Every year during the month of October, as the leaves fall and the temperature drops (sort of, not really), the Arizona State Fair gives Arizonans the perfect way to celebrate the fall season. Boasting over 70 different amusement rides, over 100 different food booths, more than 300 commercial sales booths, and 1 million annual attendees, the Arizona State Fair is the third largest state fair in the country behind only Minnesota and Texas. Whether you’re enjoying yourself on thrill rides, losing yourself during the musical performances, or stuffing your face full of greasy fair food, this three week long festival located right in the heart of Phoenix has a little something for everyone.
Running from Friday October 4th through Sunday the 27th in addition to all the regular festivities from the rodeo to the retro arcade, making its first ever appearance at the State Fair is Esports Gaming World. From tournaments, virtual reality stations, demos, and celebrity streamers, even if you have no idea what Esports is, it’s sure to provide entertainment for the whole family, Twitch streams, and Discord users. Lasting a full 18 days, it will be one of the longest running events of its kind in the entire country.
If you have no idea what Twitch streaming is and know Fortnite only as the thing that prevents your teenage son from listening to anything you say, there’s other competitive fair festivities for you as well. From pie contests, oil painting and art wood contests to photography contests and vegetable garden competitions, there’s something for every competitive spirit out there looking to showcase their unique talent.
For those more musically inclined, this year’s annual music concert series promises to be a diverse shmorgishborg of musical entertainment. Taking place inside the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on 19th avenue and McDowell, with acts ranging from Pat Benatar, Christian metal band ‘Stryper,’ Awolnation, and Becky G all the way to Lil Pump, everyone is sure to find the right tune to jam out to while consuming their deep fried whatever on a stick.
The concert series kicks off on the 4th with country singer Billy Currington, famous for ‘People are Crazy’ and ‘Must be Doing Somethin’ Right’ and will conclude with MC Hammer on the Friday the 25th. Fair goers can also look forward to the second annual Arizona State Dance Championships on the fair’s closing night. All shows begin at 7 pm unless otherwise noted and admission free with fair admission. Shows will last anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. Reserved seating prices range from $30-60 with VIP admission available for $100.
Location: 1826 W. McDowell Rd, Phoenix AZ, 85007
Dates: Friday October 4th – Sunday October 27th, closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Wednesdays: noon – 9 pm
Thursdays: noon – 9 pm
Fridays: noon – 10 pm
Saturdays: 11 am – 10 pm
Sundays: 11 am – 9 pm
Adults (14+): $12
Seniors (55+): $8
Kids (5-13): $8
All children under 4 are admission free