So you want to get out of your house and hit the 2018 New Jersey State Fair Sussex County Farm & Horse Show, but you can’t afford a hit to your wallet? Team Nest Builder offers these helpful tips for taming your spend:

Admit One

There’s loads of admission savings--just plan for your day!

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  • Are you a veteran or active in the military? Show your ID for free admission!
  • Children ages 6-12 years enter for $5. Tuesday, August 7th (regular price: $6.)
  • Sussex County residents with ID receive discounted admission on Wednesday, August 8th:  Adults $9.; Children/seniors $5.
  • Live outside of Sussex County? Buy your tickets online at  and save $5 on adult tickets. Out-of-county seniors save $5 online. Tickets are good for any one day. Just check the cutoff date under ticket information.
  • Seniors 60+ receive $4. Admission on Thursday, August 9th (regular price: $5.)
  • Wait until 8:30 pm when adult admission decreases from the regular price of $14. to only $10.
  • Hold out until Sunday, August 12th for “Last Blast”: Adult admission $8., children/seniors FREE!

Ride On

If you believe paying for carnival rides by the ticket saves money, think again! Kiddie rides start at 3 tickets and the Spectaculars are 5 tickets.  Consider ticket prices:

  • 1 ticket = $1.50
  • 10 tickets = $11
  • 22 tickets = $21
  • 55 tickets = $51

If one person rides just 4 Spectacular rides, that’s 20 tickets, or $22.  And let’s face it, who wants to go all the way to the fair for just 4 rides?  Better idea? Buy a Pay One Price Ride Bracelet in the Carnival area for just $25. And ride all you want! The Pay One Price Ride Bracelet is available as follows:

  • Monday, August 6, Noon-close, $25
  • Tuesday, August 7, Noon-6pm, $25
  • Wednesday, August 8, Noon-6pm, $25
  • Thursday, August 9, Noon-6pm, $25
  • Sunday, August 12, 11am-5pm, $25

Alligators and Dancing and Dolls, Oh My!

There’s loads of FREE fun (after admission) to be had at the fair every day!  Check it out:

  • Pig racing (11am, 2pm and 5:15pm except Sunday), a live alligator show (3pm/6pm except Sunday when only 3pm) and a petting zoo at the Ronetco Family Entertainment Center
  • Art exhibits in the Richards Building (this year, Art in Sussex County focused on the theme of water.)
  • Snook Museum displays of early farm machinery, country store, weavers, woodworkers and blacksmith at work
  • 4-H Shotwell Educational Exhibit Hall displaying items made by 4-H club members including crafts, artwork, photography, fashion, vegetables and shooting targets
  • 2pm Tractor parade in the Agriculture Area
  • Cow milking in the milking parlor (check clock posted on barn for times)
  • Over 2000 animals including horses, oxen, rabbits, cavy, cows, goats, swine, cats, alpacas, poultry and sheep.

And here’s a few FREE highlights for the coming week:

Monday, August 6th:

  • Meet the Sussex County Miners Mascot and participate in children’s activities in the Ernie Kosa County Building from noon-3pm.
  • Kitty Kat Kidz Club 10th Annual Cat Show from 1-2:30pm in the 4-H Shotwell Building including audience participation in voting for the costume class and the cat that performs the most tricks

Tuesday, August 7th:

  • Rooster Crowing Contest at noon in the Agriculture area  
  • Meet the Queen of the Fair in Founders Park noon-1:30pm
  • 10th Annual Favorite Doll Look-Alike Fashion Show & Contest 5-6pm in the Mattress Firm Performing Arts Tent

Wednesday, August 8th:

  • Bicycle Stunt Show in the Ronetco Supermarkets Family Entertainment Area at 2:30pm and 5:30pm followed by fire spinners after 6pm
  • Farm Follies in the livestock pavilion--games for children and a Ladies’ Skillet Toss 7-9pm (register online)

Thursday, August 9th:

  • Kittatiny Valley State Park offers butterfly activities in the Ernie Kosa County Building from noon-3pm
  • 39th Annual Polish Night and Dance Contest with The John Stevens Doubleshot Polka Band, 7:30pm-9:30pm in the Mattress Firm Performing Arts Tent

Friday, August 8th

  • Space Farms presentation on handling big snakes, in the Ernie Kosa County Building from noon-3pm
  • 4H Poultry Costume Contest in the Shotwell 4-H Building from 5-7pm

Saturday, August 11th:  

  • Tractor Pulls in the Franklin Sussex Automall Outdoor Entertainment Area at 10am and 7pm
  • Folk rock band Mason Jar Rebellion and country bluegrass band Whiskey Rebellion concert 7pm at the Livestock Pavilion

Sunday, August 12th:

  • Animal Encounter Show in the Ronetco Supermarkets Family Entertainment Area at 12:45pm and 3:45pm

The Fair is located at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta. It's open 10am-10pm through Saturday, August 11; and 10am-5pm on Sunday, August 12th, 2018. For more information, visit And have a blast on a budget at the fair!  

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 Additional sources: NJ Herald,