More than 400 pigs, plus another 400 to 600 animals, including sheep, cattle, goats, rabbits and poultry, will be available for visitors to see.
Special to the Tribune

Pigs, monster trucks and Flamin’ Hot Turkey Legs are just a few of the attractions at this year’s Maricopa County Fair from Wednesday, April 11, to Sunday, April 15, at the Arizona Exposition & State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road in Phoenix.

The county fair is geared more toward families in a more intimate setting than the state fair, said Karen Searle, executive director.

“We have literally hours of exhibits, entertainment and activities for kids and families. That’s before we even talk about the carnival,” she said.

The Arizona Ag & Ewe exhibit, as well as The SRP Safety Zone are both awesome areas for families to walk through, Searle said.

But the animals are the biggest draw, she said, noting, “We have the largest youth livestock show and auction in the state.”

More than 400 pigs, plus another 400 to 600 animals, including sheep, cattle, goats, rabbits and poultry, will be available for visitors to see. All are raised by Maricopa County youth.

“People love to walk through the barns,” Searle said.

Motor sports, specifically monster trucks, are also a crowd favorite. Friday evening and Sunday afternoon will feature monster trucks in the arena with a freestyle motocross show on Sunday. Also, throughout the weekend will be demo cross, which combines demolition derby and figure 8 racing.  

Juggler Greg Frisbee and Balloon Man Skip Banks are returning with new skits and bits.

Characters from Nickelodeon’s “Paw Patrol” will visit. First responders Chase and Marshall will meet and greet fans on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday night, Colton Dixon, a top 10 finalist from “American Idol” Season 11, will perform. Dixon will also meet with fans after his show. Four other stages will feature additional musical acts including one stage dedicated to local Christian artists. All shows are free with admission.

Vendors will entice visitors with their wares. Items such as Sleep Number beds, jewelry, licorice, fudge and steel buildings will be available for purchase.

Food is always a draw at any fair, and the Maricopa County Fair won’t disappoint. In addition to corn dogs, curly fries and deep-fried candy bars, a chocolate chip cookie vendor will provide hot-out-of-the-oven cookies. Don’t miss a fair favorite – a Flamin’ Hot Turkey Leg – a combination of hot wings and turkey legs.

The Maricopa County Fair draws more than 55,000 visitors each year and has a long history, Searle said. “In its current structure, we were incorporated in the ’70s. Before that, we existed as a 4-H fair and the Maricopa County and Citrus Fair back in the ’50s.”

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