There are few American traditions as strange and foreign to many of our citizens as the State Fair, a collection of big rides, greasy food, and farm animals, meant to act as a display of pride and value for the state in which it's held.

However, while many people know, generally, what a state fair entails, what many people don't know is that not all state fairs are created equally. On the contrary, while certain states (we're looking at you, Midwest) may set the template for the general character of the "state fair," the festivities that are involved in the fair vary greatly from region to region, showing off the unique advantages and disadvantages of each place where the event is held. In honor of that diversity, we, here at Travelers Today, have listed below the five best state fairs in the country, festivities that will totally change your expectations for how grand, exciting, and involved a state fair can really be.

5. Ohio

As we mentioned earlier, the Midwest goes hard when it comes to "state-fairing," which is why it should come as no surprise that Ohio takes the first spot on the list. Full of down-home festivities like butter sculpture, tiger shows, and first-rate entertainment (including acts like the Beach Boys and Clay Aiken), Ohio's state fair actually has something for everyone, ensuring you and your family will not be bored on your visit. The only issue is, you won't be alone: just under one million people attended this week-and-a-half long extravaganza in Columbus last year.

4. Iowa

 Another stalwart of the Midwest, Iowa does many of the things Ohio does, but with a slightly greater emphasis on agriculture and food. In fact, Iowa has 200 concessions stands that serve 50 different types of food on a stick (including traditional corn dogs, as well as the more eclectic fried butter, and the health-conscious salad), making its selection virtually unmatched out of any state fair in the country. It also has one of the largest live-stock shows in the world, a demonstration of Iowa's unique position as the farm capital of the world and a wonderful introduction to the Hawkeye state.

3. New York

Moving up to the mid-Atlantic, New York wins the award for having the classiest state fair, known especially for its huge selection of wine and cheese. Indeed, the event, held in Syracuse for two weeks at the end of summer, draws wineries, restaurants, and manufactures from across the state, providing a high-quality experience for everyone involved. The entertainment is also surprisingly good, and this year's performances by Carrie Underwood, Kid Rock, Journey are sure to be highlights for anyone attending.

2. Minnesota 

Coming in second, the Minnesota State Fair combines the best aspects of all the other fairs and then some.  From its unique selection of food (including deep-fried candy and hamburgers made with donut buns), to its sculpt-your-own-butter contest, to its all-you-can-drink milk booth, the Minnesota fair has something for everyone, ensuring you and your family won't forget your time there. Just steer the little ones away from the "Miracle of Birth" barn. This display of the live birthing of over 200 baby farm animals could lead to a pretty uncomfortable ride home!

1. Texas

Finally, no list is complete without a mention of Texas, and, as you might expect, a collection of state fairs is no exception. Indeed, the fact that "everything's bigger in Texas" certainly reigns true for outdoor extravaganzas: the fair clocked in 2.6 million visitors during last year's multi-week run. Unique attractions like a 212-foot Ferris Wheel, the Great American Spam contest, and a 52-foot statue of "Big Tex" show why people come in droves - the Texas state fair is truly one of the biggest, best, and most exciting events to happen in the state all year. Which is why we have to put it at the number one spot, as the representative standard for anyone interested in this uniquely American tradition.