It’s not like most of us need help looking forward to Friday, but the end of this work week has something special in store: Friday begins 18 days of rides, games and deep-fried food at the Arizona State Fair.

This year’s fair features all that — plus a Butterfly Adventure full of free-flying live insects, an attempt at the “Largest Simultaneous Worldwide Dance to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’” by people dressed as zombies, and an exhibit featuring preserved human bodies (“Our Body: The Universe Within”).

Concerts include Trace Adkins, Gavin DeGraw and David Cook, Billy Idol, Bret Michaels, Judas Priest, Darius Rucker, Sublime with Rome, The Band Perry and Three Doors Down.

There’s even a 5K fun run and walk. And don’t forget all those ribbon-winning steers and other animals on display.

Discounted admission is available nearly every day; call or go online for a schedule of discounts.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or

DETAILS >> Opens at noon Friday. Gates open at noon Wednesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Nov. 6. Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix. $10 adults, $5 seniors age 55 and older, $5 kids ages 5-13. $5-$20 to park. (602) 252-6771 or

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