The Arkansas State Fair fires up the midway at the fairgrounds off Roosevelt Road in Little Rock today.The 10-day event wraps up on Sunday, October 17th.
Patrons can enjoy a variety of free concerts, great food, livestock competitions, various creative arts contests, interesting attractions, professional bull riding and much more. The diversity of entertainment is sure to please everyone. *KARK 4 Ride-O-Rama events will be held on October 8th and 17th (From 11:00 a.m. to close buy an armband at a midway ticket booth for $22 and get unlimited rides on these days).
The 2010 Arkansas State Fair offers a variety of special values to ensure that everyone has a great time at great prices. According to Ralph Shoptaw, general manager of the Fair, Arkansans can find special deals every day for the duration of the Fair.
“We have special promotions and discounts every single day,” said Shoptaw. “Back by popular demand is one of our new promotions from last year – Lunch at the Fair. Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., we’re offering patrons free parking and free gate admission for anyone who would like to come out to the fairgrounds for lunch. Receive this year’s Fair Food Vendors Map at the gate and find your favorite Fair food. Another great promotion is Clear Channel Radio’s Super Tuesday and the “Ride for the Cure.” Patrons can purchase a special $22 “Ride for the Cure” armband and get unlimited rides all day. If purchased in advance, FREE Fair admission is included. $1 from every band is donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.”
Advance Purchase Ride Passes will be available at 34 participating Walgreens stores in Arkansas and redeemable for a one-day unlimited ride armband at the State Fair. The special $19 pass can be redeemed at midway ticket booths any day of the Fair, except Dollar Day on Monday, October 11, and will save patrons three dollars.
Patrons can also buy advance gate admission for just $6.99 and a Family Value Pack for $42.95. The value pack includes four Fair admission tickets (good for any age), one parking pass, 24 ride coupons and $10 in food coupons. Family Value Packs may be purchased at the Fairgrounds Ticket Office, online (click here), by phone at (501) 372-8341 or at participating Walgreens locations. Food coupons are redeemable at any Food Court vendor and in Barton Coliseum. (Coupons not accepted at carnival food vendors.)
Daily admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children (ages 6 to 12) and senior adults (ages 60 and over) and free to children ages 6 and under. Fairgrounds parking is $5 per vehicle.
BLUE RIBBON CONCERTS
The Fair staff has scheduled another great lineup of entertainers to perform at the 2010 State Fair. “We are pleased to announce that all of the 2010 Arkansas State Fair Concert Series performances are once again free with gate admission,” said Shoptaw.
Eighties hard rock band Tesla takes the stage Friday, October 8, at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m., country legend Joe Diffie performs. Rising country star Easton Corbin and American Idol finalist Bucky Covington bring their shows to the main stage on Thursday, October 14, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Friday, October 15, at 8:00 p.m., legendary Canadian rock band Loverboy performs their many hit singles. All of these performances take place on the Wendy’s Main Stage.
BLUE RIBBON ENTERTAINMENT
Fairgoers can enjoy a variety of free entertainment on the Wendy’s Main Stage, including:
Luke Williams Band
Zack Williams & The Reformation
Cody Belew & The Mercers
Colgate Country Showdown
BLUE RIBBON BULL RIDING
The Arkansas State Fair will proudly present Ridin’ in the Rock when the Professional Bull Riders Tour (PBR) stampedes into Barton Coliseum on consecutive nights, Friday, October 15, and Saturday, October 16. The PBR Touring Pro Division features up-and-coming bull riders as well as tour veterans competing to qualify for the PBR World Finals. Friday and Saturday performances start at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Patrons can buy Ridin’ in the Rock tickets on-line at ticketmaster.com or at the Fair Ticket Office. Tickets start at just $10, and include $15 and $20 seating levels. VIP seats are $25. All seats are reserved. Tickets bought in advance include State Fair gate admission.
BLUE RIBBON CARNIVAL RIDES
Deggeller Attractions of Stuart, Florida, will bring the midway attractions to the Fair once again. Fairgoers looking for exciting and thrilling carnival rides are sure to be pleased with the selection of 62-plus rides. Several new rides can be found on the Arkansas Federal Credit Union Midway, including Nemesis 360, Tea Cup, Orient and Banana.
BLUE RIBBON FAIR FOOD - Click here for a State Fair Food Guide from KARK 4 Content Partner Tie Dye Travels and Kat Robinson.
