Every year on the Friday after Labor Day, the Kansas State Fair at 2000 N Poplar St., Hutchinson, Kansas, kicks off. Over ten days, 350,000 people swarm to the area, ready to find out what Kansas has to offer.
From agriculture, industry, and culture, through to competitions, concerts, and activities, there’s almost nothing you won’t find at the state fair. Each year, there are also over 1,000 vendors and 30,000 entries in various exhibits.
The goal of the Kansas State Fair is to promote and showcase everything that makes Kansans proud. It doesn’t matter whether you’re from Kansas or you’re traveling from out of state; you’ll love both the facilities and how Kansans can put on a show.
For the adventure-hungry traveler, the Kansas State Fair Grounds also offer RV camping facilities, enabling you to soak up the atmosphere while getting a restful night’s sleep at the same time. There’s no better time than now to pre-register your RV, purchase your admission tickets, and start the journey to the beautiful state of Kansas.
Not only will the State Fair prove worthy of the trip, but so too will the Midwestern state of Kansas itself. There’s much to see, do, and experience, so gear up and get ready to go.
How much you pay for tickets can depend on how much of an early bird you are. Tickets are usually discounted until the week before the fair, with a pricing structure for adults, seniors, children, and military members. Ticket prices will be at regular pricing from that point until the event itself.
There are also discounted days, so refer to www.kansasstatefair.com for current ticket prices and to secure yours. Any concerts in the grandstand will require additional tickets, as will RV accommodation.
The beauty of driving to the Kansas State Fair is that so many different roads can lead the way. When you’re on an adventure in your RV, this can be an unforgettable experience. Hutchinson is near the center of Kansas, with direct routes from Highway U.S. 50, K-96, and K-61.
If you have pre-registered to get a spot at the RV Park, you can enter through the gate at 2000 N. Poplar St. once you reach Hutchinson and follow through the campground. The State Fair Grounds are well sign-posted.
The RV Park is at the far north end of the fairgrounds, with a grassy, shady lot to call home for the next 10-12 days. Along State Fair Road there are two public parking lots, with a third down Plum Ave. Size restrictions may apply for day parking, so inquire with the event hosts.
If you are staying in the RV Park, your reservation comes with admission to the fairgrounds for two people but does not include admission for your arrival date. You will need to buy gate tickets in advance or at the fairgrounds for your arrival day.
What happens if you want to pop into town for a spot of shopping? When you’ve set up your RV at your campsite, moving it can be more hassle than it’s worth. Never fear, The State Fair officials offer a shuttle service from Hutchinson Mall at 1500 E. 11th Street and back again. The shuttle operates at several times throughout the day.
Onsite camping is on offer at the Kansas State Fair, but you have to be in quick! Sites are limited and you must-preregister to secure your spot. There are over 200 grass RV areas with trees for shelter.
Each site boasts 50-amp service hookups with water as well. Your reservation can include a site for the Wednesday before the fair through until mid-morning on the following Monday. Bring an extra water hose, electric cord, and a Y hookup. WiFi may also be available for a fee.
Because spaces are limited at the fairgrounds, you may find yourself needing to look elsewhere for RV accommodation. Hutchinson is not short of RV park options. There are several different offerings within the vicinity of the fairgrounds. Therefore, you can park, make yourself comfortable, then wander down to the Hutchinson Mall in time to catch the next shuttle to the Kansas State Fair.
You will not be able to bring a golf cart to the Kansas State Fair to get around, nor will you be able to hire one. However, if your feet are beginning to tire, there are scooters for rent, usually at Gates 5 and 9. Trams will also run routes around the fairgrounds for your convenience.
Even though the weather is starting to cool down in September, it’s still swelteringly hot come the time of the fair. You will need to pack plenty of breathable layers, as well as comfortable clothing that won’t make you hot and sweaty. Shorts and t-shirts are a staple! Comfortable footwear is a must as well.
The Kansas State Fair offers much of what you need to get through the day, such as ATMs to get cash out for vendors. However, you will need to bring your own camping and cooking equipment for your site. Consider if your crew will want dry-fast clothing for any activities as chosen. There is also an information site near the entrance to help answer questions upon entry.
Kansas always draws some beautiful weather, so make sure you’re ready for the occasion. Drink plenty of water and ensure you apply sunscreen regularly. To beat the heat, the fair also offers a splash fountain, shady benches, and water fountains in most exhibit buildings. If you require assistance, the site also boasts a first aid area.
If the vendor options at the fair are not enough to satisfy your hunger, then you’re more than welcome to use your personal cooking equipment in your RV. Stock up on supplies in Hutchinson, which is home to malls, markets, and grocery stores. If you intend on popping into town during the day, the fair shuttle service may prove convenient.
The Kansas State Fairgrounds’ central location means that dining out has never been more convenient. Make yourself comfortable at the RV Park, then take your family and friends into the center of town to find out what’s on offer. There are many intimate and family-friendly dining establishments with late operation hours for convenience.
Over 100 vendors are usually present selling all manner of food and beverages. You can pay with cash, sometimes credit, or use food tickets. Food tickets are available in $20 or $100 increments. There is also a range of sit-down dining options such as the air-conditioned indoors food court. Merchandise vendors can also help you start your Christmas shopping early.
If you don’t need to bring any valuables, then it’s in your best interest to leave them at home. State Fair staff are not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen items. The Kansas Highway Patrol and Kansas State Fair Law Enforcement staff will be on site for the entirety of the event. Contact Highway Patrol for all emergencies.
Kansas puts on a show when the State Fair comes to town, but that doesn’t mean they won't be thrown an odd curveball. Temperatures can drop overnight, so don’t forget to close your RV windows, even if you spent all day trying to keep the heat away!
Some rides, games, and concessions may stop in the case of extreme weather. The Grandstand is an outdoor venue, so severe weather may lead to the cancellation of the entertainment in some cases.
There is a first aid station in the southwest corner of the Administration Building. This is manned at various times throughout the day by qualified and trained medical staff. If you require further assistance, Hutchinson is home to two medical centers and multiple pharmacies. These are proximate to the fairgrounds.