Fun + Music + Games =
Arizona State Fair
By Brad Hamilton
Modern Times Magazine
Oct. 5, 2012 — There are few things in the United States as time honored and beloved as enjoying the local fair.
No matter where one lives, odds are that from April to November, there is a state, county or city fair that virtually everyone will attend. A cacophony of friends and families enjoying rides, games, music and memories that can last a lifetime.
Heck, state fairs are as almost as American as baseball and apple pie.
In the Phoenix metro-area, the fair comes a little bit later than it does in most of the country, but for the desert dweller, it is a much better option. Who would want to sit in triple-digit heat when they can wait and let the cool autumn air set the mood.
But time passes by quickly.
Although the Arizona State Fair will be up and running at the State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, from Oct. 12 to Nov. 4, 50 percent discounts on single-day tickets are only available until Oct. 11. A $5 discount on unlimited ride wristbands that can be used on Thursdays and Sundays throughout the fair, also are only available until Oct. 11. Sale prices on season passes — at $18 for adults and $9 for seniors and children — ends Oct. 21.
Regardless, though, with the music, midway games, rides, new attractions and old favorites, there is definitely something for everyone at the 2012 Arizona State Fair.
From roller classic rock, to rap, and back again, the 2012 Fair Concert Series is jam-packed with talented acts from a variety of musical genres. Free seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis although reserved seats are still available on the floor of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Reserved seats are available through Ticketmaster 1-800-745-3000 and at the State Fair Box Office (walk-up only). Reserved seat tickets also require the purchase of a separate Fair admission.
2012 Concert Series Lineup
Billy Currington – Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., $20
Weezer – Oct. 14 at 7 p.m., $20
Adam Lambert – Oct. 17 at 7 p.m., $20
The Mavericks – Oct. 18 at 7 p.m., $15
John Fogerty – Oct. 19 at 7 p.m., $20
Nas – Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., $20
Prince Royce – October 21 at 5 p.m., $15
Jane’s Addiction – Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., $20
Karmin – Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., $15
Jerrod Niemann with Jana Kramer – Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., $15
Korn – Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., $20
Arizona Derby Dames – Oct. 28 at 5 p.m., all seats FREE
Sublime – Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., $20
Old School Jam – Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., $15
Featuring performances by Midnight Star, Ready for the World, Club Nouveau/Timex Social Club, Shannon, Connie, and Stacey Q.
Zendaya – Nov. 3 at 7 p.m., $15
View the full lineup, artist bios and photos at
The 18-day Arizona State Fair is filled with attractions for any appetite, but sometimes the list is so long, it is hard to wade through the morass. All events are free unless otherwise noted.
Modern Times Magazine’s Prime Attractions At The Arizona State Fair
Livestock & Smallstock Shows & Displays — Oct. 12 to 14
Once the biggest draw to fairs across the country, livestock and smallstock shows and displays have been supplanted by modern times. But if its on your bucket list, this may be the right year.
Figure 8 Racing — Oct. 12 to 14
A fair ain’t a fair without some car crashes — and these won’t happen in the back stretches of a parking lot. In all seriousness, who doesn’t like seeing cars race around a figure 8? Besides, the exhaust and dirt is almost akin to free beer. Races begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 and 13 and 5 p.m. Oct. 14.
Hypnotist Pattie Freeman — Everyday
According to the State Fair, Freeman’s show will allow fair-goers to, “watch as friends and family suddenly speak Martian, or act as if they are professional belly dancers!” Holy crap! Guys, bring your mother-in-laws. Girls, you too.
Sue Wee Flying Pig Races — Everyday
Pigs racing through obstacles, hurdling, swimming and taking a running jump into the water to the finish line might just be too good to pass up.
Coco’s Pie Eating Contest — Every Saturday at 1 p.m.
Coco’s Pie Eating Contest features 10 contestants in four different age categories, as they compete to clean delicious cream pie off their plates in the time allotted. First, second and third place contestants win Coco’s certificates. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. As long as it doesn’t end like the contest in Stand By Me, it will probably be a great time.
Fair favorites will, of course, reappear, but there are also a bunch of new events, including walking amongst giant creepy crawling bugs at Behemoth Bugland, soaring on the High Fly’n Zip Lines, helping build the Arizona flag with LEGO building bricks, and hearing the explosive sounds of Street Drum Corps. Arizona wine producers will also display their wares at the Wine Competition and Tasting.
To review all of the attractions at this year’s Arizona State Fair, visit http://www.azstatefair.com/attractions
Brad Hamilton is a freelance writer from Tempe, Ariz.
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