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Welcome to the Arizona State Fair, a 118-year-old tradition like no other

From September 28th to October 29th, the Arizona State Fair offers the Phoenix community thrill rides, activities, music and odd food combinations. The fair has a rich history in downtown Phoenix, dating back to 1905. 

According to The Arizona Republic, the tradition of the fair was originally to celebrate Phoenix's booming agriculture. The owner of the Adams Hotel in downtown Phoenix along with other business leaders built the horsetrack and the grandstands that are located at the fairgrounds today. Horse and auto racing were main attractions at the fair, but by the 1950s and ‘60s, the fair added  the attractions people traditionally see today, like carnival rides, games and fried food.

However, the fair still keeps some of its old traditions alive. The Great American Petting Zoo and Kerr's Farm Tours feature cattle, pigs, turkeys, chicks, goats, sheep and more animals. The fair also presents livestock shows, such as the meat goat show and the poultry show. 

Another attractive fair tradition is its concert series. The fair has hosted famous artists in the past, including Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline. This year's Coliseum Concert Series features artists Walker Hayes, Becky G, Ne-Yo, Brothers Osborne, Violent Femmes and Carly Pearce. The fair also exhibits tribute bands, acrobatics, circus shows, magic shows, rodeos, monster trucks and more. 

But what would the Arizona State Fair be without its wild food inventory? Some new fair foods include Biggy’s Hot Cheeto and Cheese Chicken on a Stick and Enzo’s Pizzeria Cereal Cannolis. According to the fair’s website,, the Hot Cheeto and Cheese Chicken on a Stick will “ignite your taste buds [with a]... zesty kick.” The Cereal Cannolis write: “The beloved crunch and sweetness of breakfast cereal… with the classic Italian cannoli, creating a delightful harmony of textures and tastes.” Additionally, for Barbie fans, Candy Factory is offering an ice cream float with cotton candy, called the Barbilicious Float, inspired by the summer blockbuster. 

With so many appealing attractions, the fair is widely viewed as the highlight of the Phoenix fall season. The Arizona State Fair is the sixth-biggest state fair in the nation, with 1.14 million visitors a year, according to The fair has offered fun options to the Arizona community for 139 years.

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