Summer is my favorite season for many reasons, but my absolute favorite thing to do during the summer is spend an evening at the county fair with my family. There's nothing quite like a fair, and the Hendricks County 4-H Fair always delivers. It's definitely a can't-miss summer event.The animals are one of our favorite parts of the fair!

The Hendricks County 4-H Fair, which will be held from July 15-21 in 2018, has everything you expect to see at a midwestern fair -- animals, rides, vendors and delicious food. The week's complete fair schedule can be found here.

But there are also some special experiences that I think you won't want to miss. Here are seven things you should be sure to check out at this year's 4-H Fair:

Free Shows

The first thing I always do as I scan the fair schedule is look for those unique free shows that you can only find at a county 4-H Fair. This year five shows caught my eye. Most of these shows have multiple occurrences each day. Check the fair schedule for times and locations.

  • Bear Hollow Wood Carving Demonstration - The artistry and creativity of this annual favorite will blow your mind.
  • The Dynamo Dogs - Who doesn't love watching dogs do amazing things? I'm in!
  • Hansen Spectacular Acrobatic Thrill Show - This show combines amazing juggling, trampoline jumping and aerials from 30 feet up.
  • The High Diving Pirates of the Caribbean Show - This pirate-themed, high-diving show includes stunts that will leave you breathless.
  • Swifty Swine Racing & Swimming Pigs - Root for your favorite piglet in this fun, interactive show.

State Bank of Lizton Free Stage

Every night of the fair at 7:30 p.m., you can enjoy live music on the State Bank of Lizton free stage. Come out and enjoy live music from different performers daily including the Zach Day Band, Backroad 39 and Vinnie and the Moochers.

Fleece Performance Grandstands

The Grandstands host a nightly event every day of the fair. If your family likes action adventure sports, you will want to check out the week-long schedule at the Fleece Performance Grandstands. Some of the events are free to attend while others charge a fee. Children 5 and under are free to all the events.

Demolition derbyThe lineup includes:

  • July 15 - Indy Race Parts Outlaw Kart Race - Free - 8 p.m.
  • July 16 & 17 - Moto Cross Races - $5 a person - 7 p.m.
  • July 18 - Antique Tractor Pull - Free - 6 p.m.
  • July 19 - Truck/Tractor Pull - Free - 7 p.m.
  • July 20 - Rodeo - $5 in advance, $10 at the gate - 7:30 p.m.
  • July 21 - 38th Annual Demolition Derby - $10 a person - 7 p.m.

Special Events

A number of special events truly make the Hendricks County 4-H Fair unique.

You need to check the fair schedule for times and locations, but some of the events you should consider include: Hendricks County Fair Got Talent Competition, Kids Pedal Tractor Pull, Baby Contest, Watermelon Eating & Seed Spitting Contest, Hendricks County Cheerleading Contest and so much more.

Animals

One of my kids favorite activities at the fair involves checking out all of the livestock in the barns. Small animals like rabbits and poultry and strolls through the horse, pig, sheep and cow barns to see all the livestock have become annual rites of passage. 

These 4-Hers work so hard and become so attached to these animals that it is fun to see them interact with them. If the 4-Her happens to be in the pin or sitting close by, ask them questions. They have always been happy to talk to guests about their passion, and you and your children just might learn something along the way.

Carnival Rides

What would the fair be without carnival rides? Well, you don't have to find out at the Hendricks County 4-H Fair as they have an entire section of the complex devoted to top-notch carnival rides. From little kiddie rides to the type of thrill rides teens would expect, there is something for everyone.

Funnel cake at Hendricks County 4-H FairSave some money by visiting at 1 p.m. July 21 when for one hour you can ride for free or plan to arrive on one of the four 'Pay One Price to Ride All Night' days. Rides open nightly at 5 p.m. 

Food

One of the most popular traditions of the Hendricks County 4-H Fair is partaking in fair food! From lemon shake-ups to curly fries and ribeye steak sandwiches to giant corn dogs, you can always find something for everyone.

If you look hard enough, you may even find some options you've never heard of before.

So, are you ready for the fair? Here are all the details:

What: Hendricks County 4-H Fair

When: Sunday, July 15 through Saturday, July 21

Where: Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex, 1900 E. Main St., Danville

Admission: $5 per person. Pre-sale tickets of $4 a person are available at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex, North Salem State Banks, Hendricks County Bank & Trust. Kids 9 and under are free. Parking is free.