The Delaware State Fair opens Thursday, bringing with it grandstand entertainment, Circus Hollywood, midway rides, displays, demonstrations and more.


The Delaware State Fair has at least 11,507 fans, and that’s only counting the ones on Facebook. Danny Aguilar, assistant general manager and director of marketing, said they hope that 11,000 is just a taste of who will turn out once the gates open at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 22, when the fair officially starts its 10-day run.

Last year’s fair drew more than 300,000, a total Aguilar and company would like to hit again. They’re already luring people in with updates on Facebook, Twitter and through email, and will continue with that during the fair. They’re also using Flickr to make the fair more interactive, and will be asking visitors to post their own pictures to the site once the fair starts, Aguilar said.

Although organizers are always excited about the Grandstand entertainment, they’re geared up for the addition of Circus Hollywood to this year’s free entertainment. The circus performers will put on regular 45- to 50-minute shows complete with clowns, the globe of death motorcyclists, high-wire acts, animals and more.

“Most folks think, ‘A circus at the fair?’” Aguilar said. “It’s like what you would pay to see a traveling circus ... and it’s all part of the gate admission.”

Joining the circus are returning favorites Vocal Trash in the free entertainment tent, as well as traditions such as the nightly parade and demolition derbies Thursday, July 22, and Friday, July 30. Fireworks are planned for after the Paramore concert July 24 and the Jason Aldean concert Saturday, July 31.

Aguilar said one of the perks of this year’s fair is the inexpensive gate admission, which is again $6. Tickets are $5 if bought in advance, a bargain for the free entertainment offered once inside, Aguilar said.

“We’ve recognized through other fairs, earlier ones down south, that fairs very much benefit from recessions or economic challenges,” he said.

Thursday, July 22 — Delaware Electric Cooperative’s half price night
5 p.m. Wade Shows Midway opens
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Giraffe menagerie and pony rides, Machinery Lot
5:45 p.m. WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
6 p.m. 4-H talent show, Centre/4-H & FFA
6:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
7 p.m. Delaware State Fair parade
Manlove Auto Parts presents Demolition Derby, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Erick Känd, Delaware Electric Cooperative’s Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent

Friday, July 23
8 a.m. Official opening
9 a.m. 4-H/FFA exhibits open Centre/4-H & FFA
FFA landscape judging, Grove Picnic Area
10 a.m. 4-H poultry judging, Raceway Paddocks
11 a.m. Del One Kidz Zone opens
Giraffe menagerie and pony rides open, Machinery Lot
Noon FFA poultry judging, Grove Picnic Area
Kids Healthy Cooking Contest, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Keeping a Safe Kitchen Demo with Donna Brown, Dover Building
1 p.m. Wade Shows Midway opens
2 p.m. Canning 101 with Sue McThney, Dover Building
Mountaire Farms Chickin’ Pickin’ Contest, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
2 and 3:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
4 p.m. Some Like it Hot Salsa Competition, Dover Building
5 p.m. Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
6 p.m. 4-H Public Speaking Competition, Centre/4-H & FFA
Downtown Dixieland Band, Main Gate
6:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
7 p.m. Delaware State Fair parade
Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. Cookin’, Comedy & Conversation with Paula Deen, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Delaware Lottery presents Dave Martin’s Rodeo, Quillen Arena
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent

Saturday, July 24
8 a.m. Gates open
9 a.m. 4-H/FFA exhibits open, Centre/4-H & FFA
Junior Flower Arranging Contest, Exhibit Hall Board Room
9:30 a.m. My Favorite Blue Ribbon Casserole Recipe Competition, Dover Building
10 a.m. Adult Flower Arranging Contest, Exhibit Hall Board Room
11 a.m. Giraffe menagerie and pony rides open, Machinery Lot
Del One Kidz Zone opens
11:30 a.m. Kent Barn Meeting, Kent Building
Noon Billy Ray Collison Memorial Horse Pull, Quillen Arena
Meet the Breeds Dog Show, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
1 p.m. 4-H photography, wildlife and foods judging, Centre/4-H & FFA
2 p.m. You’ve Caught It, What Do You Do Now? cooking demo, Dover Building
Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
3 p.m. Pygmy Goat Breed Show, Kent Building
4-H Clothing, horticulture and woodworking judging, Centre/4-H & FFA
3:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
4 p.m. Second Annual Wild Men (and Women) Cooking Contest, Dover Building
5 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
6:30 p.m. Honda Civic Tour presents Paramore with Tegan & Sara, New Found Glory and Kadawatha and fireworks after the show, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
7 p.m. Delaware State Fair parade
Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
Delaware Jr. Dairy Futurity, Schabinger Pavilion
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent

