Best Bets: The Delaware State Fair from A to Z

By Craig Horleman
Posted 7/23/21

After a year when the Delaware State Fair went on last year albeit a bit stripped down due to COVID-19 precautions, the Downstate tradition is back in Harrington this year just about in full …

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Best Bets: The Delaware State Fair from A to Z


After a year when the Delaware State Fair went on last year albeit a bit stripped down due to COVID-19 precautions, the Downstate tradition is back in Harrington this year just about in full force.

There is no mask mandate although those who are unvaccinated are strongly advised to wear one on the grounds. The nightly parade is still missing and the summer concert series did have to be pared down. But the sights, sound and fun have returned.

The fair started Thursday night with a free concert featuring Club Phred, The Funsters and Kristen and The Noise and the event will continue until July 31.

Let’s take an alphabetical trip around the fairgrounds to see what’s going on.

A — For the second straight year, country singer/songwriter Adam Calvert performs on the Hertrich Plaza throughout the course of the fair at 6 and 8 p.m.

He is quickly making a name for himself in the country music scene as an up-and-coming independent country artist. He has over 200 shows to his name and a role on MTV’s “Taking the Stage,”

B — Blippi The Musical is sure to delight kids of all ages as the show will go on today in the M&T Grandstand at 3 and 6 p.m.

C — Circus Hollywood is under an open-air surrounding to allow for more social distancing. It is full of family entertainment. The outdoor experience includes acrobats, animals, stunts, clowns, and much more every day at 5 and 8:30 p.m. at the Sponsor Court with additional noon shows on July 24, 25, 27, 30 and 31.

D — The Disc-Connected K-9s are professionally choreographed, championship dogs with Frisbee disc entertainment in their first year at the fair. They are at the Farm Machinery Lot at 1:30, 4 and 7 p.m. Additional 11:30 a.m. shows are July 24, 25, 27 and 31.

E — Exhibits by FFA chapters around Delaware will be found in the Centre. You’ll be able to walk around in air-conditioned comfort too.

F — Food Lion partners with the fair each year for Hunger Relief Day. This year it will be held on Monday. There will be free admission for those who bring in five Food Lion-brand food items.

G — The Giraffic Menagerie again will be set up in the Sponsor Court. You can meet Twiggs and his friends and even feed them. They are available to hang out from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

H — HARDY performs with Jon Langston Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the M&T Grandstand.

A CMA and ACM-nominated songwriter, his song “One Beer” featured fair performer Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson and his debut album, “A Rock” was released last September. In June, he was featured on the Brantley Gilbert single “The Worst Country Song of All Time.”

I — Put your culinary skills to the test in the Homemade Ice Cream Contest Monday in the Mann Tharp Pavilion. Check-in begins at 3 p.m.. Ice cream making starts at 3:30 p.m. with judging at 4:45 p.m.

J — The 2021 Junior Livestock Auction will be held virtually again this year and online bidding will begin on July 30 at 9 a.m.

Lots will begin to close starting at 6 p.m. that day and will be closing at a rate of one lot every one-and-a-half minutes unless bidding is extended by continuing bidding activity. Add-on bids will be accepted in the minimum amount of $25 and will close at 6 p.m. July 31.

K — Kids’ Health Fair is Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Hertrich Plaza.
Sussex County Health Coalition will be returning. There will be multiple booths set up with fun and educational activities for kids, as well as healthy living tips for the whole family.

L — Lauren Alaina with Maddie & Tae come to the Delaware State Fair Saturday night at 7:30.

Ms. Alaina’s “Getting Good” is the title track of her EP, which features six songs including “Getting Good,” “The Other Side,” and “Ladies in the ’90s,” that pays homage to some of her biggest female role models.

M — Maddie & Tae, also known as Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye are best known for their platinum singles “Girl in a Country Song” and “Die From a Broken Heart.” Their most recent release was a holiday album in 2020 entitled “We Need Christmas.”

N – Needlework Department demonstrations will happen throughout the fair in the Dover Building, which is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

O — The Open Dairy Cattle Show will be held at the Quillen Arena Sunday at 5 p.m.

P — Prehistoric Dinosaur Adventures can be found at the Farm Machinery Lot every day starting at noon.

At the Dinosaur Museum, you can learn about fossils in a hands-on experience and get a chance to meet dinosaur handler Dr. Jack Cage and his friend Buster the T-Rex.

There will also be T-Rex Meet and Greet noon, 2, 4, 5:30 and 7 p.m.

