Covering the Land of Lincoln

Champaign County Fair Fun for Families

Are you ready for some Champaign County Fair action? Because here it comes, from July 22-30. (Before you go any further, this is the Champaign County Fair in Urbana, Illinois. NOT Ohio. Just to clear that up!)

Chambanamoms.com thanks the Champaign County Fair for presenting this guide.

The Champaign County Fair has been a tradition since the early 1850’s. At the fair you can see 4-H, Open, and Junior Open livestock and non-livestock shows, educational displays revolving around conservation and agriculture, various vendors from businesses and organizations across the county, a carnival, and a variety of ground and grandstand entertainment. It is an event where families can come to create summertime memories that last a lifetime!

For more information: website or Facebook

Champaign County Fair

Editor’s note: All information subject to change at any time. The official Champaign County Fair website is here and you can follow on Facebook by clicking here.

Important things to note when it comes to the 2022 Champaign County Fair

What: Champaign County Fair
Where: Champaign County Fairgrounds, Urbana (behind Carle Foundation Hospital). Free parking is available.
When: Friday, July 22 through Saturday, July 30. Hours vary by the day.
How much: $5 per adult 13 and up; $1 per child ages 6-12; 5 and under free with paid adult. Only cash accepted at the gate.

A Highlight: Cincinnati Circus Co.

The Cincinnati Circus Co.’s “The Big Show” will be at the fair for three shows on July 25 (noon, 5 pm, 7 pm). Some of the acts the Cincinnati Circus Co. brings include comedy, juggling, magic, dancing, aerial silks, balancing objects, aerial lyra, chair stacking, rolling globe, Spanish web, hula hoop, fire performance, wheel of death, clowning, flying trapeze. The circus has an additional ticket fee on top of fair admission ($3 general admission or $5 for box seats).
Editor’s note: This is a human circus. It does not have animals as a part of its show.

A Crowd Favorite: Monster Trucks

Catch some BIG monster trucks in action at 7 pm on July 28. Tickets are $10 per person for general admission ($12 for reserved box seats), on top of fair admission.

Something Fun: Touch A Truck

The last day of the fair is First Responder Day. Enjoy Touch-A-Truck at the fair on Saturday, July 30 from 1 – 4 pm

Must Know Info: No Backpacks and Leave Your Food in the Car

Similar to the clear bag policies you’ll find at sporting events, the Champaign County Fair has had a clear bag policy in recent years. Anything you bring in needs to be in a clear, see-through bag. No backpacks allowed. Other than formula in a diaper bag (with your child), any other bags, including coolers with food, must be left in the car.

general tips

TICKETS AHEAD OF TIME: You can buy general admission to the fair ahead of time at the fair box office 10 am – 3 pm, Monday through Friday; get tickets to Cole Swindell online, too.

BUT… BRING CASH! While you can pay ahead with a credit card now for things such as grandstand tickets, many food vendors do not take anything but cash and the gate only accepts cash. So if you want to get in, drink your favorite lemon shake-up or eat funnel cakes or french fries, be sure to have some green with you. There is an ATM on site that is not operated by the fair; no guarantees that it will be operating.

KIDS 6-12 GET IN FOR $1: Children ages 6-12 are $1 each this year; 5 and under, when accompanied by an adult over 18, are not charged an admission fee. Adults (over 13) are $5. All children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult while at the fair.

GET A WRISTBAND IF YOU PLAN TO LEAVE AND RETURN: If you leave the fairgrounds, you will need to have your paper wristband attached to your wrist to re-enter later in the day.

YOU MAY NOT BRING IN FOOD: In conjunction with the bag policy at the fair, you may not bring in your own food (except for baby food/formula in a diaper bag with your child).

PARKING IS FREE: No extra fee for parking at the fair!

CARNIVAL PRICES AND HOURS: In years past, ride tickets were $1.25 each or 22 tickets for $20 (with the exception of bracelet days and other special events, see below). Two tickets are average per ride. The carnival at the fair goes until around 10:30 or 11 pm each night; no guarantees on what time exactly it will shut down each night.

Want a deal? Here’s how to make the most of your fair budget:

BRACELET DAYS

If your family loves the midway, then head to the carnival during bracelet days, where you get unlimited rides for $25 (one bracelet per person). To make the most of it, get there when it starts and stay the duration through the end of the bracelet time frame. Bracelet days and times are:

  • Sunday, July 24, noon-5 pm
  • Tuesday, July 26, 5-10:30pm
  • Saturday, July 30, noon-5 pm

CARNIVAL FREEBIES and DISCOUNTS

Monday, July 25 from 10 am to noon, it’s preschool day, where the only rides available are in Kiddie Land. Discounted or free tickets will be available to pre-school children only (4 and under generally).

