Food, Festivities and Fun at the 153rd Door County Fair

Door County Fair time is coming Aug. 9 -13 to the fairgrounds in Sturgeon Bay. 

The fair’s many attractions include carnival games and rides, live music, fair food, and grandstand events – all for a $10, one-day ticket; or $25 for the whole five-day run.

For many people, county fairs and fried food go together, and Door County Fair secretary Hilary Heard said this year’s 20 food vendors who will have a spot at the event won’t disappoint. 

But for Heard, the most important part of the fair is the Junior Fair exhibition, in which youth in high school and younger can showcase their talents in dozens of entry categories, including photography, baking and fabric arts, in addition to livestock. She emphasized that participating in the county fair isn’t just for kids who live on farms and keep animals; it’s a great learning experience for all who enter a project.

“One-to-one judging with someone you don’t know – an adult who’s asking you questions about something you’ve done – it’s basically like pre-interview skills for life,” Heard said. “I think the fair is a great opportunity to be able to put something out there in public as a youth, to say, ‘I’ve mastered this thing, and I want to show it off.’ Having it critiqued just gives kids overall such good life skills.”

New this year is the Seedling Program, through which kids ages 3-5 may take five items of their choosing to the fair and receive a ribbon Aug. 9, 12-7 pm. Heard said she hopes this program will encourage more kids to participate in the fair when they’re older. 

“Essentially, planting the seed for them to want to show in the future,” she said. 

Heard said the fair is a rare opportunity to get together to celebrate individual success, as well as the community’s shared history. 

“There’s a sense of family, a sense of history,” she said. “You’re seeing entries from so-and-so’s grandma, so-and-so’s niece, nephew, cousin. There’s a lot of family involvement in this.” 

A special salute to veterans will also take place Wednesday, Aug. 9, 7 pm, at the fair’s Main Stage.