Denver County Fair includes everything from pie contests to a pot pavilion

August 1-3 at the National Western Complex

DENVER - The wildly eclectic Denver County Fair returns to the National Western Complex this weekend with a mix of live entertainment, educational exhibits and bizarre contests.

"This isn't your grandma's county fair," organizer Tracy Weil promises.

-- Live entertainment --

The live entertainment includes a Robot Opera, dog agility competitions and Luche Libre Mexican Wrestling matches. Oh, and there is also a freak show. And a flea circus. With more than 230 events scheduled on 10 activity stages, you're sure to find something that catches your eye.

-- Live contests and activities --

If you prefer to be part of the action, you can take part in daily live competitions. Some of the contests include:

  • Air Hockey World Championships
  • Bug eating
  • Best Costume/Cosplay
  • Human Chicken Impression
  • Pepper eating
  • Pugs vs. Chihuahua Races
  • Speed Joint Rolling
  • Speed Texting
  • Rotten Sneaker Contest
  • Zombie Beauty Pageant

Most live competitions are free and can be entered 5 minutes before the posted time. (Zombie Beauty Pageant required advance registration.)

You can also ride adult Big Wheels in the FUNderdome, run in a human hamster ball and ride a "unicorn."

-- Arts and education --

See demonstrations, get expert advice and check out local artists in specialized pavilions for animals, beer, cooking, gardening, Denver history, and marijuana.

The Pot Pavilion will be on a separate, upstairs level, and will require a 21-and-over ID verification for entry. There is no marijuana allowed on the premises but there will be Blue Ribbon competitions, live music, pot-themed vendors and entertainment. 

-- Blue ribbon contests --

You can also check out impressive competition entries from across the state in categories including:

  • Best Backyard Chicken Coop (Animal Pavilion)
  • Peeps Diorama (Craft Pavilion)
  • Space & Sci-Fi model building (Geek Pavilion)
  • Cake Decorating and Molded Gelatin Dessert (Kitchen Pavilion)
  • Best Denver Sport Fan Tattoo (Sports Pavilion)

-- Fair food --

In addition to the vendors and eateries inside, a Food Truck Roundup will take place 12-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12-6 p.m. Sunday outside the National Western Complex.

Want to try something different? How about Hopper Bars made from real crickets!

If you prefer fried fair food, you can indulge in funnel cake and fried Twinkies

-- Discount tickets --

Cosplayers and costumers get 2-for-1 admission. Express yourself and add to the spectacle! Dress up with a friend and you’ll both get in for the price of one ticket - $10.

Full schedule of events:

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