10 Days to Play: The Arkansas State Fair Returns with All the Fun, Food, and Music – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Dauktion

The 82nd Arkansas State Fair kicks off Friday with the usual — and in some cases unusual — array of free concerts, fair food, cattle contests, rides and fun-filled attractions.

The 10-day celebration ends on October 23rd.

Farmland, Indiana-based North American Midway Entertainment is providing the carnival attractions, including more than 250 state-of-the-art rides, bespoke food concessions and family-oriented games.

The Drive-By Truckers – Brad Morgan (from left), Jay Gonzalez, Matt Patton, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley – perform at the Arkansas State Fair on Friday. (Special Democrat Gazette/Jason Thrasher) MUSIC

The Arkansas State Fair Concert Series on the Lotto Main Stage is free with gate admission; Limited deck seats are available for an additional $20 at the fairgrounds box office and on ArkansasStateFair.com:

  • ◼️ Friday: Drive-By Trucker
  • ◼️ Saturday: 90’s dance party with Color Me Badd, Tone Loc and Young MC
  • ◼️ Sunday: The Wallflowers
  • ◼️ Monday: Jettway Music School with Zac Dunlap Band
  • ◼️ Tuesday: Southern Soul Tuesday with radio station KOKY-FM, 102.1 and Power92 Jams with Dino D and the D-Train Band
  • ◼️ Wednesday: Inside with Spirit & Sand DJs
  • ◼️ October 20: Arkansas Edge Showcase
  • ◼️ Oct 21 KSSN Homegrown Showdown
  • ◼️ October 22nd: Megan Moroney (7pm), Blanco Brown (8pm)
  • ◼️ Oct. 23 La Sonora Dynamita de Carlitos Xivir, Los Cadetes de Linares de Horacio Mata


Rides include the Crazy Mouse roller coaster, Euro Slide, Ferris Wheel, Mach 3 and Mega Drop, as well as the brand new Chopper Charlie and Raptor Run rides. Kids rides include Balloon Race, Bumble Bees, Kite Flyer, Lollipop Swings and Spidermania.

photo (Special issue of the Democrat Gazette) FOOD

Show favorites — corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, hamburgers and pizza — will be available throughout the showgrounds; New offerings include pickle pizza from Swain’s Pizza on a Stick. Returning vendors include Paizi’s Greek Gyros, Boss Hogg Barbecue, Gold’s Skillet, Pat’s Kitchen, Alan McKinney Food Service and L&M Concessions in the main fairgrounds food court, Hall of Industry and Mittelweg.

photo (Arkansas Democrat Gazette/Stephen Swofford) CATTLE

Livestock Show exhibitions and competitions held daily at the fairgrounds include cattle, dairy cows, swine, sheep, Boer goats, dairy goats, poultry and rabbits, with nearly 4,000 Arkansas 4-H, according to Livestock Show Association Chairman Bruce Maloch and FFA members.


The Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts Building hosts dozens of contests for exhibitors of all ages in crafts, hobbies and cooking. Live competitions and demonstrations take place daily, and artists and craftspeople display their artwork every 10 days of the fair.

Scheduled competitions include Arkansas Farm Bureau Floral Express Floral Arrangements, Open Baked Goods, Arkansas State Fair Pie, Arkansas Honey Cooking, Hiland Dairy Cooking, Petit Jean Meats Cooking, Tammy Sue’s Meatloaf Cooking, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association BBQ Ribs, the Arkansas Cattlewomen’s Association Chili Cook-off and the Arkansas Commercial Wine Show. There will also be daily cooking demonstrations.

photo A State Fair judge tests the competitors’ cookies. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette/Staci Vandagriff) BEAUTY & TALENT

The Arkansas Building will be the venue for four days of regional competitions for Fair Queen and Youth Talent candidates. The talent finalists perform on October 22 at 11 a.m., the Ms. and Sr. Ms. pageants begin at 3 p.m., and the Fair Queen finals begin at 6:30 p.m. The evening concludes with awards ceremonies and the crowning of the 2022 Arkansas State Fair Queen, Junior Fair Queen, Ms. Fair Queen and Senior Ms. Fair Queen.


On Hiland Hill just past center, Hiland Dairy presents:

◼️ Moogician (daily 12:30pm, 3:30pm and 7pm), Todd Charles (aka “The Moogician”) conjures up milk, juggles cheese and focuses on “all things MOO!”

◼️ Cool Dog Thrill Show (daily 12:30pm, 3:30pm and 7:00pm) where dogs and their handlers perform to happy music.

◼️ Prehistoric Dinosaur Adventure (daily 11am-8pm), a prehistoric walk-through museum and an “exciting up-close encounter” with “Tyrannosaurus Rex”! Dino Kids Challenge games in front of the museum and a twice-daily Fossil Casting Workshop where kids can learn how to make fossils.

Also: The State Fair Petting Zoo has two locations this year: at the south end of the Midway in the FFA Ag in Action area and the other in Family Land at the main gate.

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Through various sponsored campaigns, trade fair visitors can save money on admission, rides and other trade fair attractions on certain days.

The Official State Fair Guide, available digitally on smartphones via ArkansasStateFair.com, features daily schedules, maps, and a list of food vendors, among other things. Also, at the fair, use smartphones to access the daily schedule and site map by scanning QR codes located on information towers throughout the fairgrounds.

82nd Arkansas State Fair

  • When: Friday-Oct 23
  • Where: State Fairgrounds, 2600 Howard St. on Roosevelt Road, Little Rock
  • Entry: Regular day admission at the gate is $12, $6 for children 6-12 and seniors 60 and older, free for children under 6. Daily specials include adult entry for $8 in advance and $4 at the gate for children and seniors. Ride bands, appropriate for a day of unlimited rides, are $30 at ArkansasStateFair.com prior to opening day; $35 each when purchased locally.
  • Park: Regular on-site parking is $10 per vehicle; Premium parking is available closer to the action in designated lots for $20.
  • Information: (501) 372-8341; ArkansasStateFair.com

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