If you want to end your summer on a high, then give your RV one last run and point it in the direction of the Midwest. At 2503 W. 16th St., Sedalia, Missouri, you can set up camp for ten days and soak up the atmosphere of the annual Missouri State Fair.
The Missouri State Fairgrounds is one of the oldest fairgrounds in the United States and is also home to the annual Missouri State Fair. Each year, around 350,000 people make their way to the 396-acre site, hoping to get their fill of recreation, music, carnival rides, agriculture, and more.
As cliché as it sounds, the Missouri State Fair genuinely offers something for everyone. Brave the tail-end of the summer weather in a tent or set up your RV with provided service hookups, and check out what the City of Sedalia has to offer as well.
The Missouri State Fairgrounds encompasses over 40 buildings and many contributing sites and structures. It’s also the place to be for a taste of architecture with art deco, Romanesque revival, and mission revival almost everywhere you look. Now’s the time to load up your RV and hit the road, for there’s no time to waste! The annual Missouri State Fair is happening with or without you.
Tickets to get into the Missouri State Fair are available at the gate. You can buy single day tickets for adults, seniors, and youth. Children under five are free! Close to the time of the event, it’s also worth checking the website www.mostatefair.com to take advantage of gate admission specials and coupons. If you are attending as a group, you can also get discounts for carnival rides.
If you’re not familiar with Sedalia or the State of Missouri, then not to panic. Fortunately, navigating the area doesn’t take an expert! Sedalia is central to many major highways, including 50 and 65. It’s also only a hop, skip, and a jump from Knob Noster State Park, the perfect place to stop for a break before you make it to Sedalia.
Once you’re on 2503 W. 16th Street, point your RV in the direction of Centennial Gate (Gate 12), on Highway 65. There will be over 1,100 sites west of the fairgrounds on Clarendon Road.
Parking at the fairgrounds in a car is free for one day in the general public parking area. However, if you want to make a difference, you can also purchase VIP public parking, with your fee going to the Missouri State Fair Foundation.
If you plan on setting up camp with your RV, then you’re more than welcome to enter the campground to park. There are 1,100 sites, and you can pay with cash or credit. Enter via gate 12 on Highway 65 and wait in line for staff to issue you a permit. Do not leave your camper unattended while you wait. There will be one parking permit available per camper.
If you want to park your RV for the duration of the fair, you won't be totally stranded without transport. The Amtrak Missouri River Runner will can bring you to and from Sedalia, with both a southbound and northbound service. There is also a Sedalia bus service with schedules listing near the event site.
Onsite camping options are plentiful. The campground opens on the morning of the fair, and visitors can get a wristband that allows them access to both the fair and the camping facilities. You will also obtain a permit which allows you to park in the grounds. There are multiple waste dump stations, toilets, showers, and a pedestrian underpass for direct fair access from the campground. Pets are also allowed in the campground but not at the fair.
The Missouri State Fair brings in hundreds of thousands of people annually, meaning you are not always going to get a spot at the fairgrounds campground. If that’s the case, you’re not stranded! Mere minutes from the Missouri State Fairgrounds are some fabulous camping facilities which are suitable for RV camping. There are also private and public campgrounds on the outskirts of Sedalia if you feel like traveling further afield.
With so much ground to cover, a whopping 396 acres, it makes sense to have an alternative to one's own feet for some of that distance. The Missouri State Fairground offers a tram to get around the site which is also handicap-accessible. There will also be electric mobility carts, courtesy carts, and wheelchairs for hire. Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and skates, are prohibited.
This summer event is one that offers the opportunity to achieve that sun-kissed look. However, it’s crucial to pack sensible clothing. Comfortable footwear is essential for navigating the many grassy and concrete areas of the site. Given the sun’s intensity during the summer months in Missouri, a breathable sunhat will provide much-needed relief as well. If you plan on wearing a singlet and shorts, make sure you lather on the sunscreen!
The Missouri State Fair offers everything you need to attend the event comfortably. You can leave the chairs at home or your campsite or bring them with you, and even coolers are permitted as well. However, alcohol is not, and security will check your coolers at the gate to the fairgrounds. Don’t forget your camping and cooking equipment, for there are no available facilities on site.
Guests will find a lot to be excited about at the Missouri State Fair, but it’s important not to lose your head! Wear plenty of sun lotion, keep yourself hydrated, and top up those energy reserves at any of the food stalls. If you to take a break, there are seating areas around the fairground to ensure your visit is as comfortable as possible.
The campground offers a lot of flexibility around what you can and can’t do at your campsite. Cooking facilities are not provided, but you can bring personal stoves and cook up a storm with your friends and family. Be responsible and safe while you cook.
If you’re low on ingredients, Sedalia is not short of options. Travelers will encounter several stores within proximity of the fairgrounds. However, allow additional time for travel due to traffic congestion. You may want to consider going before parking your rig on site, but re-entry is allowed.
If you become tired of fair food, which may happen after ten days of camping, then Sedalia delivers on this front as well. Along Main Street and S. Limit Avenue, there is something for everyone. You can indulge in fast food from a range of establishments, or treat your family to a proper sit-down meal. Where possible, avoid peak dining times to reduce delays.
Spending hours out in the sunshine can deplete your energy resources quickly. Fortunately, plenty of vendors span the large fair area to tantalize your taste buds. Try local and ethnic cuisines, or quench your thirst with a refreshing beverage. There will also be vendors offering their wares, so bring cash since credit is not available at all stalls.
Missouri State Fair workers take security seriously, but they also need your help. Guest property is considered guest responsibility, even if staff endeavor to keep the area as safe as possible. Missouri State Highway Patrol and State Fair Security will be patrolling the campground. Remember that items allowed in the campground area may not be permitted into the fairgrounds.
It’s not unexpected for temperatures to hit the high 80s at the tail end of summer in Sedalia, Missouri. Where possible, ventilate your RV, so that you don’t walk back to a sweltering campsite once you finish at the fair. Campers may want to close it up tight at night as the temperature may plummet once the sun goes down. Pack plenty of blankets!
If you, or someone around you, is involved in an emergency, report it to Missouri State Fair staff or a highway patrol officer. If you have had a minor accident or injury, make your way to the west side of the Firehouse, which is east of the Highway Gardens. Treatment and first aid supplies are available at the First Aid Station there.