The smell of deep-fried goodness and roasted turkey legs will soon fill the air as the Arizona State Fair preps for its opening on Friday, Oct. 6.
Before you drive to the fairgrounds, here is everything you need to know about admission, parking, discounts, hours, new food and the artists set to perform at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
- The Arizona State Fair will run Oct. 6 - 29
- It is open Wednesday - Sunday and closed on Monday and Tuesday.
- Hours: Wednesday - Thursday, noon to 9 p.m., Friday, noon to 10 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m, and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
- The fairgrounds are at 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix AZ 85007 which is near 19th Avenue and McDowell Road.
- General admission is $7-$10 per person, though there are a few ways to save money.
General admission to the state fair is $7 for seniors (55+) and children (5-13), and $10 for those 14 and older. There is no charge for children under five.
Parking at the Arizona State Fairgrounds varies between $5 and $20 per vehicle, depending on where you park. It is recommended to bring cash.
- The West Lot is the cheapest at $5 and is located at 19th Avenue and Encanto Avenue.
- The North Lot is $10 per vehicle and is located at 19th Avenue and Monte Vista.
- VIP parking is available for $20 and can be purchased online.
Other paid-parking lots around the fairgrounds are operated by private companies or citizens.
Oct. 18 - Fair Friends 55+ Day: Those 55+ can receive free admission to the fair. Claim free ticket, here.
Oct. 20 - Armed Forces Day: Military members, reservists and veterans, and up to five family members can receive free admission to the fair. Enter through Encanto Avenue and bring military ID.
We Care Wednesdays: Bring five food items to donate to Operation Santa Claus between noon and 6 p.m. and receive one free general admission ticket. Special notes: Water bottles, Ramen noodles, baby food, and glass are not accepted. Peanut butter, canned fruit or vegetables, and canned tuna are acceptable.
First-Hour Thursdays: On Thursdays, for the first hour the fair is open, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m, there will be no admission fee to get into the fairgrounds.
Weekends before 2 p.m.: On Saturdays and Sundays, admission will be $5 before 2 p.m.
Arizona Milk Producers: Receive $3 off one admission ticket when you bring a grocery receipt showing purchases of milk, yogurt and cheese products. All three need to be on the receipt.
Read three books: Kids can earn three ride passes when they read three books and fill out a book report form. A teacher, parent or guardian must sign the form.
Free Fry's Fridays: When you spend $50 at Fry's through Oct. 27, a promotion for two free general admission adult tickets will be on the back of the receipt. Those tickets can be redeemed on Fridays between noon and 6 p.m.
NEW FOODS TO EAT
There will be nine new food vendors at this year's fair. The deep-fried chocolate and corn dogs, and turkey legs are still there (don't worry!), but here is a quick peek at some of the new foods to try.
- Popcorn Factory - this vendor will have 50 flavors of gourmet popcorn.
- Drink a Fruit From A Fruit - this vendor will have fruit-flavored drinks where the fruit's shell becomes the glass. Think pineapple, coconut, and watermelon.
- Baja Lobster - Lobster mac and cheese, lobster fries and lobster dogs.
Another part of the state fair experience is the evening concerts. They are included with that day's general admission though reserved seating can be purchased at an additional cost.
This year's lineup includes DNCE, Billy Currington, Halestorm, Snoop Dogg, Randy Houser, Marilyn Manson, Gin Blossoms and Rick Springfield. View the full lineup.
NEW ATTRACTIONS AND SHOWS
- The Dragons Den: People will be able to interact with life-sized animatronic dragons and learn the folklore behind them. The cost is $5 per person.
- The La Grande Wheel XL is a large observation wheel with climate-controlled cabins and half-million LED lights. It will make its debut at the fair this year.
- The All-Star Freestyle Mania and Thrill Show will have Transaurus, a 30-foot car that transforms into the likeness of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and can shred other cars. The show also features a jet-powered Smart Car and monster trucks.
- Lights of the World: The Chinese lantern festival has moved from Rawhide to the Arizona State Fairgrounds. A "teaser" exhibit will be at the fair while the official festival does not open until November. Read more.
Besides those, the fair will also have carnival-style rides and games, and livestock competitions.
Visit https://azstatefair.com/ for more information.
IF YOU GO:
Arizona State Fair, Oct. 6 - 29
Where: Arizona State Fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell Road
Admission: $7 - $10 per person
Open Wednesday - Sunday. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.