New Entertainment Ideas for Your Maryland Fair

March 14, 2016

fair ideas

The fair season is coming up, and it’s time to start thinking how to make your event the one people will travel the extra miles to attend. You probably already have a good entertainment strategy that works year after year, but you know that in this competitive industry you should always be exploring new opportunities. Here are a few ideas on how to make your Maryland fair a success this year.

Stage Shows

If you have the space, it helps to set up several different stage areas that together offer ongoing entertainment. This will keep the crowds spread out, which helps with the traffic. This doesn’t have to be a literal stage, but could simply be a cleared and fenced area where a performance takes place. Depending on the type of the fair you are organizing and whether it’s tied to a specific holiday, here are a few ideas for stage shows:

  • Animal / circus acts
  • Comedians
  • Music and dance
  • Jousting, volleyball or other sports
  • Magic show
  • Parade
  • Petting zoo
  • Farming, animals and technology exhibits

Strolling Acts

Strolling acts are typically entertainers who move throughout the fairgrounds interacting with the guests. These could be costumed mascots posing for pictures, clowns, jugglers, caricaturists, balloon twisters, live statues and similar performers. Having them at your fair will make your event even more interactive and will help attendees create unforgettable memories.

Headline Entertainers

Headline entertainers are the big stage acts that have enough influence and publicity to attract people on their own, regardless of what else is going on at the fair. For example, having someone like Keith Urban or Kid Rock sing a few songs at your fair will certainly draw some crowds. Of course, getting these headliners to perform often costs a lot of money, which may not be in your budget.

If you’ve never had a headline entertainer at your fair, it could be a good idea to try it and see if it’s worth the cost. You don’t have to get a national celebrity—start small with local bands that are known in your area. Just be sure to consider the overall theme of your event and the local music tastes to tailor entertainment to your local audience.

Other Fair Entertainment Ideas

  • Have theme days for every day of your fair. This could be as simple as a “green day” when everyone wearing green gets a small prize. Or it could be something more elaborate like a “Maryland pride day” when people are encouraged to show off why and how much they love Maryland. This is a great way to have a costume contest and you could even start a new annual tradition.
  • Get a mechanical bull. A mechanical bull will be a great addition to your list of rides. Don’t have any rides? This is the perfect way to start. This is a low-profile and small-footprint attraction that can be enjoyed by folks of any age. At Buckin’ Wild, we participate in numerous fairs with our mechanical bull, and so far we’ve heard great feedback from both guests and organizers.
  • Hold opening ceremonies. You don’t have to do this every day of the fair, but an opening ceremony is a good way to officially start the fair, make important announcements and make your event a big deal!
  • Consider a parade. If you are a smaller local fair, you probably don’t have an opportunity to close off the streets and have a big parade. However, you can still hold parades inside your facility, whether it’s indoors or outdoors.

Did this list get your creative juices flowing? That’s great! And if you do decide to go with a mechanical bill, be sure to give Buckin’ Wild a call!

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