Sunday, July 25
8 a.m. Gates open
Swine Open, Junior Breeding and Barrow Show, Kent Building
9 a.m. Gospel Show, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Halter and Showmanship Horse Show, Quillen Arena
Rabbit Show, New Castle Building
4H Junior Dairy Show, Schabinger Pavilion
11 a.m. Del One Kidz Zone Opens
Giraffe menagerie and pony rides open, Machinery Lot
Noon 4-H/FFA exhibits open, Centre/4-H & FFA
Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
12:30 p.m. Forney’s Jewelers Chili vs. Chowder Competition, Dover Building
1 p.m. All Youth Talent Showcase, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Wade Shows Midway Opens
2 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
Market Goat Show Showmanship & Fitting, Kent Building
4-H Consumer Champions Bowl, Centre/4-H & FFA
3:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
5 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Cooking Demo with Chefs Lindsay Baker and Maggie Mann, Dover Building
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
6 p.m. Sheep & Wool Queen Contest, Schabinger Pavilion
Stoney Run String Band, Main Gate
6:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, Near Quillen Arena
7 p.m. Delaware State Fair parade
Wool Lead Line Contest, Schabinger Pavilion
Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Chevy presents Brad Paisley, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent

Monday, July 26
8 a.m. Gates open for Senior Citizens Day
9 a.m. 4-H/FFA exhibits open, Centre/4-H & FFA
FFA Dairy Cattle Judging and Showmanship, Schabinger Pavilion
4-H/FFA Livestock Judging, Kent Building
Saddle Performance Horse Show, Quillen Arena
9:30 a.m. 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging, Schabinger Pavilion
Chocolate Temptation Competition, Dover Building
10 a.m. Open Poultry and Junior Poultry shows, New Castle Building
4-H General Demonstrations, Centre/4-H & FFA
Dairy Barn Meeting, Schabinger Pavilion
11 a.m. Giraffe menagerie and pony rides open, Machinery Lot
Del One Kidz Zone opens
1 p.m. Wade Shows Midway opens
2 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
Youth Showmanship and Market Hog Show, Kent Building
Eating Healthy with Donna Brown, Dover Building
3 p.m. Homemade Ice Cream Making Contest, Grove Picnic Area
3:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
4 p.m. Senior Game Show, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
4:30 p.m. Oldiewed Game Show, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
5 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Cooking Demo with Chef Ryan Cunningham, Dover Building
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
5:30 p.m. Men’s Horseshoe Pitching, Quillen Arena
5:45 p.m. WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
6 p.m. Milford Community Band’s Oompa Band, Main Gate
6:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
7 p.m. Delaware State Fair parade
Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. Lynyrd Skynyrd with special guest Jamey Johnson, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent

Tuesday, July 27
8 a.m. Gates open for Healthy Kids Day
Sheep Fitting and Showmanship and Market Animal Show, Kent Building
9 a.m. 4-H/FFA exhibits open, Centre/4-H & FFA
Free Kids Health Fair opens, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Junior Dairy Show, Quillen Arena
FFA Agronomy Judging, Centre/4-H & FFA
Del One Kidz Zone opens
9:30 a.m. Kids Using Cake Mix, Dover Building
10 a.m. FSA Farm Olympics, Grove Picnic Area
Giraffe menagerie and pony rides open, Machinery Lot
Noon Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
1 p.m. Wade Shows Midway opens
Beef Cattle Showmanship and Market Steer Show, Schabinger Pavilion
Hoober’s Youth Pedal Tractor Pull, Machinery Lot
2 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
Decorating with Fondant with Stacey Stanford, Dover Building
2:30 p.m. Lego Building Contest, Grove Picnic Area
3 p.m. Gingerbread House Decorating Contest, Kidz Zone
Hoober’s Youth Pedal Tractor Pull, Machinery Lot
3:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
5 p.m. Cooking Demo with Chef Peter Buoncristiano, Dover Building
Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
5:30 p.m. Men’s Horseshoe Pitching, Quillen Arena
5:45 p.m. WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
6 p.m. Duck Drop, New Castle Building
6:30 p.m. WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
Hollywood Racing Pigs, Near Quillen Arena
7 p.m. Delaware State Fair parade
Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. Country Palooza featuring Rodney Atkins and Craig Morgan, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
Livestock Extravaganza, Kent Building
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent

Wednesday, July 28
8 a.m. Gates open for Military Day
9 a.m. 4-H/FFA exhibits open, Centre/4H & FFA
Beef Cattle Breeding Animal & Feeder Calf Show, Schabinger Pavilion
4-H/FFA Horse Judging, Quillen Arena
9:30 a.m. Fifer Orchards’ Peach Dessert Contest, Dover Building
10 a.m. Hat Decorating Contest, Dover Building
4-H Plant & Environmental Sciences Demonstration, Centre/4-H & FFA
11 a.m. Ice Carving Demonstration with Chef Shawn West, Grove Picnic Area
Del One Kidz Zone opens, Del One Kidz Zone
FFA & 4-H Tractor Driving Contest, Quillen Arena
“What is a Medicine Wheel?,” Dover Building
Giraffe menagerie and pony rides open, Machinery Lot
Noon FFA Ag Mechanics, Quillen Arena
1 p.m. Wade Shows Midway opens
Sheep Junior & Open Breeding Animal Show, Kent Building
Farm, Fruit & Apiary Judging, Dover Building
2 p.m. Cooking Demonstration, Dover Building
Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
3:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
5 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Dairy Goat Milking Contest, Simpson Building
Cooking Demo with Chef Shawn West, Dover Building
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
5:45 p.m. WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
6 p.m. Army National Guard Rock Band, DEC Free
Entertainment Tent
Open Dairy Show, Quillen Arena
6:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
7 p.m. Selena Gomez & The Scene, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Delaware State Fair parade
Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent

