Family Adventures · Iowa Food · North Central Iowa · Outdoors All Year

Summertime Traditions at the Franklin County Fair in Hampton, Iowa!

*The main events for Iowa summers are the oodles of county fairs everywhere! Franklin County has a big one and the locals are gearing up to make 2022’s festivities even more memorable. The Franklin County Fair hosted our visit here and we we’re proud to be hired to promote this annual event. Some of the goods, meals, and entertainment opportunities were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

Blue skies, sunny days and countless smiles all day long at the Franklin County Fair! This July 13th through the 17th! Click here to see their website for all the info and schedules!

Hampton, Iowa: Franklin County (Our 87th Iowa County)

The long warm summer is here and that means our state’s battered and fried, lemonade soaked, musically inspired and carnival riding traditions will be lighting up fairgrounds all over the map from now through mid-September. Let’s get our calendars marked for Hampton, Iowa this July 13th-17th for the spectacular Franklin County Fair! Let’s make our first stop at one of the summertime staples in Iowa….

Funnel cakes! Franklin County Fair puts a gourmet twist on this classic deep fried delicacy. Go traditional or go crazy on your choices with an array of toppings that will please your sweet tooth!
Need a cold one? Want that cold one to be a beer? The Swayback Saloon will be open for a sudsy break when you need one. Hint-hint….Great meet-up place for that group of buddies that will be looking out for you at the fair.
Nacho lover? Me, too! The Franklin County Fair has this specialty ready to be plated up while you wander the grounds.

Sometimes we all need to spend awhile indoors and get a little break from the sun. The Franklin County Fair had a lot of options to do just that. Let’s see what we can accomplish, win, buy, and observe “inside” the fair!

If you’re a cribbage pro then you may want sign up for this tournament. However, don’t expect the regulars to take it easy on you. These cribbage players are serious about the game, but are fun loving about it the entire time. I think this guy might be a ringer…..
Cake decorating is getting more popular every year, and the Franklin County Fair has this activity “covered”. Pass the frosting and test your artistic skills with every frosting filled movement you take!

So much to see and so much to chow down on. Walking around the fairgrounds can produce thousands of paces on your step counter which means you can treat yourself a little bit more. And there’s a meaty way to do just that, and it’s getting prepared by the Trinity Lutheran Church!

Whoa! Look at that sandwich! A juicy hamburger patty that’s topped with BBQ pulled pork and cheesy sauce to bring it all together. You’ll be supporting the napkin industry and loving it when you dive into this beast! Watch the video below and see what we’re talking about….
Oh….and a Diet Coke, please…..
One of the headliners to this Fair is the wood carving. This chainsaw equipped sculptor brings in a huge crowd for the annual auction that features his hard work and amazing talent. This is an event you will NOT want to miss.
Let’s thank all the lemon producers out there. They have been helping to make our summer events refreshing and delicious since this perfect beverage was invented. The Franklin County Fair has several lemonade depots and I suggest finding which food truck has your favorite!

Vendors galore at the Franklin County Fair! People travel long distances to display their passionate work for all the fair goers to see. Get some of your gift ideas taken care of while you’re here in Hampton and support some of these lovely small businesses.

One of many booths you’ll see while you’re here at the Franklin County Fair. I was able to shop for three different birthdays while I was here including a bracelet from Green Acre Crafts!

Shopping can really get your appetite going, right? Well, I’m sure it does for someone out there, and that means we get to feature another mouthwatering food truck!

Let’s thank Canada for this bucket of yumminess. Poutine has made it to Hampton, Iowa! Watch the video below and see what you’re in for…
That was one of the most buckets I’ve ever been handed!
There’s so many organizations that help to make the Franklin County Fair so special. They’re staffed with proud and hardworking volunteers that keep this annual event humming and very tasty! Click on the video below and see the 4H folks rocking it out!
Get out of the way, JayJay! There’s some hungry folks around here!
You knew an ice cream moment was going to happen at some point. It’s one of the most popular ways to enjoy the Franklin County Fair, and it doesn’t disappoint. Watch the video below and see how Hampton produces some of the finest ice cream you’ll have all year. Tractor powered!
It’s noisy and tasty all at once!
You’ve got to keep moving when you volunteer for this job. This is a crowd pleaser and I could instantly see why folks pile into the fair and not leave without a cup of this rich Franklin County ice cream. Yes, I had seconds….

I always look for unique ways to enjoy myself. There was a “first time in my life” moment in Hampton and I have this fair to thank for that. Actually there was two of those moments. I had never attempted yoga in my whole life. And that means I’ve never done goat yoga either. Scratch both of those items off the bucket list! Watch the video below and see how patient, awesome, and happy the instructor was when I met the yoga mat…..

And as you can see, I wasn’t the only one that showed up for this barnyard inspired exercise.
You want me to bend which way??? This was so much fun and I hope to see some of you with the goat nation this year!
I think after twisting and turning in ways I didn’t know was possible, with a goat on my back, deserves a sip of wine. Actually I’ll go with sampling a few more. Thank you, Franklin County Fair for showing me I could do it!
Time to relax a little. Grab a seat and take in the live bands performing under the sun. This scene goes great with a cup of that ice cream I was talking about. What a great idea, JayJay!
Some folks like to stay competitive while they relax. The bingo cards are ready and this fairgoer knows how to do it right with a huge fried onion!
Evening came and so did the headliners at the main stage! The Franklin County Fair brings in great bands that always bring in the crowds. The grandstands will be ready for you to park it or keep milling around with trips to the beer tent while the summertime anthems fill the air.

The evening was full of entertainment and the Franklin County Fair stayed packed the entire time. It was at this time, when I was watching the headliner, when something dawned on me. I haven’t had a corn dog yet! OMG!!!!!!!!!

I want all of you to look at this picture and remember me this way. This is the essence of my wonderful time at the fair!
And the night wasn’t over! The carnival rides were lighting up the sky and you could see why the excitement doesn’t let up at the Franklin County Fair!

Sunday morning arrived and more of the locals and their families came to the fair for an inspiring church service. This is a tradition that folks never miss when the last day of the fair eventually gets here.

A morning sermon for the Hampton faithful and visitors like me. Another impactful way the Franklin County Fair can keep people coming back year after year.

I was primed and ready to spend the afternoon in Hampton. How did I occupy some of my free time? Great question! I grabbed the keys and transported fairgoers all day long in this golf cart! Beep-beep! Here comes The Iowa Gallivant!

Look at that genuine smile! This was the perfect way to meet so many of the people who love the Franklin County Fair!
One more visit with local 4H’ers. They had a lot of orders to prepare, but always had a smile when I showed up.

I say this a lot, but I mean it when I do. This was just a sample of what you can experience at this North Iowa annual event. The Franklin County Fair showed me how entertaining and how important it is to the area. I saw license plates from counties far and near with out of state’ers too. I was told long ago that this was one of the best county fairs in the state, and I can see why folks are saying that. It didn’t take long to feel like I’ve been coming here for years because the people who run the fair welcomed me like an old friend. I can taste the lemonade and smell the funnel cakes already…Let’s make this an endless summer full of moments like this in Hampton, Iowa. Now, where are those goats!

See you from sunup to sundown again, Franklin County! Click here and like the Franklin County Fair on Facebook to keep up on updates and announcements!

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