It is not the State Fair without the smells and tastes of Fair food. Fairgoers will find all their favorites, and many new favorites this year, including Texas tater twisters, fried Wisconsin cheese, egg on a stick, cabritas (goat) wraps, barbecue rabbit sandwiches, biscuits with chocolate gravy, Chocolate Smooches, Hillbilly Holler juice drinks, Kabata Caribbean sandwiches, Kona tropical shave ice, hickory smoked ham steaks and batter fried center cut pork chops!
According to Shoptaw, patrons can choose from approximately 53 food vendors that will be set up on the Fairgrounds. “The Big Show Diner will be open again this year with an exciting new addition – the Showtime Deck. Patrons can enjoy outdoor dining on a new deck overlooking the midway. The Diner will offer breakfast, Mexican food, sirloin burgers, great down home cooking and even gourmet rib eye steak and lobster dinners. The food will be fresh-made, plus the Diner will stay open late,” said Shoptaw.
BLUE RIBBON LIVESTOCK
The Livestock Show is a great part of the Arkansas State Fair’s heritage, and each year more and more people bring their best animals to Little Rock to see how they measure up. It is an honor to continue the tradition of showcasing some of the finest livestock in Arkansas at the State Fair. This year more than 10,000 animals are expected to arrive on the Fairgrounds in October. Exhibitions and competitions will include activities involving beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, boer goats, dairy goats, poultry and rabbits.
Headed to the Fair again this year are over 4,000 Arkansas 4-H and FFA Members who have worked with their animals all year long to compete for top honors. The Livestock Program requires a tremendous amount of dedication and personal responsibility from these young people, and the adults who support their efforts. The rewards are amazing, and the life skills such as leadership, responsibility and competitive attitudes that are developed through this program truly last a lifetime.
A highlight in the Livestock Department each year is the Junior Livestock Sale of Champions that will be held on Friday, October 15, at 2:00 p.m. in Barton Coliseum. Through the support of over 60 businesses and individuals, the Auction raises more than $100,000 each year to help support winners in the Junior Livestock Shows. The money is often used for the young person’s education and to help fund future livestock projects. Everyone is invited to the Auction – a wonderful opportunity for young people and members of the business community to work together in an effort to promote Arkansas agriculture.
The inaugural “Susan G. Komen Pink Rabbit Show” and “Hoppin’ For A Cure Parade” is scheduled for Saturday, October 16, in the Rabbit Facility beginning at 9:00 a.m. Anyone with a rabbit is welcome to enter, and we hope that there will be a big crowd for the parade. All proceeds from this special event will be donated to the Foundation and the State Fair is honored to be partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to promote Breast Cancer Awareness.
Livestock competitions will be held daily on the Fairgrounds. Click here for schedules of competitions listing specific dates, times and locations, refer to the daily schedules.
BLUE RIBBON CREATIVE ARTS
The Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts Building will host a variety of exciting activities throughout the Fair. “We have a great Creative Arts program, with more than 1,200 classes of competition for exhibitors of all ages in various categories of crafts, hobbies, and cooking skills. Many of the items are absolutely gorgeous pieces of art, and the overall display is truly amazing,” said Deb Crow, creative arts director. “Live competitions and demonstrations are scheduled daily, and artists and crafters will be displaying their artwork all ten days of the fair.”
Three different competitions highlight the 2010 schedule – the Arkansas Wine Competition, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship and the Home Brew Beer Competition.
The state’s seven wineries will compete for gold, silver and bronze awards in 106 wine categories. The Grand Champion award for the State Fair’s first amateur wine competition will also be awarded. According to Crow, a special wine tasting event will take place Sunday, October 10, at 3:00 p.m. for interested fair patrons. All proceeds from the wine competition and tasting go to the Dr. Justin Morris Scholarship Fund.
Judging for the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship will take place Wednesday, October 13, at 10:45 a.m.
The Central Arkansas Fermenters will judge the finals of the Home Brew Beer Competition on Saturday, October 16, at 4:00 p.m.
The State Fair also is sponsoring an Amateur Photo Contest. All contest photos must be taken at the Fair and entered in one of six categories. Additionally, the Arkansas State Fair Cookbook, loaded with winning recipes from past years, will be offered for sale online (click here), at the fair ticket office and in the Arts & Crafts Building.
Other competitions include two themed photography contests, floral arrangements, ice cream, pies, cookies, pork, rice and a chili cook-off with the help of sponsors such as Hidden Valley, Floral Express, Pulaski County Farm Bureau, Spam, Arkansas Pork Producers, Pillsbury, Fleischmann’s, Arkansas Times, Arkansas Outdoors Photographers Club, Central Arkansas Fermenters, Arkansas Farm Bureau and more!