Thursday, July 29
8 a.m. Gates open
Open Meat Goat Show, Kent Building
9 a.m. 4-H/FFA exhibits open, Centre/4-H & FFA
Pony & Miniature Horse Show, Quillen Arena
9:30 a.m. Grand Bar Cookie Contest, Dover Building
10 a.m. FFA Games, Holloway Street
4H Family & Consumer Sciences Demonstrations, Centre/4-H & FFA
11 a.m. Del One Kidz Zone opens
Governor’s Day Harness Racing, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Giraffe menagerie and pony rides open, Machinery Lot
1 p.m. Wade Shows Midway opens
2 p.m. Garden Fresh Today with Veronica Austin, Dover Building
Hollywood Racing Pigs, Near Quillen Arena
3:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
4 p.m. Pig Kissing Contest, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
5 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Cooking Demo with Chef Nancy Chirdon, Dover Building
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
5:30 p.m. Men’s Horseshoe Pitching, Quillen Arena
5:45 p.m. WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
6 p.m. Vegetable Stars Contest, Grove Picnic Area
Milford Community Band’s Oompa Band, Main Gate
6:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
Junior Livestock Auction, Kent Building
7 p.m. Delaware State Fair parade
Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. The Beach Boys, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent

Friday, July 30
8 a.m. Gates open
Dairy Goat Show, Kent Building
9 a.m. 4-H/FFA exhibits open, Centre/4-H & FFA
State 4-H Horse and Pony Show, Quillen Arena
FFA Awards Breakfast, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
10 a.m. 4-H Animal Sciences Demonstrations, Centre/4H & FFA
11 a.m. Giraffe menagerie and pony rides open, Machinery Lot
Ice Carving Demonstration, Grove Picnic Area
Del One Kidz Zone opens
Noon Blueberry Blowout Contest, Dover Building
1 p.m. Wade Shows Midway opens
2 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
4H Archery Competition
3:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
5 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Cooking Demo with Chef Ed Hennessy, Dover Building
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
5:30 p.m. Men’s Horseshoe Pitching Contest, Quillen Arena
5:45 p.m. WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
6 p.m. Downtown Dixieland Band, Main Gate
6:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
7 p.m. Delaware State Fair parade
Manlove Auto Parts presents Demolition Derby, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Pretty Animal Contest, Quillen Arena
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent

Saturday, July 31
8 a.m. Gates open
Herdsman Breakfast, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
9 a.m. 4-H/FFA exhibits open, Centre/4-H & FFA
4-H Compact Tractor Driving Contest, Quillen Arena
Women and Youth Horseshoe Pitching Contest, Quillen Arena
11 a.m. Del One Kidz Zone opens
Giraffe menagerie and pony rides open, Machinery Lot
Noon Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Young Farmers and Ranchers’ Antique Tractor Pull, Quillen Arena
Bigger, Better, Burger Contest, Grove Picnic Area
1 p.m. Wade Shows Midway Opens, Midway
4-H Avian Bowl, Centre/4-H & FFA
Men’s Horseshoe Tournament, Quillen Arena
2 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
3 p.m. Youth Poultry Showmanship, New Castle Building
3:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
4 p.m. 4-H State Fashion Revue, Centre/4-H & FFA
5 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
4-H Awards Celebration, Centre/4-H & FFA
Cooking Demo with Chef Lauren Hastings, Dover Building
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
5:45 p.m. WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
6 p.m. Duck Drop, New Castle Building
6:30 p.m. Hollywood Racing Pigs, near Quillen Arena
WMDT live news cast, Exhibit Hall
7 p.m. Delaware State Fair parade
Erick Känd, Delaware Electric Cooperative’s Free Entertainment Tent
7:30 p.m. Delaware Army National Guard presents Jason Aldean with fireworks after the show, Wilmington Trust Grandstand
Smyrna’s Citizens’ Hose Band, in front of Wilmington Trust Grandstand
8 p.m. Circus Hollywood, Sponsor Lot
Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
Ice show, Centre/4-H & FFA
9 p.m. Erick Känd, DEC Free Entertainment Tent
10 p.m. Vocal Trash, DEC Free Entertainment Tent