 8- 14, 2019

Where: Fairgrounds & Event Center of Montgomery County. Located at 645 Infirmary Road, in Dayton. U.S. Route 35W Connector (C.J. McLin Jr. Parkway) to Infirmary Road.

Cost: Monday through Sunday admission is $10 per person which includes grandstand events and free parking. Youngsters 6 and under free with paying adult.

More info: Website

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