The Arizona State Fair is back with new attractions and foods for visitors to partake in.
While gates opened to all of the fun last Friday, the fair lasts until Nov. 6, and carries on every day except Mondays and Tuesdays.
The fair is one of Arizona's oldest traditions, and there are 70 rides featured this year. A few of the main attractions include contests, animals and shows.
Of course, there wouldn't be a fair without unique food. New menu items include deep-fried watermelon wedges on a stick, deep-fried Captain Crunch and Fruity Pebbles, deep-fried meatballs and peanut butter balls. Curly Dough, a basket of curly deep-fried dough that is sugar powdered, or cinnamon sugar is also available.
However, deep-fried food is not the only offering. In addition, there is a chocolate chip bacon ice cream sandwich, the Captain Crunch hamburger, and the widely talked about Maggot Melt Sandwich. The sandwich is made up of mealworms and cheese.
Jeannie Berg, fair public relations director, said that this year's entertainment has "something for everyone." She said that there is a nice mix of diverse genres in country, hip-hop, rock, and pop concerts. A few of the artists performing are Bret Michaels, Judas Priest, Snoop Dogg and Trace Adkins.
"We have a very diverse line up with music for everyone," Berg said. "You couldn't ask for anything more."
Berg added that there will be many events and attractions this weekend due to Arizona's centennial, or 100th birthday, which is coming up next year in 2012. She said the fair is kicking off the celebration earlier and that many groups will be in town to showcase their work.
To prepare for the centennial next year, Berg said that former Arizona Gov. Rose Mofford will be giving presentations. Also, there will be displays that show the country's history and guests can see the original pen that signed the state's statehood.
Passport to Culture is one of the groups being featured at the fair this weekend. Berg said the group comes from all around the state and shares its cultures with fairgoers. Passport to Culture also features cultural performances at local chambers of commerce.
Also, this weekend, Berg said the fair will host its first wine tasting event and competition. She said that people can come out and try different types of wine produced in Arizona.
"You can really get a sense of our Arizona culture in that way," Berg said. "We have so much of everything going on this year."
Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors. Children younger than 5 years are admitted for free.
Kirsten Hillhouse is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.
Arizona State fair Admission deals
Every day: Get $3 off admission by showing a store receipt with three dairy purchases. The Arizona Milk Producers’ “3 Every Day” discount is valid when you can show you bought one milk, one cheese and one yogurt (of any brand) in one transaction.
Wednesdays: Get free admission noon to 6 p.m. when you bring one of these donations for charity: Oct. 19 - three canned food items for St. Mary’s Food Bank; Oct. 29 - gently used adult jeans, tennis shoes or backpack for St. Vincent de Paul; Nov. 2 - new socks or a Metro All Day Pass for Arizona Stand Down for homeless vets.
Thursdays: Admission is free until 1 p.m.
Fridays: Admission is half off from noon to 6 p.m. Rides, games and select foods are $2 during those hours.
Saturdays: Buy one admission, get one free with a coupon from Albertson’s. You must buy three 20-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola product at any Albertson’s store to get the coupon.
Sundays: Admission is free 10 a.m. to noon.
Seniors Day is Oct. 27. Seniors get in for $2.
Armed Forces Day is Nov. 4. Active duty, reservist, veteran and retired military personnel and their families get in free with military I.D.
Passes: A fair season pass gives you unlimited admission. Passes are $18 for adults and $9 for kids and seniors, and must be purchased online or at admission gates by Oct. 23.
Wednesdays: Rides and games are $2 each.
Thursdays: Unlimited Ride Wristbands are $25 each with a $5-off coupon available for free at any Cricket Wireless store. Games are $2.
Sundays: Unlimited Ride Wristbands are $30. Games are $2.
Read & Ride: Children can earn three free rides through the ABC 15 Read & Ride program. Kids must read three books and submit an official report form, available at http://azstatefair.com/Common/Files/READ2011.pdf.
The fair opens at noon Wednesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Nov. 6 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix. Info is at (602) 252-6771 or www.azstatefair.com.