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Better than fair time: Arizona State Fair opens in Phoenix on Friday

(Arizona State Fair Photo)

PHOENIX — It’s that time of year again: The Arizona State Fair will officially open the gates on Friday.

The fair is being held on the Arizona State Fairgrounds, located near 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, slightly northwest of downtown Phoenix.

This year’s fair includes plenty of traditional fun — think along the lines of midways, rides and livestock shows — but also has a few new attractions, including a rock n’ roll display designed for children.

“It’s an interactive, educational experience for kids and it talks about things like one-hit wonders, the history of rock n’ roll, Abbey Road – 33s and 45s – and how radio started,” Jen Yee with the fair said.

The exhibit includes costumes worn by Elvis and Prince and the keyboard from the 1988 hit “Big.”

But that’s not the only musical offering. The fair will continue its annual tradition of offering big-name concerts that are free with fair ticket admission. Artists such as Iggy Azalea, Andy Grammer and B.O.B. are slated for this year, along with bands such as Cheap Trick and Garbage.

During the fun, attendees will be able to choose from a wide array of foods. Some are staples, but the fair is planning to offer more than 30 new food items this year alone. You can check out a gallery of some of the selections at the bottom of this report.

Yee said fair officials are also working to make sure everyone stays safe.

“We’re always concerned about it. Safety is our No. 1 concern, not with just the rides, but with our guests, which is why we partner with the experts,” she said, adding that the fair partners with numerous law enforcement agencies.

The fair also inspects rides daily to ensure things go off without a hitch.

“We hire an independent ride inspector,” Yee said. “We don’t need to do it, but we do it because we want things to be safe.”

Tickets for the fair are $10 for adults, and $5 for children aged 5-13 and seniors who are 55 or older. Numerous discounts are available.

The fair is open Wednesday-Sunday, but opening and closing times vary. It will will run until Oct. 30.

KTAR’s Kathy Cline contributed to this report.

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