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Can You Sleep Overnight at a Fairground?

If you spend much time adventuring and traveling the country, you’ll find yourself staying in some unique places. While many RVers consider campgrounds and RV parks, fairgrounds are one location that often gets overlooked.

However, you could be making a big mistake if you’re not considering fairgrounds when planning where you’ll stay. 

Today, we’re looking at whether you can stay overnight at fairgrounds and, if so, if they’re worth it. Let’s dive in!

What Are Fairgrounds?

Fairgrounds are typically state or county-owned lands for hosting various activities, from carnivals to rodeos. Of course, as their name implies, they’re also common sites for county and state fairs. Many fairgrounds have a variety of facilities.

However, you can typically expect to find exhibition halls, arenas, tracks, and spaces for booths and other entertainment. The size of a fairground will depend on the surrounding area. However, some of the largest fairgrounds can practically turn into a city of their own during major events.

Can You Sleep Overnight at a Fairground?

Event organizers and entertainers often spend a lot of time on the road. As a result, fairgrounds often create facilities that allow vendors and guests to stay overnight. It will likely come with a cost, but many fairgrounds take reservations for guests to stay on their property.

Costs and amenities will vary based on location, but they can be very economical. 

Depending on events taking place on the property, there could be restrictions or unavailability. Don’t expect to pull in and snag a spot at a state or county fairground in the middle of their fair. However, if you come at a time when nothing is going on at the fairground, there’s a good chance you’ll have a quiet and spacious place to stay.

How Long Can You Stay at a Fairground?

Restrictions regarding stay lengths will vary by location. Many fairgrounds limit stays to no more than 14 consecutive days in a 30-day period. However, depending on the season, stay limits may be flexible.

You may be able to enjoy a long-term stay in some locations, especially if you’re maintaining a clean site and not causing any issues for the fairground’s management. If you need to stay for an extended period, chat with the management and see if they’ll work with you.

What Type of RV Sites Do Fairgrounds Have?

You can expect various RV site options, and which works for you will depend on your circumstances. There’s zero consistency in the type of sites from one fairground to the next. However, many fairgrounds offer full and partial hookup RV sites. If you don’t need hookups, some fairgrounds use large empty fields and parking lots to offer dry camping sites. 

Travelers looking for an easy place to park for the night may enjoy a dry camping option. However, those coming for a couple of days or the duration of an event will likely want to choose a spot with partial or full hookups. 

Tips for Sleeping Overnight at a Fairground

If you’re planning to sleep overnight at a fairground, there are some things you need to know. Knowing these tips can help ensure you have a smooth experience camping at a fairground. Let’s look and see!

Follow the Rules

Like any campground, you must follow the rules. Failing to follow the rules could mean cutting your stay short if you get ejected from the fairground. So be on your best behavior when sleeping overnight.

It’s important to remember that if you want to follow the rules, you need to know them. Just because you’re unaware of a rule doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to you. Read all signs around the camping area and any papers you receive when checking into a spot. By staying at a fairground, you’re consenting to those rules.

Watch for Blackout Dates

Because fairgrounds host various events throughout the year, there’s a chance that random chunks of time will be blackout dates. This is because event organizers or attendees will require the use of all facilities at the fairground.

If that’s the case, you may not be able to make a reservation or stop for the night. It’s a good idea to call ahead or make a reservation to avoid any potential issues. 

Keep It Clean

Fairgrounds often host major events, which means staff spends a lot of time picking up trash left behind by attendees. Don’t create more work for the men and women trying to keep the fairgrounds clean. Make sure your trash finds its way into a trash can or dumpster and pick up any trash you see in the area. You’ll be able to enjoy a clean space during your stay, and future campers will appreciate not having to deal with trash.

Set Your Expectations

Having the proper expectations for staying at a fairground is essential. Many of the events held at a fairground involve livestock or other animals. While horses and other animals can be enjoyable to look at, they don’t come without noises and smells. If you’ve not spent much time in farm or rural settings, smells from large amounts of animals can be overwhelming.

Amenities for fairgrounds are typically minimal at best. Most guests are there because they’re attending an event, which will take up most of their time. As a result, many fairground sites are nothing more than a place to park. You may be able to dump your tanks or fill up on water at your site, but don’t expect an authentic camping experience.

Will You Stay Overnight at a Fairground?

A fairground could be a great option if you’re looking for an overnight spot to stay. They’re typically easy to access and offer plenty of space. We’ve stayed at a fairground once or twice during our adventures and had a positive experience.

We’ve even had the opportunity to attend events we wouldn’t have otherwise because they were taking place at a fairground. So if you’re looking for a spot to stay for the night, search for a fairground nearby. You may just find the perfect spot.

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