The Utah State Fair has been an integral part of Salt Lake City history since the first fair in October of 1856. With over 160 years to perfect it, it has now grown into one of the most significant events on the Utah calendar, spanning 11 days in September.
If you’re looking for something fun to do this Fall, then load up the RV with your family and friends and hit the road for nearly two weeks of action. From carnival rides and activities for the kids, through to agricultural services and offerings for mom and dad, there’s no shortage of things to do and see on the schedule.
Even the fairgrounds themselves are something unique, as they are on the National Register of Historic Places. However, architecture is not the only talking point. The well-appointed Utah State Fair at 155 North 1000 West is a premium camping location as well. You can register your spot then enjoy an outdoor adventure with the whole family.
The fair begins on the first Thursday after Labor Day every year, offering ample time to plan. You can enjoy the free entertainment, buy tickets for the headline events, and meander through the expansive site and shop until you drop. If you are looking for something interesting to do in early September, then there’s every reason to pack a bag and hit the road. The annual fair is waiting.
Guests can buy tickets for the fair, a camping location, and admission to the headline events in the grandstand. Ticket prices vary for adults, seniors, and children, and there are always special promotions and deals in the weeks leading up to the fair. Be the early bird that gets the worm, and take advantage of these discounts. Head to www.utahstatefair.com for current ticket pricing.
Several main highways connect the outskirts of Salt Lake City, making your drive to the area a pleasant and leisurely one. You may like to take I-215 which leads you almost directly to the fairgrounds, or even I-80 or I-15.
If you are north or southbound, I-15 is the most direct route. However, from the east, you can take I-80 and exit at Redwood Road. The Utah State Fair is in downtown Salt Lake City, with the main driving entrance at 200 North 1000 West.
There are several public parking areas at the Utah State Fair. Lot A is west of the Jordan River, while Lot B is in the White Ball Park, south of North Temple. Lot C is the main parking area at 2nd North and 1000 West, with bus and handicap parking. Lot E is at the Northwest entrance. Parking attendants will lead you in the direction of the best park for your RV, or the RV camping area if you are staying on the grounds.
Various buses and rails will be in operation during the State Fair, making navigation of Salt Lake City a breeze. The Fairpark Station is near the fair for light rail service, and most buses run throughout the week and even the weekend. During the 11 days of the fair, buses will also make special Sunday trips to and from the fair, usually on Route #519.
Why visit the fair for one day when you can stay for almost two weeks? Onsite camping on the fairgrounds makes this a possibility. Reserve your space before the event, or turn up and hope for the best. Camper sizes are limited to 36 x 20 feet, and there are no service hookups. There will be sewer dumps at a fee, and pets must be in an enclosed pen or your camper.
With limited RV parking spaces at the Utah State Fair, you may find yourself in need of a plan B. Fortunately, Salt Lake City boasts an abundance of accommodation options. There are at least ten RV-friendly campgrounds within proximity of the fairgrounds, all offering various amenities. You can set up camp then take advantage of the bus and rail system that will get you to the fair on time.
The best way to get around the Utah State Fair is on foot, so bring comfortable shoes! Scooters, golf carts, roller blades, skates, motorcycles, and bicycles are all prohibited in the fairgrounds unless with written permission for a specified reason. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to rest your weary feet during your hours of wandering.
The smell of fall may be in the air, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need shorts and t-shirts! Salt Lake City usually brings good weather for the fair, so you’ll need plenty of breathable layers and a decent sunhat to keep you fresh throughout the day. Keep warm clothes in your RV for when the evening draws near.
You will have almost everything you need once you reach the fairgrounds. There will be ATM facilities to withdraw cash, and some vendors will accept credit as well. Leave all your skateboards, scooters, and other wheeled transport options in your RV, as these are not allowed at the fair itself. Alcohol is not permitted, but you may bring outside food. Flammable materials and fire are prohibited. Don’t forget your cooking equipment in your RV as there are no communal cooking areas.
Utah State Fair officials take health and safety very seriously. While they do everything in their power to make guests safe; it is the responsibility of guests to help them out by following the State Fair Rules and Regulations. If an accident occurs while on the grounds, report to the Administration Office or talk to a representative to complete an accident report. Remaining well hydrated and using sunscreen to combat the intense sunshine also goes a long way in Utah.
While there are plenty of cook-off challenges at the Utah State Fair, it’s not a free-for-all at the camping area. You are welcome to use personal cookers and the equipment in your RV. No open fires are allowed. There are also plenty of markets and grocery stores within walking distance of the campground for your convenience.
If none of the vendor offerings pique your curiosity, then you may want to head off-site in search of something to tantalize your taste buds. There are family eateries within proximity to the grounds. Guests also may bring outside food back into the fairgrounds if you don’t fancy the hustle and bustle of the restaurants.
Hundreds of vendors set up shop over the 11 days of the fair, so you are not short of options. Both kids and adults will get to enjoy an eclectic mix of cuisines that are bound to satisfy your hunger. What’s more, there are equally as many vendors selling handmade items and new designs, meaning you can pick up a bargain while you’re on the hunt for something to eat.
If you don’t need to bring valuables with you on your RV trip, then leave them at home. Utah State Fair officials do not take responsibility for any lost, stolen, or damaged goods during your stay. Lock your RV when you’re at the fair and don’t be offended if officials ask to search your bag at the gates. You can take photos and video footage while there, but you may not use it for commercial gain unless with permission.
Don’t expect anything less than 80 degrees-Fahrenheit during the 11 days of the fair. Even though the weather is cooling with the onset of fall, fair-goers can still expect plenty of heat during the day. You may see value in popping open a window for ventilation in your RV. However, once night falls, you’ll be piling on the layers as the temperature can dramatically drop to half.
If you have a medical emergency while at the fair, dial 911. For anything minor, there will be a first aid center set up to handle cuts, bruises, and minor abrasions. For further assistance, there are ample medical centers and facilities in Salt Lake City to help take care of any problems you may have along with multiple pharmacies.