It’s primetime summer, and county fairs across the state are in full swing. Between 4-H members prepping their animals to show, concerts and all the wonderful fair food, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

July is my favorite month. I love the feeling of summer, the smell of fair food and even the warm and humid weather.

So I want to share my love for the season by sharing my top picks of fair-related events to enjoy this summer.

Take advantage of free events. Many fairs have free concerts and shows. Growing up, I remember going to the Marion County Fair.

They always had magicians performing at the entrance, singers on a free stage and even square dancing pros dancing the night away.

Between saving up for my wedding and paying student loans, money is tight. I know there are others like me that need to pinch pennies.

So check out fairs that are free or have free events. You’ll be able to have fun with your friends and family without emptying your wallet.

Here are some upcoming fairs in Indiana that have free features to enjoy:

* Parke County Fair — July 20-27;

* Tippecanoe County Fair — July 20-27;

* Jackson County Fair — July 21-27;

* Vanderburgh County Fair — July 22-27;

* Monroe County Fair — July 27-Aug. 3; and

* Lake County Fair – Aug. 2-11.

There’s many more, so check out a fair near you. And go to the Indiana State Fair, Aug. 2-18.

There are a million reasons why this is a good idea. The state fair is the perfect place to learn about agriculture.

With the new Glass Barn opening up, it’s a perfect time to ask farmers questions and learn about modern-day ag. The fair is a great place to eat good food, come across old friends and learn new things.

I recommend trying at least one new food you’ve never had before and seeing one new sight that you’ve never checked out. It’s the Year of Popcorn at the fair, so there will be lots of popcorn-related trivia to learn.

Indiana is the second-largest producer of popcorn in America, so come out and celebrate this summer at the fair. Until then, buy some Indiana-grown popcorn, pop in a movie and relax.

Visit 4-H exhibits — and not just the animals. This is a great way to show support for 4-H’ers and see the creativity of Indiana’s youth in action.

I love looking at the sewing projects, artwork and other crafts. I leave wishing I had tried some of those things when I was in 4-H.