BLUE RIBBON ARKANSAS TALENT
Talented youth from across the state of Arkansas have an opportunity to compete in the Youth Talent Competition and Fair Queen Pageant held during the Fair. The Arkansas Building will be the venue for four days of regional competition for Fair Queen and Youth Talent contestants, all hoping to make the finals on Saturday night, October 16, at 7:00 p.m., followed by award ceremonies, and the crowning of the 2010 Arkansas State Fair Queen.
Rodeo Queen Contestants will compete for the title through a riding competition at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October 16, and private interviews. See all the contestants ride in the Grand Entry of both PBR performances, and don’t miss the crowning of the 2010 Arkansas State Fair Rodeo Queen during the Saturday night performance at 7:30 p.m.
NEW THIS YEAR
The Arkansas Livestock Show Association and the Arkansas State Fair are proud to announce the opening of the State Fair Museum. For the first time ever, patrons can see and relive the history of the Arkansas State Fair. The new museum is located adjacent to the Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts building. Museum hours are 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.
The Arkansas State Fair is pleased to be hosting Habitat for Humanity of Pulaski County this year. Habitat for Humanity volunteers will construct a new house on the fairgrounds during the Fair’s ten-day run. The house will be moved following the Fair to a designated site for completion.
Opening day, Friday, October 8, the Fair will present the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights who will perform a show between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. The precision military freefall parachuting team will be in town performing at the Little Rock Air Force Base Air Show “Thunder Over the Rock” on October 9 and 10.
BLUE RIBBON ATTRACTIONS
Fairgoers will discover several new attractions and some returning favorites. “We work hard to keep the exhibits and entertainment fresh at the Fair. This year, we’ve got Kachunga and the Alligator Show,” said Shoptaw. “Kachunga is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat as he wrangles a nine-ft, 300-pound gator with his bare hands. Another new attraction is Wild About Monkeys. Trainers Kevin and Martina Keith bring their highly intelligent baboons to the stage for a fun-filled show that is equal parts entertaining and educational. Again this year, we’ll have several entertaining strolling acts. Mark Sparks and his son Zaq are talented magicians, jugglers and funnymen who bring a lot of energy and fun to the Midway. We’re also pleased to welcome a brand new Exotic Petting Zoo with pony rides and the always enjoyable Caboodlestoppers.”
Kachunga and the Alligator Show comes to Arkansas from deep in the swamps of Florida. Kachunga is a real American bushman who dares to step foot in the domain of the alligator. Watch in astonishment as he apprehends a ferocious, man-eating reptile with his bare hands.
Wild About Monkeys is a captivating live animal production that showcases the unique personality, talent and behavior of baboons. These “show biz” primates perform hilarious routines with their trainers. In fact, you’ve probably seen some of these monkeys starring in feature films, television shows and commercials.
The Exotic Animal Petting Zoo is an educational, “hands on” experience for children and adults, and will be located in the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas’ Family Land. The attraction features animals from around the world and pony rides for the children.
• Mark and Zaq Sparks – Father and son perform amazing magic, juggling, fire eating and throw in plenty of comic relief for good measure.
• The Funny Farm – If you see a farmer conversing with his prize-winning pig or riding a giant chicken, you’ll know the Funny Farm is on the loose!
• Mr. Bananas, Monkey at Large – Who’s furry, pink and a whole lot of fun? Mr. Bananas, that’s who!
• Juggling Workshops – Mark and Zaq Sparks offer a daily juggling workshop for aspiring entertainers. Come on, admit it, you’ve always wanted to learn how to juggle!
BLUE RIBBON SPECIAL EVENT
“Night of Destruction” Demolition Derby & Monster Truck Exhibition is back again this year and with an added attraction. Reptoid, one of the nation’s most popular monster trucks, will thunder into Barton Coliseum for a special exhibition. The “Night of Destruction” takes place Saturday, October 9, 7:30 p.m. Fans can enjoy Reptoid’s skills and a wild demolition derby featuring more than 20 vehicles. Adult tickets may be purchased for $13, and children’s tickets are just $9. All seats are reserved. Tickets include State Fair gate admission when purchased prior to entering the fairgrounds. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
BLUE RIBBON PROMOTIONS
According to Shoptaw, the Fair staff worked with various sponsors to provide a variety of promotions to make the State Fair more affordable for Arkansas families.