Best Bets: An alphabetical trip around 100th Delaware State Fair

he 100th edition of the Delaware State Fair kicked off Thursday night. It runs through July 27 in Harrington. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Fair)

The temperatures are sizzling as much as the scrapple sandwiches. It must be time for the Delaware State Fair.

It all started Thursday night as the 100th edition of the fair opened in Harrington and will last until July 27. Whether it’s your 100th fair or your first, it’s always an exciting time around here.

To get you in the mood for all of the fun, here’s an alphabetical look around the grounds of this year’s Delaware State Fair.

A — Agriculture is always front and center at the fair and this year is no different.

Fairgoers can travel back in time and revisit the history of Delaware agriculture through the Antique Machinery Showcase held Saturday in the Quillen Arena. This event features antiques dating back to the early 1900s, and even some before then. The showcase will feature antique tractors, broom makers, craftsmen and more.

B — To celebrate its centennial year, the fair, along with Big Oyster Brewery in Lewes, unveiled its Delaware-inspired home-brewed beer, Delaware Pilsner. It is a pre-Prohibition-style lager that was brewed with barley grown and malted in Delaware and hops grown in the USA for a smooth, full-flavored, historic drinking experience.

It will only be available during the fair at The Roost and concert venues.

C — The Budweiser Clydesdales will be at the Machinery Lot every day except Wednesday. The team and carriage also will be featured in the nightly parade.

D — Chart-topping country duo Dan + Shay will perform with Filmore Monday in the M&T Grandstand starting at 7:30 p.m.

Their hit songs include “Tequila,” “Nothin’ Like You” and the Platinum-certified “19 You + Me.” They won the Grammy this year for Best Country Duo or Group Performance for “Tequila.”

Tickets are $34 to $84.

E — View the exhibits in the Dover Building where displays showcase culinary, needlework, arts and crafts, garden vegetables, farm, fruit and apiary.

Ventriloquist and singer Darci Lynne Farmer comes to the Delaware State Fair Wednesday at 8 p.m. (Submitted photo)

F — Ventriloquist and singer Darci Lynne Farmer comes to the Delaware State Fair two years after winning the top prize on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” at just 12 years old.

She’ll bring her familiar pals and also serenade the crowd with a song or two.

She arrives Wednesday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $30.

G — Country music artist Brantley Gilbert has been a big favorite over the years at the Delaware State Fair and he’s back again July 26 at 8 p.m.

Mr. Gilbert is sure to sing his hits including “Bottoms Up,” “One Hell of an Amen” and “The Weekend.”

Tickets are $44 to $90.

H — Harness racing hits the grandstand Thursday night at 7. There is free admission for the race card, which includes the running of the Governor’s Cup.

I — With the hot weather expected, nothing will fit the bill more than the Homemade Ice Cream Making Contest at The Grove.

Check-in begins at 3 p.m. Ice cream making will be from 3:30 to 4 p.m. and judging will take place at 4:45 p.m.

J — The popular Junior Livestock Auction will take place Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Kent Building.

K — The legendary Gladys Knight will take the Midnight Train to Georgia straight to Harrington on the final night of the fair, July 27, at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $32 to $90.

L — The Livestock Parade of Champions returns to the Delaware State Fair July 26 at 6 p.m. in the Quillen Arena.

If you didn’t get a chance to catch the livestock shows during the week, here’s your chance to check out the Grand or Reserve Champions in a variety of forms.

M — Saturday night brings the return of Reba McEntire to the M&T Grandstand.

The beloved singer and actress will bring her countless hits as well as songs from her most recent No. 1 album “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.”

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $57 to $99.

N — The area’s Nanticoke Indian Dance Troupe performs a traditional dance and celebratory service in The Grove July 27 at 3 p.m.

O — Maryland’s Brothers Osborne perform tonight at the grandstand starting at 7:30.

Hit songs for the multiple CMT award winners include “Stay A Little Longer,” “It Ain’t My Fault” and “21 Summer.” Tickets are $30 to $75.

P — The fair’s nightly parade features floats, antique tractors and other traditional fair parade attractions. It starts at 7 p.m.

Q — Quench your thirst at The Roost beer and wine garden, which also features food and yard games.

It is open every day from noon to 11:30 p.m.

Kids and livestock are always important parts of any Delaware State Fair. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Fair)

R — Redhead Express returns to the fair this year in the Hertrich Plaza for shows at 6:15 and 8:15 each night.

The Walker family of Palmer, Alaska play their brand of folk and country music, which gets fairgoers moving.

