Arizona State Fair 2018 guide: Discounts, new foods/rides, concerts

PHOENIX - Turkey legs. Cotton Candy. Carnival games. And the jingles of rides that twirl, spin and launch high into the air. 

All of it means the Arizona State Fair is back in town! The fair is back open and runs until October 28 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road in Phoenix. 

There are new shows, exhibits, rides and, of course, calorie-packed foods to devour this year. Here is your guide to all of it, including how to save money on admission and parking, as well as who's performing and when.  

NEW SHOWS

King Tut & The Egyptian Treasures: The exhibition features artifacts from the tombs of King Tutankhamun, Ramses II, Nefertari, Tuthmosis III, Alexander the Great and Cleopatra VII. Admission is $5.

Smart Shopper Deal of the Day: On Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8 & 9, if you go online and purchase an adult admission ticket to the fair and use the code "Smart", you'll be able to see the King Tut exhibit for free. That's a savings of $5.

Tapigami: View flowers, animals, jewelry and scaled cities all made from Scotch tape. It’s an exhibition from California artist Danny Scheible. The show is located in the Shopping Pavilion and is included with fair admission.

Megasaurus: A new attraction this year, the Megasaurus will be part of the All-Star Freestyle Mania and Thrill Show at The GrandStands. The robotic dinosaur is 50 feet tall and 30 feet along, according to the fair's website. Fans will see it transform from a vehicle into a robotic dinosaur and rip a car in half. The show runs Oct. 12-14. 

The All-Star Monster Trucks Show will take place Oct. 26-28 at the Grandstands.

NEW FOOD

Unicorn Cotton Candy: Pink cotton candy with a Unicorn horn lollipop and topped with sprinkles.

Unicorn Nitro Pop: Nitrogen-infused candy popcorn surrounded by cotton candy and topped with Fruity Pebbles cereal and a lollipop.

Unicorn Float: Blue raspberry soda topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and cotton candy.

Orange Dream Float: Orange soda topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, sour orange slice candies, and orange cotton candy.

Mermaid Float: Blue coconut and lime soda topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, sour candy strips, LIfe Savers gummy candy, and sour green apple cotton candy.

Totally Baked Cookie Joint: A new stop along the Midway, Totally Baked will have a literal bucket of fresh-baked cookies for sale, ice cream cookie sandwiches, and the "Big Skillet," a large chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream.

Get Fried: Another new stand on the Midway, Ray Cammack Shows say this stand will have Fruity Pebbles shrimp on-a-stick, chicken and beef kabobs, and cheese fries.

Bubble Waffle Sundaes: Waffle cone topped with ice cream and other toppings.

MORE NEW FOOD TO TRY AT THE STATE FAIR

NEW RIDES

Konga: A jungle-themed European bench ride that moves side-to-side at high speeds, according to the website. You have to be 48” tall to ride alone.

Flying Jumbo!: A family-friend carousel-type ride where you sit inside a colorful elephant and control how low or high the elephant “flies.” Riders 39” - 48” inches tall can ride with an adult, and 48” tall to ride alone.

A “Surprise” debut: Ray Cammack Shows has been hinting at a “surprise” ride on social media for a while now. All we know right now is that it is 55 meters tall and transported here on three semi-trucks. We’ll have to wait and see.

HOW TO SAVE SOME MONEY

On Wednesdays:

  • We Care Wednesdays: Donate five non-perishable items to receive one free admission on any Wednesday during the fair. Deal valid until 6 p.m. The following items will not be accepted: bottled water, baby food, Ramen noodles, and glass containers.
  • BOGO admission: Visit any Valley Metro PCS Store to pick up a buy-one-get-one admission coupon. Coupon is valid from 6 p.m. - close on Wednesdays. 
  • $2 rides and games: Rides and games are $2 before 6 p.m.
  • 55+ Friends Day: On Wednesday, Oct. 17, those 55+ can receive free admission to the fair. You do have to visit the State Fair website and enter the promo code: Humana.

On Thursdays:

  • Free admission: You can get free admission on Thursdays between 12 p.m. (noon) and 1 p.m.

On Fridays:

  • Free Fry’s Fridays: Spend $50 or more at Fry’s Food Stores and receive a voucher for two free adult admission tickets. Free admission is only good on Fridays before 6 p.m. Voucher will be printed on the receipt.
  • Taste of the Fair: Rides and games are $2 before 6 p.m. Some food vendors will also have $2 samples. Samples include a mini bag of popcorn, a pickle, 12-ounce root beer float, 16-ounce lemonade, nacho boat, two Oreo churros, etc. View the complete list, here. https://azstatefair.com/2-food-list/
  • Armed Forces Day: On Oct. 19, military service members and their families receive free admission with valid military ID.

Weekend discounts:

  • $5 Admission: Before 2 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday. This entry has been updated to reflect that admission is $5, not $2, as initially reported to us by the Arizona State Fair. 

Undeniably Dairy Milk Cap Mania: Collect five “Undeniably Dairy” caps and bring them to the admission booth for one free child admission (ages 5-14). The deal requires one paid adult admission.

Ride discounts:

CONCERTS:

Concerts and shows at the Coliseum are included with fair admission. Guaranteed reserved seating can be purchased for an additional cost. Prices vary by concert.

Oct. 5 - Gary Allan, 7 p.m.

Oct. 6 - The Flaming Lips, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 - 38 Special, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 - The Wallflowers, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 - Fiesta Friday: Baby Bash, MC Magic, Lil Rob, Brown Boy, 7 p.m.

Oct. 13 - Arizona State Fair Dance Competition, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17 - Pitbull, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 - Anthrax, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 - Paulina Rubio, 7 p.m.

Oct. 20 - Big & Rich, 7 p.m.

Oct. 24 - Casting Crowns, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25 - Nathaniel Ratliff & The Night Sweats, 7 p.m.

Oct. 26 - Old School Jam: Coolio, Petey Pablo, DJ Quik, Luniz, Ying Yang Twins, 7 p.m.

Oct. 27 - Sesame Street Live, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.

Oct. 28 - Sesame Street Live, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.

PARKING

The parking lots listed below are operated by the Arizona State Fair. There are privately-owned lots in the area. Prices will vary.

$5 - West Lot, southwest corner of 19th Avenue and Encanto Blvd.

$10- North Lot, 19th Avenue and Monte Vista or Encanto Blvd. between 17th and 19th avenues. Reserved parking available for $20.

Lyft is offering users 20% off two rides with code: AZFAIR18. New Lyft users can get $5 off four rides with code: AZFAIR.

ADMISSION & HOURS

The Arizona State Fair runs Oct. 5-28. It is open Wednesday - Sunday, and closed on Monday and Tuesday. This year, the fair unveiled the RCS "FunPass" app, which allows people to purchase admission and ride tickets from the app.

Wednesday: Noon – 9 p.m.
Thursday: Noon – 9 p.m.
Friday: Noon – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The fair is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

General admission is $7 for children and teens, 5-13, and seniors (55+), and $10 for adults (14+). Kids 5 and younger are free. Make sure to check out the discount section above for info on how to save on admission.

Scooters, wheelchairs, strollers and wagons can also be rented at the fair. Pricing varies between $10-$55.

LIVESTOCK COMPETITIONS

At the heart of the fair's history are the livestock competitions and shows. You can see a variety of farm animals and livestock:

October 5-7 – Beef Display, rabbits and sheep
October 10-14 – Pigeons, and Boer goats
October 17-21 – Poultry
October 24-28 –Educational Small Stock (variety of species), dairy cattle & Dairy Goats

Print this article Back to Top