Why Visit The State Fair This Year?
Well, the Arizona State Fair’s combination of the familiar and the “who knew?” fantastic sets up a treasure map of exploration for every fun finder. Thrill seekers set ride records on the Galaxy Coaster last year, until they discover utter hilarity during the Turkey Stampede or Pigeon Rolling. Additionally, the pie eating contestants become hypnotized (literally!) inside the Magic Show. These crossover discoveries explain why over 1 million Arizona residents attend the Arizona State Fair every year, no doubt determined to hear the roar of the engines inside the Monster Truck shows, followed by the discovery of a young calf roper on the rise during the High School Rodeo, a teaser of North America’s largest lantern festival, the Lights of the World (appearing on the Fairgrounds later this year). Here’s a look at what every fairgoer might find, from the familiar to the futuristic, at this year’s Arizona State Fair.
When your slogan is “anything deep-fried on a stick” you are willing to go pretty deep. Fairgoers certainly come for their annual foray into fried candy bars, cheesecake and cookie dough, Flaming Cheetos creations, among dozens of other options, but they also discover a culinary quotient inside the time-honored cooking contests. Pie bakers and cupcake decorators are joined by salsa inventors and, of course, chili concocters. A mac-n-cheese, among other casseroles, bake off surprises samplers with a new take on a familiar standard, a “look what I found!” theme quite like the Fair itself.
Let the Contests Begin…
Ridiculous fast swallowers and showy dessert makers are hardly the only gamers at the Arizona State Fair. Kids spend weeks preparing their livestock for the runway, whether gussying up a prize Buff Brahma rooster or combing out a favorite Pee Wee Sheep. The 4-H sponsored youth livestock show remains one of the most magical arenas at the Arizona State Fair, for not only do young farmers form lifelong friendships with their colleagues, they also interact with urban youth who’ve never seen a Holstein heifer or fancy hen before, let along imagined someone his or her age takes care of such a creature. This cultural conversation happens everyday inside the youth livestock barn. Local art and artifacts created by your neighbors, students and fellow community members adorn the halls and showcase the talent that surrounds us. It’s what make a Fair different from just a festival.
There is something so indelible about the Arizona State Fair, especially if you visited as a teenager. Often this is the first time you ventured with friends on your own for the day, a safe environment to make your own entertainment choices before hooking up with your parents for an all ages show in the Grandstand. Watching a teen or tween outgrow a ride only to be entranced with the newest and scariest age-appropriate thrill is a rite of passage here. Just ask those who can still vividly recall when they graduated from the Ferris Wheel with their parents to their version of Freestyle with their friends. It isn’t just about the midway however, teens love magic and anything circus, so cool acrobats and jugglers with fire, plus some solid sleight of hand expands their minds to what’s possible out there.
It Takes a Barnyard…
Just like when a city kid watches in wonder as a country kid milks her goat, urban adults are reminded about the significance of the farm when visiting agricultural exhibits at the Arizona State Fair. While exploring the barn may not be the primary reason for attending the fair from the metropolis, we come away educated about the modern farm, having gained a new appreciation for one of the most important vocations in our country. Like those two teens who’ve discovered they aren’t so different after all, special conversations arise when speaking with the stewards of sheep, cattle, goats and other livestock. Of course, youngsters love the Great American Petting Zoo, but teens to grandparents also get a certain thrill when treated like a human saltlick by a well-intentioned cow. The annual Sale of Champions, an auction of animals raised by 4-H and FFA-affiliated youth, demonstrates that agriculture is in good hands and still very much a vital component of the Arizona landscape.
Here We Are Now, Entertain Us…
Imagine, the first Arizona Territorial Fair was held over 130 years ago in 1884. Even the current site, established in 1905, spans more than a century. Look around, and you’ll see how the state has changed while remaining very much the same. First and foremost, this is Arizona’s fair, where every member of this diverse state comes together to have fun and make memories. The Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum Concert Series lineup reflects this. Elvis, The Doors, President’s Obama – and Pope John Paul II have all appeared on its stage. This year’s eagerly awaited roster of headliners will again demonstrate the wide range of artistic talent and personal achievement from the USA and across the globe. The Arizona State Fair populates its daily menu of magic shows, Vintage American exhibits and Grandstand racing with special events such as the Annual US Armwrestling Championships and Dragons Den, a mythical journey with life-sized animatronic dragons, $ 5 with admission, these exceptional events may not be the primary reason you inked the Arizona State Fair into your calendar, but they’ll add to the memories you’ll cherish and serve as a reminder to why you and so many others return year, after year, after year.
Guests with talents in the kitchen can show off their best cake decorations, mac and cheese, salsa, cupcakes, chili, and more—while attendees with the other type of “kitchen skills,” those at eating, can go for the title at the pie eating contest or hot dog eating contest. Kids aren’t left out of the competition either—over at the youth animal week, junior livestock exhibitors and their farm buddies can compete in costume contests. You’ve never seen #winning like this before. Those youth involved with livestock can compete during Youth Week and the Sale of Champions.
Did you know the very first Arizona Territorial Fair was held in 1884, and the fair has been located on the current site since 1905—that’s over 130 years of fun, without showing any signs of slowing down. Over those years, Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum has hosted performers including Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, and Nirvana, and dignitaries including Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, and Pope John Paul II. But a visit to the Fair doesn’t only mean participating in the historical significance of this local installation, but it also means joining in the largest community event in the State of Arizona, which means it draws people from every geographic, ethnic, and age demographic. It’s a rite of passage—and statewide tradition — in Arizona, and one you won’t want to miss out on.
Come and make your own memories at the 2017 Arizona State Fair, Friday October 6 through Sunday, October 29 (open Wednesdays – Sundays).
Purchase tickets now to take advantage of early bird discounts, visit: http://www.etix.com/ticket/v/9905/arizona-state-fair-ecommerce