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Midway madness: Arizona State Fair opens gates, fryers on Friday

(Instagram Photo/@arizonastatefair)

PHOENIX — It’s that time of year again to win prizes, hop on a ride and eat anything you could ever want to toss in a deep-fryer: The annual Arizona State Fair begins Friday.

The fair was first held since 1884 and moved to the state fairgrounds — located near 19th Avenue and McDowell Road near downtown Phoenix — in 1891.

This year, it will run from Friday to Oct. 29.

The event is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours vary by day, but the fair is typically open from noon until 9 p.m.

Tickets for adults are $10, while those 55 and over get in for $7. Kids aged 5-17 are also $7.

There are plenty of deals available as well.

The event may be a tradition, but the food served there is anything but. Like we said, you can get our hands on pretty much anything that’s fried, but some vendors will roll out some tasty new options this year.

“We’re kind of the foodie boomer generation, so we’re looking for new, innovative flavor profiles and different flavor textures and restaurant writers and critics that want to come out here,” Dominic Palmieri, a spokesman for Ray Cammack Shows, Inc., one of the primary food providers at the fair, said.

“They come out to the fair and they realize how amazing it really is.”

Pamlieri said the dishes on offer at the fair are often the results of brainstorming sessions with his family, most of whom work at the fair.

“We come up with all kinds of new things and that’s what you come to the fair to try,” he said.

Plenty of family-run vendors, such as Piggly’s Barbecue, will offer new treats this year. Piggly’s planned to sell barbecued oysters in addition to it staple menu of other oyster dishes and chicken wings.

Piggly’s, which originally opened in Washington before relocating to Phoenix, travels to fairs around the country to sell its meals.

After attendees get their fill at the food stands, they can head to a long list of concerts that are free with fair admission. The shows will be held inside Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Some of this year’s headliners include Snoop Dogg, Marilyn Manson and local favorites the Gin Blossoms. The music begins Friday with country artist Gary Allen.

Officials were telling fair-goers that they should plan to be patient when it came to getting in the gates.

“We have beefed up security this year,” Scott Reutter, the head of fair security, said. “We have plain-clothed detective that will be out there. We have more command presence at the gates.”

KTAR News’ Tom Perumean contributed to this report.

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