Sep 23, 2022 - Things to Do

The best food, rides and deals at the 2022 Arizona State Fair

Illustration of a corn dog laid over an exclamation point
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The state fair opens Friday at noon and will run through Oct. 30.

  • Here's what you need to know, what's new and more.
Logistics

Operating hours are Thursdays-Sundays from noon to about 11pm.

  • Admission is $15 or free for children 7 and under. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or through the fair's app. Rides, games and food cost extra.
  • Parking is pricey and a bit of a bear, so scope out your options ahead of time.
Food

Expect all the classics like corn dogs, cotton candy and fry bread. But be on the lookout for this new fair fare:

Performances

The performances at this year's fair lack the star power seen in year's past.

  • This is the third year in a row without a major concert at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
  • Fair organizers told The Arizona Republic that increased talent and production costs and a tight live entertainment market are to blame, but they pledged to bring them back in full force next year.
  • You can still see a whole bunch of tribute bands and artists this year, including New Doubt (No Doubt) and Shade of Billy (Billy Joel).
Rides

Expect a mix of classic thrill and kid-friendly rides.

  • There are three ferris wheels, two haunted houses and a whole bunch of twisting, spinning things.
  • 🎟 My thoughts: I've always been partial to the Tilt-A-Whirl.
Deals

The price tag on a fair outing can add up quickly. Here are some promotions to take advantage of.

  • Students ages 5-14 can get three free rides by reading three books and bringing this form to the fair.
  • Each Thursday you can purchase an unlimited ride wristband for $50.
  • Each Friday (excluding today) bring 10 nonperishable food items to donate and get free admission between noon and 6pm.
  • Each Friday (excluding today), get $3 food items from noon to 6pm.
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