10 Things to Do at the 2017 Arkansas State Fair
Are you ready for rides, slides, livestock competitions, rodeos, funnel cakes and cotton candy? From Oct. 12-22, families from across the state will stampede into Little Rock to visit the Arkansas State Fair. And it's no wonder why, with all of the family-friendly attractions—here are 10 things to do with your family at the 2017 Arkansas State Fair!
1. Be Amazed by the Museum of Discovery Show
One of Little Rock's own favorite family destinations is making its way to the Arkansas State Fair for the very first time. The science and technology center presents a dazzling array of larger-than-life experiments that are unusual, unexpected and downright mind-blowing. The show is located on Hiland Hill right off of the Midway.
2. Hop On the Midway Rides
Did you really go to the fair if you didn't take a spin on a crazy ride or two? Spectacular rides include the Blitzer roller coaster, Euro slide, Giant wheel, Mach 3 and Mega drop. Kiddie rides include Balloons race, Bumble bees, Kite yer, Lollipop swings, Spidermania and Undersea adventure. And of course, there will be a Ferris wheel for those who would rather skip the adrenaline rush during their visit.
Rides are not inluded in gate admission. But, on Monday, Oct. 16, kids ages 6 and under can ride the kiddie rides free from 9-11 a.m. and regular rides are only $1 each all day long.
3. Watch the PRCA Rodeo
Get a hitch in your get-along on the way to watch some rodeo action at the state fair. The PRCA Rodeo rides into Barton Coliseum Rodeo Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21 with shows starting each night at 7:30 p.m. Newcomers and enthusiasts alike will enjoy roping, barrel racing, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and more.
Advance tickets are available online through Oct. 19; general admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. After the advance purchase date, tickets are $15 for general admission.
4. Chow Down on Fair Food
Tis the season to deep fry everything. Perennial favorites such as funnel cakes, cotton candy and corn dogs will be served up. Some of this year’s creative new dishes include the Thanksgiving taco, bacon-wrapped roasted corn, fried pineapple rings, cinnamon roll sundae, chicken pot pie pocket, marshmallow crunch, spaghetti and meatball burger and chocolate-dipped jalapeno peppers.
Looking for a deal? Thrifty Thursday is a new opportunity for fairgoers to take advantage of special food pricing on Thursday, Oct. 19. Participating food vendors will offer discounted pricing on one of their signature menu items.
5. Watch Live Concerts
The best part of all the live music at the fair is that every single concert is included in regular gate admission. Check out the concert lineup: R&B trio Next opens the series (8 p.m., Oct. 12), followed by Vince Neil, the voice of Mötley Crüe (8 p.m. Oct. 13). On Saturday, Oct. 14, a full afternoon and evening of contemporary rock performances starts at 3 p.m. with Indie pop band AJR. Alternative metal rock bands Saving Abel and Puddle of Mudd perform on the main stage at 6:30 and 8 p.m. respectively. For the full lineup of concerts (there's a show almost every day of the fair) or to purchase premium seating tickets, click here.
6. Check Out All Kinds of Animals
Livestock competitions showcase some of the state's finest beef and dairy cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and rabbits. The Fair will welcome nearly 4,000 Arkansas 4-H and FFA members and nearly 10,000 animals are expected to be at the Fairgrounds. The Junior Livestock Sale of Champions will be held Friday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. in Barton Coliseum. Livestock competitions will also be held daily on the fairgrounds. Families can also wander through the livestock stalls to chat with the competitors and meet the animals.
The Exotic Animal Petting Zoo is an educational, hands on experience located in the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas’ Family Land. The attraction (included in general admission) features exotic animals from around the world and pony rides for the children.
7. Tour the History Museum
Do you know the fair has its very own Arkansas State Fair History Museum? In just a few minutes, visitors can learn interesting facts about the Fair’s storied 150-year history. The The State Fair Museum is located adjacent to the Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts building and is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
8. Visit Lots of Attractions
Take a break from the high-flying rides in the midway to enjoy a few popular attractions, including The Moogician, a family-friendly comedy and magic act. Then check out the Nerveless Nocks Pirates of the Sky! This Hollywood stunt spectacular features breathtaking aerial acrobatics, high wire thrills and towering, swaying mast action. And don't forget to pay a visit to Wildlife Wendy and her Tropical Birds. Wendy and her precocious parrots put on an entertaining show that mixes fun with fact, bringing awareness and appreciation of these intelligent creatures.
9. See What's Happening With Creative Arts
In the Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts Building, visitors will see artists displaying their crafts, hobbies and even cooking skills. Highlights of the 2017 schedule include the Arkansas Honey Cooking Competition, The Great American Spam Championship, Arkansas Farm Bureau Ice Cream Making Contest, Youth Baked Foods Competition and Pulaski County Farm Bureau “Kids’ Cookie Contest.” The schedule for all the creative arts competitions is available here.
10. Cheer On Talent Show & Pageant Contestants
All hail the Fair Queen! The Arkansas Building will be the venue for regionalcompetition for pageant and talent contestants. The pageant finals begin on Saturday Oct. 21 at 5:30 p.m. and the evening concludes with award ceremonies and the crowning of the 2017 Arkansas State Fair Queen.
A Kids Talent Contest will take place Sunday, Oct. 15, beginning at 3 p.m. for ages 4-12. On Saturday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the Arkansas Building will host the seventh annual Little Mr. and Miss Pageants for children. The Little Mr. and Miss Rodeo Pageant will take place Saturday, Oct. 14 from 5-7 p.m. For the details on all of the talent shows and pageants, click here.
Advance Purchase Ride Passes are available at participating Walgreens stores in Arkansas and redeemable for a one-day unlimited ride armband at the State Fair. The special $25 pass can be redeemed at midway ticket booths any day of the fair, except Dollar Day (Oct. 16), and will save patrons $5.
Advance gate admission tickets are $5.99, children and seniors $2.99. Advance gate admission tickets may be purchased at Walgreens locations or at the Fair Ticket Office and online at ArkansasStateFair.com through Oct. 11.
Regular gate admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12 and seniors ages 60 and older and children under 6 get in free; fairgrounds parking is $10 per vehicle.
Families can also take advantage of daily deals and specials, including Dollar Day in which admission, parking and rides are $1 each (Oct. 16); Kiddie Day in which children ages 6 and under can ride Kiddie Rides free from 9-11 a.m.(Oct. 16); and more. Click here for all fair promotions.
For more information, visit ArkansasStateFair.com.