DC State Fair

DC State Fair, a free community event, celebrates culinary, artistic, and agricultural talent. Swing by while camping in Virginia or Maryland.

Event information

The DC State Fair was started by a group of local food and garden bloggers searching for a way to embolden the district's talented community and display the talents at hand. It continues to thrive by engaging DC residents in friendly art, culinary, and craft competitions. The fall event celebrates all things homegrown and locally made with contests, parades, and entertainment.

The DC State Fair is a daylong celebration, which means there is much to do and see in a short amount of time. The highly anticipated and attended Pet Parade showcases friendly household animals, whether they are on a leash, in a cage, or in a tank. Costumes are encouraged for both pet and owner.

The fair's main stage offers entertainment all day like live music, hula-hoop contests, and dance-offs. The educational stage features demonstrations like fingerpainting, urban gardening, and line-dancing classes. Kids will find plenty to explore in the kid's tent, be it folding origami or enjoying storytime.

You won't grow hungry at the DC State Fair, with a number of eclectic food trucks serving smoothies, pizza, pie, and popsicles. Local artisans and crafters set up their wares and sell handmade jewelry and textiles. DC's residents take the spotlight at this fair, demonstrating their skills and talents in culinary, arts, and agricultural categories.

With an eye on sustainability, the DC State Fair makes all efforts to reduce its footprint. Scheduling and location details change each year, though the fair goes on rain or shine. Subscribe to their newsletter to be the first to know fair details like date and location. This highly-anticipated community event makes an excellent weekend activity and educational experience for the whole family, encouraging the agricultural, culinary, and artistic talents of its residents.


The DC State Fair is a free event and requires no ticket to enter and enjoy the festivities. The event is open to the public, though you must be a DC resident if you plan on competing in contests. The fair typically runs from late morning into the evening. Check the website or Instagram for the latest hours and information.

Explore DC State Fair RV Rentals



RV motorists may enjoy the trip best by parking or camping near the edge of DC and taking public transportation to the event site. Navigating within DC in an RV or motorhome can be tricky. If you choose to drive to the event, it is best done by commuter vehicle with other attendees.

Traffic in DC is often congested, so consider reducing your carbon footprint by taking the train (Metro) instead. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority encompasses bus and rail transit and works together to provide comprehensive transportation to the greater DC area and its neighboring Maryland and Virginia neighborhoods.

Parking areas

Parking in the DC area is typically parallel street parking and often entails and a lengthy hunt and plenty of good fortune. Motorists can also opt for parking in a garage, usually for a hefty day rate. Remember to check the height and length of your rig in advance to simplify your search for parking as much as possible.

Public Transportation

The best way to get around DC is by public transit. Public transportation rates are usually a fraction of what you might pay in parking if you do find an open spot.

Utilize the Metro and the Metrobus to navigate to your specific destination. The train system associated with Washington DC can bring you from many outlying stations and connect you with multiple locations strategically placed throughout the 68 square miles of capital land.

Additionally, you can use DC's public bikeshare program, Capital Bikeshare, to find your ride. You will also find motorized stand-up scooters and bicycles to rent by the minute throughout DC using various apps. Be mindful that some motorized rental devices are much easier to find in the morning than in the afternoons.

Due to DC's popularity as a tourist destination, private hire vehicle rides are available throughout the city, often with higher rates but short wait times.

Where to stay


Onsite camping is not offered at the DC State Fair, but you can find campgrounds on the perimeter of DC and beyond into Virginia and Maryland.


For nature enthusiasts, a stay in the beautiful Shenandoah National Park due west of DC offers mountain views and (in Autumn) stunning fall colors. Prince William Forest to the south of DC also offers camping for RV's and tent campers alike, in addition to miles of hiking and biking trails. For military veterans and their families, the surrounding areas of Virginia and Maryland offer several military RV campgrounds.

DC's neighboring states offer incredible fall weather and foliage with a mix of pine, oak and maple trees. Deer and chipmunks are particularly common to the area, while birdwatchers will love searching for hawks, warblers, wrens, and orioles.

Getting around

The DC State Fair location changes each year, so check the website for the most up-to-date location details. Getting around the fair is relatively easy as this metropolitan fair does not take-over as much real-estate as rural agricultural fairs.

Guests can sometimes navigate around the fair using bicycles or stand-up scooters for rent throughout the district. Download the appropriate app ahead of time to be prepared and make hopping on and off these motorized vehicles easier. Wear good walking shoes to avoid foot fatigue since seating options may be limited in this city setting.

What to pack


The DC State Fair typically takes place in the fall, but be sure to check the website for an up to date and time. Weather in DC during September is still warm with temperatures reaching into the 80's during the day. Once the sun goes down, expect temperatures to drop into the lower 60's. Bring layers and check the week's weather forecast ahead of time. Wear sunscreen to fend off harmful rays while perusing the fair. Also, bring a poncho or raincoat in the event of unexpected showers.


The DC State Fair prides itself on being a sustainable event and encourages visitors to pack a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. DC Water will have a filling station to refill your container throughout the day. Consider bringing a reusable shopping bag to carry home your fair buys. As an urban fair, many vendors and artists will likely accept credit cards, but always come prepared with cash to make quick purchases easier.

Health & Safety

As an urban fair, hospitals and ambulances are never far away. Always be prepared with documentation that you may need to show doctors in the event of an emergency. Toilets on site are likely to be port-a-potties. If you need a restroom, you may be able to purchase a small item from a convenience store or coffee shop to gain access to their facilities in some locations.

Where to eat


Always check with the campground that you choose to note restrictions on outdoor fires and campfire cooking. If you plan to camp in an urban area, open fires may be prohibited, so remember to check ahead of time for seasonal restrictions. Grocery stores are easy to find in DC and its suburban communities. If you are camping in Shenandoah National Park, be sure to pick up food and drink before heading into the park to avoid extra mountain driving.


DC is home to a thriving foodie scene and diverse multi-cultural cuisines. Dine at a Michelin starred restaurant, or grab a savory food truck meal. DC offers all types of eats, be it ramen, pizza, or tapas. Rooftop bars are popular in the summer and fall and showcase the national icons and memorials of the DC area. Suburban communities are likely to have chain restaurants and local haunts for dining. Shenandoah camping features small mountain towns and local diners.


The DC State Fair highlights local food and drink vendors. Food trucks and food vendors sell their scrumptious creations which are often eclectic and locally influenced, such as seasonal popsicles or burgers featuring locally sourced meat.



The DC Police Department is vigilant and will likely be on the premise. For serious emergencies, call 911. If you see suspicious activity, you can text the Washington DC Police Department at 50411. Remember that many of the historic buildings and landmarks in Washington DC have security measures in place, so be prepared for TSA-style searches if you plan to visit these on your journey. The wait is usually fairly quick and well worth the effort.


DC weather in September is still hot and can reach into the 80s, while October cools down into the mid-70s. Wear layers as the temperature cools once the sun goes down in the evenings. Bring rainwear in the event of a storm. The fair will take place rain or shine. Sun can sometimes be fierce so protect yourself with sunscreen or an umbrella.


For medical emergencies, dial 911. DC is home to several reputable hospitals like the George Washington University Hospital or the Georgetown University Hospital. Depending on your camping location, you may find it easier to fulfill pharmacy needs while you are actually in DC. Some remote campgrounds may cause you to travel through areas that would also offer medical and pharmaceutical services.