York State Fair opens Friday: What you need to know about parking, prices and more

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

The York State Fair is almost upon us, with gates opening on Friday.

York County's premiere summertime fair, scheduled from July 22 through July 31, will feature a wide variety of events and attractions.

Here's everything you need to know to make the most of it:

New attractions and events

New to the York State Fair this year are a cheese carver station, jet pack flying water circus and sea lion splash show, according to fair spokesperson Montgomery Stambaugh.

The cheese carver, who will be "cutting the cheese" over at All Trans Memorial Hall East, will complete eight different sculptures over the course of the fair. 

The jetpack water circus, meanwhile, will be housed in Kiddie Kingdom, with shows scheduled as follows: 

  • 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday

The show will feature demonstrations and stunts performed by the Tommy Bartlett show. Stuntmen will perform aerial daredevil turns, flips and stunts inside an Olympic-size pool, Stambaugh said. 

Lastly, the sea lion splash show will be located on Community Lane near Machinery Row, with show times as follows: 

  • 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday

With this show, Stambaugh wanted to emphasize the importance of conservation and protecting animals through education. 

"It's a show based on teaching kids and adults the conservation of sea lions and how to handle them," she added. "It's a really fun, interactive show for kids."

An event that made an appearance a few years ago — back when the fair was held in September — will make a return, too.

The Wild Wheels Thrill Arena, located near the midway, will showcase vintage motorcycles and a four-wheeled racing go-kart show.

Times for this show will be as follows: 

  • 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday

For a full list of shows returning to the York State Fair,  visit https://www.yorkstatefair.com/p/other/free-attractions.

Promo days

Each year, the York State Fair offers a number of ticketing promotion days.

Starting on July 24, free admission will be offered to all firefighters, police, EMS, veterans, active duty military and health care personnel — plus one guest — with proper identification.

On July 25, the popular PeoplesBank Dollar Day will return. Admission that day will only cost $1 per person. Strates Show rides also will cost $1.

On July 26, free admission will be offered to senior citizens with a Medicare card from noon to 4 p.m. 

On July 27, free admission will be offered to Weis customers who have a Weis Markets card. The free admission will provide entry for the card holder and up to four guests.

More:Toby Keith cancels York State Fair concert as he is treated for cancer

Lastly, on July 29, free admission will be offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to one adult and a preschool-age child. Additionally, Kiddie Kingdom ride bands will cost $5 on this promo day.

Admission pricing and hours

This year, admission will be slightly more expensive.

Stambaugh said the increase was due to the rising cost of taxes, utilities and cleaning supplies.

This year's admission prices are as follows: 

  • Adults 18 and older: $10
  • Children and teens ages 6 to 17: $5
  • College students with ID: $5
  • Children 5 and under: free
  • Parking: $10
Opening day at York State Fair in West Manchester Township, Friday, July 23, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The York State Fair opens at 11 a.m. Friday through Sunday and at noon Monday through Thursday. It closes after the grandstand concert ends each night, according to its website.

Attendees can find parking by entering at any of the six gate access points:

  • Gate 2 at Madison Avenue
  • Gate 4 at West Market Street
  • Gate 5 at Philadelphia Street
  • Gate 6 at Highland Avenue
  • Gate 9 at Carlisle Avenue

2022 concert lineup at the Bobcat of York Grandstand Stage

This year's concert lineup will feature a new way of entering the grandstand, Stambaugh said.

Following some issues with concert entry last year, concert attendees will instead enter the Bobcat of York Grandstand Stage via the east end of the track, which is directly across from Kiddie Kingdom.

Entry from below the grandstand will be limited to individuals who need to enter via the ADA-accessible entrances, Stambaugh said.

"We'll have a tent set up with 12 scanners," she added. "So that way we are focused on getting people into the grounds quicker."

Last year, long lines to enter the fair's concerts wrapped around the grandstand and caused some traffic through the midway. Changing up the entrance should alleviate any issues with concert entry this year, Stambaugh said.

This year's concert lineup is as follows:

  • 8 p.m. July 22: Sam Hunt with special guest Roman Alexander
  • 8 p.m. July 23: Foreigner with special guest Tommy DeCarlo (singer of Boston)
  • 8 p.m. July 24: For King & Country with special guest Zach Williams
  • 7 p.m. July 26: Triple Play Tuesday Dokken Lynch Reunion Tour with special guests Vixen and Autograph
  • 7 p.m. July 27: KIX with Rocky 98.5 Battle of the Bands
  • 8 p.m. July 28:  Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias
  • 7:30 p.m. July 29: Tracy Byrd with special guest HunterGirl
  • 7:30 p.m. July 30: Steve Miller Band with Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
  • 8 p.m. July 31: Jason Aldean with special guests Gabby Barrett and John Morgan

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Although no concerts have officially sold out completely, Jason Aldean's show is getting "close" to selling out, Stambaugh said. 

Toby Keith, who originally was slated to appear at the York State Fair, canceled several upcoming shows after recent chemotherapy, radiation and surgery for treatment of his stomach cancer.

As a result, Keith's act will be replaced by country artist Tracy Byrd, with an opening act by HunterGirl.

Tickets to each show can be purchased at https://yorkstatefair.org/. Individuals can also purchase tickets by calling the York State Fair at 717-848-2596 or visiting the Will Call ticketing window located at the fairgrounds, 334 Carlisle Ave.

Avian flu outbreak and York State Fair response

Given the current situation with the avian flu outbreak, the York State Fair decided to prohibit any poultry, raw poultry meat or feather-based products from entering the fairgrounds. 

"Under the advisement of the state, there were certain kinds (of poultry) that fairs are allowed to have," Stambaugh said. "But we just as a fair felt just protecting everybody as well as all of their animals — we would rather have no poultry or any poultry products on the grounds."

That does not include fried food products such achicken fingers, however, which will still be sold during the fair.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.