BEST BETS: A trip to the Delaware State Fair from A to Z

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias brings his Fluffymania tour to the Delaware State Fair Monday.
(Submitted photo)

The rides have started. The animals are ready to strut their stuff. The fried Twinkies are sizzling.

It’s time once again for the Delaware State Fair in Harrington.

The fun officially started Thursday and will last until July 29 in the 98th edition of the Delaware tradition.

As has been the custom of this column for the last few years, let’s take an alphabetical trip around the fairgrounds.

A — Atlanta Rhythm Section joins Foghat, Pure Prairie League, Pat Travers Band and Rare Earth for a Rock of the 70s show during Saturday night’s Craft Beer Festival.

The musical lineup gathers Grammy-Award winning artists with over 20 top-10 hits at the M&T Bank Grandstand.

It will feature over 50 varieties of suds for craft beer ticket holders to choose from. Music-only tickets are $35. Craft beer tickets are $45, which provide access to the concert, a souvenir cup and five beer tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets will be $2 each. Craft beer ticket holders must be 21 years or older. Gates will open and tasting will begin at 6 p.m., the show will start at 6:30, last call will be at 8:15.

B — Country star Brantley Gilbert will close out the fair July 29 in the grandstand.

As featured elsewhere in this section, Mr. Gilbert has had hits like “Bottoms Up,” “One Hell of An Amen” and this year’s “The Weekend.”

He performs with Luke Combs. Tickets are $44-84. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30.

C — Christian chart-topping artist Crowder takes to the grandstand stage at 7:30 Wednesday night with Big Daddy Weave.

Crowder has had faith-based tunes such as “Come As You Are” and “Redeemed.”

Tickets are $25-50.

D — Darius Rucker performs Sunday at the Delaware State Fair with Midland.

Mr. Rucker, the former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, has turned country with hits such as “Wagon Wheel” “Homegrown Honey” and “Alright.”

Tickets for the 7:30 show are $44-$84.

E — Looking to eat? The state fair has you covered, with barbecue, seafood, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and those all-important sweet treats.

F — Fireworks will rain down on the state fair after the Craft Beer Festival and concert on Saturday and the Brantley Gilbert show on July 29.

G — The man they call “Fluffy,” comedian Gabriel Iglesias, brings laughs to the fair Monday night at 8 as part of his 20th anniversary tour.

Mr. Iglesias is featured in the new reality show “Fluffy Breaks Even,” on Fuse TV. Tickets are $32 to $42.

H — The Hollywood Racing Pigs are always a popular attraction in the Sponsor Court.

Sausage and other foods will be available throughout the fair. (Delaware State News file photo)

The squeal-inducing action is at 2, 4 and 7 p.m. each day.

I — The Homemade Ice Cream Making Contest is in the Mann Tharp Pavilion Monday. Check-in begins at 3 p.m. Making is from 3:30 to 4 and judging is at 4:45.

The contest is in honor of fair director and superintendent Robert Messick who oversaw this event for many years.

J — The John Curtis Memorial Barnyard Petting Zoo will have animals ranging from miniature Hereford cows to a donkey and unique chickens to Nigerian dwarf goats. The barnyard is overseen by Delaware FFA chapters.

K — The Pig Kissin’ Contest is set for Thursday at 3 in the Entertainment Tent.

Contestants try to raise the most money for the Junior Exhibitor Scholarship so they don’t have to pucker up to the pig.

L — The Livestock Extravaganza will take place Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Kent Building.

Reserve and Grand Champions will be announced for beef cattle, sheep, swine and meat goat along with grand champion showman.

M — The Monster Truck Meltdown presented by the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association is set for tonight at 7:30 in the M&T Grandstand. Tickets are $18-20.

The show will include national and regionally recognized monster trucks: War Wizard, Saigon Shaker, Backdraft, General Hazzard, Stinger and Master of Disaster, a ride truck and a tough truck challenge.

N — The Nanticoke Indian Dance Troupe performs a traditional dance and celebratory service July 29 from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Grove Picnic Area.

O — The Oldiewed Game Show, always a fan favorite, pitting couples against each other to see who knows each best, will be played at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Entertainment Tent.

P — Peppa Pig, the popular British animated character, will be at the fair for a meet and greet with all of her fans today and Saturday in the Entertainment Tent. She will be there at 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 p.m. for a half hour each.

Q — Quench your thirst with a free sample of Cheerwine soft drink after you take your picture in the photo booth at the Social Spot presented by Cheerwine.

Hit country trio Rascal Flatts will make a return visit to the Delaware State Fair next week. (Submitted photo)

R — The country hit-making trio Rascal Flatts will perform at the fair Tuesday night.

With 22.5 million albums sold, 28 million digital downloads, 16 No. 1 singles, the multi-platinum group has recorded hits including “These Days” “Bless the Broken Road” “What Hurts the Most” “My Wish” and their newest release “Yours If You Want It!”

The 6:30 p.m. show will also feature Morgan Wallen.

S — Sheep Fitting and Showmanship will be on display Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Kent Building.

Twiggs the giraffe and his friends will visit the Delaware State Fair. (Delaware State News file photo)

T — Twiggs the giraffe and his friends await fairgoers at the Giraffe Menagerie Petting Zoo in the Sponsor Court.

U — The UDCreamery, presented by the University of Delaware, will be selling sweet treats in the Delaware Building.

V — A variety of vegetables will be on exhibit throughout the fair in the air-conditioned Dover Building, which opens at 9 a.m. each day.

W — Television station WMDT will broadcast its evening news each night from Exhibit Hall.

X — The Xpogo Stunt Team, featuring championship pro athletes flying over 10 feet in the air on extreme pogo sticks throwing down flips and tricks, will perform on The Plaza, at 4, 6 and 9 p.m. through July 28.

Y — The Youth Swine Showmanship competition will take place Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Kent Building.

Z — Zap back in time with the Antique Machinery Showcase where you’ll get to see antiques dating to the early 1900s. Visitors can check out the antique tractors, broom makers, craftsmen, and more Saturday starting at 10 a.m. in the Quillen Arena.

Roadhouse Bluesfest

As we told you last week, blues legend Joe Louis Walker will headline the Central Delaware Blues Society Roadhouse Bluesfest Saturday at Jonathan’s Landing on Ponderosa Drive.

Acts also include Grammy winner Alvin “Youngblood” Hart, singer and saxophonist Vanessa Collier, Roger Girke, Tom Craig and the Soul Patch Band and The Blues Reincarnation Project. The music starts at noon.

Tickets at the door are $35 for nonmembers and $30 for members.

For more information, visit

Museums lauded

The five museums operated by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs have been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States.

“Achieving accreditation is the gold standard of the museum profession” said Timothy Slavin, director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

“This achievement is doubly significant because we persevered and achieved it during trying economic times for the state of Delaware. Across our entire division, we maintained focus and effectiveness and our role as cultural stewards was recognized.”

Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies and the museum-going public.

The newly accredited state museums include the John Dickinson Plantation near Kitts Hummock; the Johnson Victrola Museum and Old State House in downtown Dover; the New Castle Court House Museum; and the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes. State museums are under the stewardship of the Department of State.

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the American Alliance of Museums accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability.

It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, approximately 1,000 currently are accredited. Delaware’s state museums join only two other museums accredited in Delaware.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is the war epic “Dunkirk,” the comedy “Girls Trip” and the sci-fi/fantasy film “Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets 3D.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is the animated “The Boss Baby,” Scarlett Johansson in the futuristic “Ghost in the Shell” and the faith-based film “Gifted.”

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