Even though Arizona became an American state in 1912, its famous fair was instituted long before, when early settlers gathered to compare crops and cows in 1894. Nowadays, the fair has changed its tune as a festival of rides, shows, and fabulous food.
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Must-Try Foods at the Arizona State Fair
Taking a break from a healthy diet is practically a requirement for visiting Arizona's fair where fantastic offerings range from the traditional favorites to crazy twists on items like tacos, turkey, and bacon.
1. Everything Fried
You'll definitely come across familiar favorites like funnel cakes and French fries, but how about trying some fried Kit Kat Bars or a Chili Relleno corn dog? The stand called Sweet Cheeks also has deep-fried peanut butter and jelly cheesecake, topped with bubblegum frosting.
2. The Meats
Americans like their bacon, which can add flair to almost any kind of meat. Besides the iconic cheddar bacon burger, why not branch out to Biggy’s bacon-wrapped pork belly? Wash it down with a cool beverage from Drink A Fruit From A Fruit, fresh juice served up in the fruit itself.
3. Southwestern Style
Tamales (meat steamed in a corn husk) is a Southwestern favorite and the Carne Cafe Taco stand offers this hearty treat on a stick. Nachos, rice and beans, and tacos of all types are available for your food fair experience. You can also take a tasty treat back to your Arizona State Fair Hotels for a late night snack.
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Top Attractions at the Arizona State Fair
Visitors of all ages also come to the fair for the thrilling rides, and the event's official website has a complete list of this year's rides in case you're looking for a personal favorite. For more relaxing fun, check out the shows, competitions, and live music.
1. Popular Thrill Rides
Apart from the classic Ferris wheels and roller coasters, one of the most popular rides is the Mega Drop which takes its group of thrill-seekers up a 130-foot tower and drops them in a 2-second plunge. The Gravitron also gives riders the extreme experience of gravity in an enclosed spaceship-like structure.
2. Superstition Kennel Club Dog Show
This local organization has been a feature of Phoenix entertainment for over 50 years. Leave your Arizona State Fair vacation rentals and head to either the 19th Avenue & Monte Vista gate or the McDowell Road & 17th Avenue entrances and park in the North or South Lot. Then watch some of the nation's top dogs strut their stuff.
3. The Night Nation Run
This is the nation's first combo fun run and music concert. Walk, jog, run, or dance through the maze of lights, lasers, and bubble zones, then emerge at the end of the course into an after party complete with DJ music and dancing. What a perfect way to celebrate the excitement of the fair!
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Top Tips to Know Before You Go to the Arizona State Fair
Phoenix is a large metropolitan area, so first time visitors need to get a general idea of where landmarks are located before the trip. Arizona State Fair hotels are located both in the city and in outlying areas. Make yourself comfortable and check out these tips before you go.
1. Getting Around the City
If you fly into the Phoenix International Airport, you might choose to rent a vehicle for your stay. There is also public transportation available, including downtown buses and a light rail system. ZipCar is a short term car rental service with pick-up sites all around the city and Ruby Ride is a low-cost transport service similar to Uber or Lyft.
2. Guidelines for Fair Rides
Fair organizers are extremely conscious of safety, and age and size guidelines are posted for most fair rides. Children riding adult rides should understand what the experience will be like before getting in line and persons accompanying kids on rides must be aged 14 or older.
3. Important Details
The fair is located at the Arizona State Fair and Coliseum, 1826 W. McDowell Road. Dates for 2018 are October 5 to October 28. The fair is open for the public on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Plan ahead to make the most of your Arizona State Fair holiday.
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