LOUISVILLE, Ky. (FOX 56) – The Kentucky State Fair is back in full effect after opening its gates Thursday in Louisville.

Regardless of where you are from, the state fair is an exciting time for sure with officials saying Kentucky may have the best state fair in the entire country.

“It is because we have 90 county fairs that lead up to the Kentucky State Fair,” said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “So we know a lot of our 4H and FFA students practice all year long for this one moment to shine. They’re competing for bragging rights, but also scholarship money as well.”

For Quarles, having a hand in putting the fair together is something that makes life come full circle.

“I love the Kentucky State Fair,” Quarles said. “I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid and now as Commissioner of Agriculture, we help run the show.”

Part of what makes the fair so special for many, is because it serves as a melting pot.

“It is just a beautiful representation of Kentucky coming together,” said Miss Kentucky Hannah Edelen. “I think now more than ever we need connection. Especially during the pandemic I saw that with my students, with families in our community and it is so important we are here together now.”

You never know what you could be doing on the opening day of the state fair, just ask Edelen.

“Served watermelon,” Edelen said. “I had some fried catfish, I normally don’t have that in the morning but ate some of that, it was delicious, and just been meeting the most amazing folks.”

So what can you expect this year if you make the trip to Louisville for the fair?

“We’ll have over 500,000 people on a good year, 600,000 people come out to our Kentucky State Fair,” Quarles said. “So for those of us in agriculture, we say come learn where your food comes from and for rural Kentucky who loves to come visit Louisville. So this is where rural and urban Kentucky meets. It’s food, it’s family fun, there’s rides, there’s all sorts of exhibits and it’s only 10 bucks so come on out.”

The Kentucky State Fair will run through August 28. For tickets and other information, you can find it here.