The annual event starts tomorrow at noon at the State Fairgrounds along Roosevelt Road.
On Thursday, ride inspectors made a thorough check of the fair from top to bottom as they prepare for close to 75,000 opening day visitors.
And while the economy takes a ride on the tilt-a-whirl...organizers say the fair itself is on solid financial footing.
"Last year... 441,000 came through,” says Fair Spokesman Ralph Eubanks, “And I expect to break a record this year if the weather holds up. You can still come to the fair at a value price... We have things like 50 cent Friday where you you just go to harvest foods and get a coupon... much better than $8 admission."
But some folks say the economy is still shaking things up...
Traditionally, the week before the fair opens, people wait outside where employees with the fair's equipment companies choose them from a crowd to come in and work for a day's pay.
This year...workers say only a handful were chosen.
"Last year it was so nice they would hire like 75 percent of the people,” sys Adrian Dean, “This year it's like no one."
But at least the tough economy is not keeping some of the fair's most unique vendors from traveling long distances.
Lou Arch with the Genoa Pizza Company drove down from
Last year Arch introduced fried Coke to the fair...
No doubt it was popular.... this year he's taking his chance with fried Dr. Pepper.
"It's a little sweeter... Coke and Dr. Pepper are two different things...it will have that great Dr. Pepper flavor."
KARK is sponsoring a Ride-O-Rama of special ticket pricing tomorrow and again on Sunday, October 19. Twenty dollars buys anyone a special armband that lets you ride all the rides you want from noon until close.
And don't forget to visit the special Fair section of ArkansasMatters.com by clicking here.