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Wilson County Fair - Tennessee State Fair 2023: What to know before you go

The annual fair returns to Lebanon’s James E. Ward Agricultural Center Thursday, Aug. 17-Saturday, Aug. 26.

Three fair rides lit up at night.

We’re fairly certain that you’ll want to bookmark this guide.

Photo by Hardison E. Moles

Table of Contents

Just like the Ferris wheel lines, The Tennessee State Fair stretches wayyyyy back (more than a century), long before consolidating with the Wilson County Fair in 2021. Ride along with us as we break down the need-to-knows ahead of this wheely exciting tradition.

Hours, tickets, parking

  • Open daily: Monday-Friday beginning at 5 p.m., Saturdays at 10 a.m., and Sundays at 12 p.m.
  • Tickets are available in-person and online with admission costs ranging from $6-$12 — children ages five and under get in free.
  • Parking is available on and off-site — preferred parking is $10, otherwise, on-site spots are free. The fair shuttle provides rides to and from three off-site locations.

Pro tip: Season tickets ($45) provide fair access all 10 days and mega tickets ($30) include admission and a ride armband. Opening day deals include half-price admission and $1 rides.

A view from backstage of two men performing singing into mics and playing the guitar.

The Cedar Creek Boys return to the Entertainment Stage on opening day.

Photo by Randall Coe

The entertainment

Over 100+ acts headline seven stages. Here are some concerts to look forward to:

  • Exit 219 | Sunday, Aug. 20 | 5 p.m. | Community Stage
  • A Night with Georgette Jones | Tuesday, Aug. 22 | 6:45 p.m. | Opry Stage
  • Bluegrass Solutions | Friday, Aug. 25 | 7 p.m. | Back Porch Stage

You’ll also want to check out the Entertainment Stage to see multiple clogging performances and a square dance competition + the Expo Center Stage for pageants.

A car runs into another car on a dirt track at the demolition derby.

The demolition derby is always a big hit.

Photo by Carmen Gregson

The competitions

A new year means new competitions. Try your hand at the husband or mom calling contest, state canning competition, or state honey show. You can also expect past sporty favorites like a bike ride across Wilson County, arm wrestling, and horseshoe pitching + show-and-tells across amateur wine, antique cars, and flowers.

A fair share of fun

Fair fanatics have even more opportunities for rides and shows at upcoming county fairs.

  • The Williamson County Fair | Friday, Aug. 4-Saturday, Aug. 12 | Daily: Monday-Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m., and Sunday at 12 p.m. | Williamson County Agricultural EXPO Park, 4215 Long Ln., Franklin | $7+
  • The Nashville Fair | Friday, Sept. 8-Sunday, Sept. 17 | Daily: Monday-Friday at 5 p.m. + Saturday-Sunday at 11 a.m. | The Fairgrounds Nashville, 401 Wingrove St. | $8+