Q — Quench that thirst at The Roost with a full line of mixed drinks and beers.

You can also find cornhole, Giant Jenga and Ladder Ball along with nightly music from Slim Street Sounds. It is open from noon to 11 a.m.

R — Riley Green bring his country tunes to the Delaware State Fair Monday night at 7:30 p.m. with opening act Drew Green.

Riley Green’s 2018 “In A Truck Right Now” EP featured four self-penned tracks, including his debut No. 1 hit single “There Was This Girl.” His follow-up single “In Love By Now” is off the “Get That Man A Beer” EP.

S — The Sheep Breed Show is set for Thursday starting at 9 a.m. in the Quillen Arena.

T — Hold on loosely as 38 Special plays its string of classic hits at the M&T Grandstand July 30 at 8 p.m.

After more than four decades together, 38 Special continues to bring its blast of Southern Rock to over 100 cities a year.

U — Unlimited ride wristbands are available. The state fair has two deals for fairgoers this year. Get unlimited rides for any one day Monday-Thursday or any one day Friday-Sunday.

V — Vocal Trash is back to entertain this year. The fan favorite combines a cappella singing and instruments made out of up-cycled materials along with breakdancing. They will perform 7 and 9 p.m. on the Hertrich Plaza.

W — “Watermelon Crawl” and many other hits will be sung by Tracy Byrd as he shares the stage with Jo Dee Messina at the Delaware State Fair Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

X — As usual, (E)xhibit Hall is the place to be to beat the heat. The air-conditioned building houses many Delaware State Fair sponsors, you can snap a picture and win prizes at the Social Spot and see WMDT-47 broadcast live each night.

Y — Youth 15 and under and women will try their luck and skills during the horseshoe contest July 30 inside Quillen Arena. The competition gets underway at 9 a.m.

Z — Contemporary Christian rock singer Zach Williams wraps up the fair with Stephen Stanley July 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the M&T Grandstand.

From 2007 through 2012 he was a member and lead vocalist of Zach Williams & The Reformation (also acoustic guitar and harmonica). He was also the lead singer of the Christian group Brothers of Grace, renamed as Zach Williams and the Brothers of Grace. In 2016 he went solo, recording the hit song “Chain Breaker.”

Fair gates open at 8 a.m. each day. For more information, visit the website.

On the bandstand

Rehoboth Beach continues its summer bandstand concert series this weekend.

Today the stage will be set for Satisfaction: The International Rolling Stones Show. This production has over 20 years touring experience with more than 4,000 performances worldwide to its credit.

Satisfaction has been featured in Rolling Stone, Showbiz, Las Vegas Today, “CBS Sunday Morning” and hundreds of national newspapers, magazines, television, and radio programs.

Get set for 70s Flashback: The Soundtrack of a Generation Saturday.

Comprised of seven veteran musicians, 70s Flashback pays tribute to the greatest groups and artists.

From Carole King and Three Dog Night, to the Doobie Brothers and Led Zeppelin, to Studio 54 and CBGB, 70’s Flashback pays tribute to the decade.

The weekend closes out Sunday with the energetic party band Legacy.

“This year’s lineup has been a work in progress for the last two years,” says Bandstand Program Director Corey Groll, “and we’re thrilled to have the music and audience back in Rehoboth Beach. With such a range of talented musicians and entertainers, each weekend brings a fresh, fun musical experience to the bandstand. We hope all of our visitors – and residents – are able to enjoy the free entertainment that the city of Rehoboth offers during the summer months.”

All concerts are sponsored by the city of Rehoboth Beach, are free, and begin at 8 pm. The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand Summer Concert Series continues through Sept. 4.

For a complete 2021 event list and performance descriptions, visit the website.

Sinatra show

The Tales Behind the Tunes: Sinatra 101 will be performed at the Smyrna Opera House Saturday at 7 p.m.

Sean Reilly, vocalist in the Sinatra style, will be accompanied by David Zipse and the Sinatra Centennial Orchestra. We all know Sinatra songs but did you know the backstories of those songs?

Mr. Reilly tells the tales behind the tunes and then performs those Tunes with his Sinatra Centennial Orchestra.

General admission tickets for $25 are available online. Smyrna Opera House is at 7 W. South St.

Now Showing

New this weekend in theaters is the Mark Wahlberg true-life drama “Joe Bell,” the M. Night Shyamalan “Old” and the G.I. Joe spinoff “Snake Eyes.”