S — On Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m., see sculptures in the sand transform before your very eyes.

The demonstration will be next to the DNREC Porch.

T — The new Touch-A-Truck 9,500-square-foot outdoor display area features as many as eight to 10 different giant trucks, special vehicles and construction equipment that children will be invited to sit in the driver’s seat, climb on (with adult supervision) and pose for pictures.

Several vehicles will be rotated in and out throughout the 10 days. Vehicles may include: fire trucks, ambulances, police vehicles, an air boat on a trailer, concrete trucks, sewer jetter trucks, electric bucket trucks, small excavators, dump trucks, a DART bus, grader and dune buggy. It will be adjacent to Wade Shows’ Kiddie World.

U — You’ll find the UD Creamery in the Delaware Building serving up myriad flavors of ice cream. It is open from noon to 8 p.m.

V — Always a fan favorite, the band Vocal Trash combines a cappella and instruments made out of “upcylced” materials and members throw a little break-dancing in there for good measure. The band will perform nightly at 7:15 and 9:15 on the Hertrich Plaza.

W — Worship with Bethel Music Tuesday at 7:30 with special guest Stars Go Dim on the M&T Grandstand.

Over the last seven years, this group has grown from being a local church music ministry to becoming a global group that desires to gather, inspire and encourage others toward a deeper intimacy in their relationship with God.

Tickets are $20-60.

Guitarist and lead singer Kendra Walker performs with her sister Alisa on fiddle during the Redhead Express performance on The Plaza at the Delaware State Fair. (Delaware State News/Andrew West)

X — The air-conditioned Exhibit Hall will host many of the Delaware State Fair sponsors, with a WMDT TV broadcast live each night.

It will also feature the Centennial Social Spot exhibit where you can snap a photo on an antique carousel ride.

Y — Hoober’s presents their annual Youth Pedal Tractor Pull for children age 5 to 13 Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Machinery Lot.

Z — Cars will be zooming at this year’s Demolition Derby, at least for a little while, Sunday at 4 p.m. at the M&T Grandstand as drivers will compete to be the last man (or woman) standing.

Tickets are $10-$12.

For more information and concert tickets, visit

George and Ossi

A local musical partnership will celebrate 20 years Sunday when George and Ossi perform from 4 to 8 p.m. at Seafood City in Felton.

Maryland native George Harvey and Bavarian transplant Ossi Becke have been playing around the Mid-Atlantic region with their original songs and their uniquely arranged reworked classics.

The local duo of George Harvey, left, and Ossi Becke will celebrate 20 years of making music Sunday at Seafood City in Felton. (Submitted photo)

As a percussionist, Mr. Becke has played just about every style of music imaginable – from traditional German “Beer Barrel” Polka music to American folk/rock. Aside from living in America and Bavaria, he has traveled extensively throughout Europe, India, Indonesia, Peru, and Bolivia.

Mr. Harvey, a multi-instrumentalist in the true sense of the word (he plays guitar, bass and piano to name a few), holds down the melodic end of things on guitar and vocals. His vocal range is wide enough to cover the musical gamut, from Gregg Allman to Frank Zappa and back again.

Seafood City is at 9996 S. Dupont Highway in Felton.

Phil Henry at Sunroom

Musician Phil Henry will perform as part of the Sunroom Songwriters House Concert Series Sunday in Dover.

Rather than penning songs of exploitation, self-confession or heartache, Mr. Henry harkens from a tradition of musicians as story-tellers. His knack for creating lifelike characters, vivid scenes and distinctive places has been described as “cinematic.”
Doors open at 1:30, light refreshments provided. Suggested donation $10-$15. All money goes to the performers.

To RSVP or for more information, email

Aunt Mary Pat

Last seen locally at the Delaware Pride Festival in Dover, internet sensation Aunt Mary Pat DiSabatino is coming to the Milton Theatre tonight at 8.

Comedian Troy Hendrickson of Wilmington has made quite a name for himself. The character started as a loving yet tribute to his mother, Susan. Mr. Hendrickson drummed up the idea when he called her after the Eagles won the Super Bowl. The animated, sometimes naughty-mouthed character with a heavy Delaware County accent has even heavier lipstick and eye shadow.

Tickets are $15-$17. Purchase them online at, via phone by calling 302-684-3038 or at the box office at 110 Union St.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is a star-studded remake of Disney’s “The Lion King”.

On DVD and download starting Tuesday are the animated films “Alita: Battle Angel” and “Missing Link” along with a remake of “Hellboy.”

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