The Salem Fair is a beloved annual summer tradition in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. It’s the largest fair in Virginia and has been recognized as one of the top 100 fairs and expositions in the country.

The 2024 Salem Fair takes place at the Salem Civic Center and this year’s event will be held July 3 through July 14, featuring 12 days of fun and entertainment!

Check out our list of 5 things to do at this year’s Salem Fair!

1. Rides & Games

Salem Fair - Rides & Attractions - Salem, Virginia

The Salem Fair features over 40 rides and games, including a variety of less intense options for little ones, such as the Mini Scrambler and Tea Cups, as well as thrilling rides that will get your adrenaline pumping, like the Typhoon and Vertigo.

New rides this year include the Wave Swinger, a large family swing ride with beautiful scenery, a fun Elephant ride for the family, a Western Mouse Coaster and Train Ride for kids, and an airplane themed-car ride for younger kids. 

You’ll also want to take a ride on the Ferris wheel and enjoy the great views of the surrounding mountains.

The best way to enjoy the rides is by purchasing a wristband, which are available for sale online, Northwest Ace Hardware, at the gate.

Salem Fair Wristband Specials >

2. Classic Fair Food

Salem Fair - Funnel Cake

It’s not a visit to the fair without treating yourself to some carnival food favorites, and the Salem Fair offers lots of delicious options!

Whether you’re chowing down on giant turkey legs, pizza, calzones, or corn dogs, be sure to come hungry when you arrive at the Salem Civic Center.

A few special foods to check out at this year's fair include the Mexican street corn, pork chop on a stick, BBQ nachos, dill pickle pizza, mac & cheese bowl with seafood, fried oreos, ice cream sundaes, peanut butter milkshakes, and gourmet red velvet funnel cakes.

We’re pretty sure calories don’t count at the fair. That’s a rule.

3. Attractions & Shows

Salem Fair - Barnyard Race - Salem, Virginia

In addition to the delicious food and exciting rides, the Salem Fair features a great collection of attractions and fun shows for visitors of all ages.

The 2024 lineup includes a show by Wildlife Wendy and her Tropical Birds, Dynamo Dogs and Pool Party Pooches, Richard Barker, the Incredible Hypnotist, Danny Grant's Cowboy Circus, Woody's Barnyard Racers, Knebel's Small World of Agriculture, and Kilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy.  

Many of the shows happen multiple times throughout the day, offering different opportunities to attend no matter when you visit.

Salem Fair - Free Shows > 

4. Live Music & Entertainment

Live Music - Salem Fair - Salem, Virginia

Did you know the Salem Fair features free live music every night? The Hart Motors Musical Stage is the place to be for the free concerts, which take place nightly at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

It’s a great setting to listen to lots of talented local musicians and bands from our region.

This year’s live music lineup includes Mountain Highway, Creedence Clearwater Recital, Pleading the 5th, Glen Shelton, Last Chance Band, Midnight Blue, The Kings, Cimmaron, Vinyl Nation, and Phat Boys Band.

In addition to nightly live music, the Salem Fair will also host a special fireworks celebration on the 4th of July at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Salem Fair Schedule >

5. Exhibits & Sales

Blue Ribbon Exhibit - Salem Fair - Salem, Virginia

Check out the amazing exhibits and take advantage of great sales at the Salem Fair. The Blue Ribbon Exhibits will showcase award-winning cakes, pies, embroidery, and art in the competitive and creative exhibits for all ages. 

The Commercial Exhibit space will feature vendors offering a range of unique products and goods. From comics to collegiate collectables, tie-dye to terrifying Halloween masks, hair-styling tools to hemp products, socks to sparkling jewelry, if you can buy it, it will probably be here!

The exhibits will be located on the arena floor of the Salem Civic Center, which is also a great spot for some air-conditioned comfort.

Salem Fair Exhibitor Info >

Salem Fair - Things to Know

  • The Salem Fair does not charge the public a gate or admission fee for this event.
  • Children 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult parent, or guardian over the age of 25, with valid I.D. at all times while on the fairgrounds.
  • Clear bags only. No diaper bags or backpacks are allowed unless clear and in compliance with guidelines.
  • Everyone will be subject to bag checks and electronic wanding upon entry. 
  • Gates close at 9pm. The fairgrounds and rides close at 10pm.
  • Parking on the grounds is also free of charge.
  • Shirts and shoes are required.
  • Prohibited items: pets, backpacks, drones, alcohol, fireworks, illegal drugs, illegal weapons, glass containers.

Salem Fair Midway

Salem Fair - Dates & Hours

  • Wednesday, July 3 – Friday, July 5 - 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. - Gates close at 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 6 – Sunday, July 7 - 12 noon to 10:00 p.m. - Gates close at 9 p.m.
  • Monday, July 8 – Friday, July 12 - 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. - Gates close at 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 13 - Sunday, July 14 - 12 noon to 10:00 p.m. - Gates close at 9 p.m.

Salem Fair - Location

Salem Civic Center - 1001 Roanoke Boulevard, Salem, VA 24153
Salem Fair Midway Map >

Salem Fair - Contact

Salem Fair Virginia

This sponsored post was created in partnership with the City of Salem.