Thursday, July 28 from 1-4 pm will be free limited ride booklets at the carnival. Booklets WILL run out quickly. Additional tickets may be purchased, all rides may not be included.

BUDGET FRIENDLY EVENTS

All events require standard fair admission.

  • The Draft and Mini Horse Show on Sunday, July 24 at 4 pm is $2 admission per person.
  • There will be free mini circus side shows between noon-7 pm on Sunday, July 24.
  • Harness racing on July 26 at 6 pm offers free general admission. Get a taste of horse racing right here in Central Illinois.
  • Touch A Truck is free between 1-4 pm on First Responder Day, July 30.

WE ALSO RECOMMEND

  • Go see the animals! Animals will start heading to the barns on Sunday, shows start on Monday.
  • The 4-H animal judging (animals raised by 4-H participants) is Thursday, July 28, starting at 8:15 am It is free to attend.

4H Animals at Champaign County Fair

CARNIVAL HOURS

*carnival hours subject to change at the discretion of the owner. Rides may end before 10:30 pm

Friday, Jul 22 5-10:30 pm*

Saturday, July 23 1-10:30pm*

Sunday, July 24 Noon-10:30pm*
$25 Unlimited Ride Bracelet: noon -5 pm

Monday, July 25th 5-10:30pm*
Pre-School Rides at Kiddie Land 10 am-noon

Tuesday, July 26 5-10:30pm*
$25 Unlimited Ride Bracelet: 5-10:30pm

Wednesday, July 27 5-10:30pm*

Thursday, July 28 5-10:30pm*
Limited Ride Booklets (Ages 3-12) 1-4pm

Friday, Jul 29 5-10:30pm*

Saturday, July 30th Noon-10:30pm*
$25 Unlimited Ride Bracelet: Noon-5 pm

GENERAL FAIR SCHEDULE

All information subject to change at any time.

2022 schedule of events

Friday, July 22 Preview Night
9 am – 4-H Horse Show
4pm – Gates Open
5pm – Carnival Opens
7pm – Cole Swindell with Michael Ray & Ashley Cooke
9 pm – DJ (Beer Pavilion)

Saturday, July 23 Military Day
9 am – Judging for Kesler Hall Exhibits
10pm – Gates Open
Noon – 4 pm – Military Day Activities
1pm – Carnival Opens
6:30pm – Demolition Derby
9 pm – 3 Gun Whiskey (Beer Pavilion)

Sunday, July 24 Western Day
10 am – Gates Open
10 am – Horse Show
Noon-Draft Horse Pull
Noon-Carnival Opens
Noon-5 pm – $25 Unlimited Ride Bracelet
Noon-7 pm – Free Circus Side Shows
2 pm – Dave Lumsted Band; Blues Society Blues Jam
4pm – Draft Horse Show

Monday, July 25 Kids Day
8 am – Open Swine Show
8:30am – Open Dairy & Sheep Shows
10 am – Gates Open
10 am-noon – Pre-School Rides in Kiddie Land
Noon-Cincinnati Circus
5pm – Carnival Opens
5 pm – Cincinnati Circus
7 pm — Cincinnati Circus

Tuesday, July 26 Senior Citizen Day
8:30 am – Open Beef Show
10 am – Gates Open
10 am – 2 pm Activities for Seniors
1:30pm – Junior Dairy Show
5pm – Carnival Opens
5pm-10:30pm – $25 Unlimited Ride Bracelet
6pm – Harness Racing
7:30pm – IL State Fair Karaoke Contest, Memorial Park

Wednesday, July 27 Livestock Day
8 am – Junior Swine Show
8:30am – Junior Beef & Sheep Shows
10 am – Gates Open
5pm – Carnival Opens
6 pm – Motorcycle Races
9pm – 8UP Band, Beer Pavilion

Thursday, July 28 4H Day
8:15 am – 4-H live stock shows
10 am – Gates Open
1pm-4pm – Limited Ride Booklets (Age 3-12)
3 pm – Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull
5pm – Carnival Opens
7 pm – Monster Trucks

Friday, Jul 29
10 am – Gates Open
​5 pm – Carnival Opens
6pm – Dirt track racing
8:30pm – Caleb Cook Band, Beer Pavilion

Saturday, July 30 First Responder Day
10 am – Gates Open
Noon—ITPA Tractor Pull
Noon-Carnival Opens
Noon-5 pm – $25 Unlimited Ride Bracelet
1pm-4pm Touch-A-Truck
​3 pm – Kolten Taylor, Beer Pavilion
6 pm – IPA Tractor & Semi-Truck Pull

Get ready for summer in Champaign-Urbana:

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