Here’s everything you need to know for the 2023 Arizona State Fair

Sep 20, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: Sep 22, 2023, 4:32 pm

PHOENIX — The weather is cooling and summer is ending, which means it’s time for the return of the Arizona State Fair.

The event, located at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, will have a host of new attractions, food and features during its five-week run.

“There are so many things you can come see at the State Fair, from foods to rides to cute animals to concerts to free entertainment,” Brianda Martinez, the fair’s marketing director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

Here’s a guide on what to know about the 2023 fair, which starts Friday:

How much are Arizona State Fair tickets and what are the hours?

The fair runs Thursdays-Sundays from Sept. 22 to Oct. 29.

Tickets are $15 for everyone at least 8 years old and free for children 7 and under. Fair admission is included with tickets to Coliseum Concert Series and Fairytales on Ice events.

After starting up at 4 p.m. during opening weekend (Sept. 22-24), the gates will open daily at noon. Closing time is typically 11 p.m. but may vary depending on attendance.

@ktarnews Is it time for the fair to come back yet?? #arizonastatefair #fairgrounds #azstatefair #phoenix #ktarnews #fyp ♬ Midnight – Prod. By Rose

Unlimited ride wristbands can be purchased every Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. for $50.

Fast Passes cost $30 and will get you to the front of the line for rides. They must be purchased inside the fairgrounds, and quantities are limited.

Fairgoers can also rent private cabanas starting at $200.

What’s new this year at the Arizona State Fair?

There are so many new food items, you’d probably have to go every day to try them all.

“We have tons of new fair food,” Martinez said. “Every year, we would love to try to get our food vendors to make us funky fair foods for our guests and this year they came up with some good stuff.”

Here’s the full list:

  • Hot Cheeto and Cheese Chicken on a Stick
  • Pickle Tamale Bites
  • Fruit Roll-Up Frozen Grapes on a Stick
  • Deep Fried Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Birria Egg Rolls
  • Barbilicious Float
  • Double Trouble Cone
  • Hot Cheeto Cheesy Pickle Pizza
  • The Chubs Smash Burger
  • Loaded Chicken Fries
  • Crispy Chicken Salad or Wrap
  • Tosti-Nachos
  • Quesabirria Tacos
  • Birria Quesadilla
  • Loaded Birria Fries
  • Fruit Roll-Up Dole Whip
  • Peaches and Cream Funnel Cake
  • Cereal Cannolis
  • Churros Ice Cream Sundaes
  • Loaded Strawberries and Cream Churro

There are also three new rides this year for fairgoers, according to Martinez.

“We have the Raptor Coaster, the Slingshot and the Joker 360,” Martinez said. “So if big, thrilling rides are your thing, know that this year we have three new rides available.”

An ice skating spectacular will also take over the Coliseum.

“Fairytales on Ice: Beauty and the Beast” will have shows available from Sept. 28 to Oct. 8, either at 4 p.m. or 7 p.m.

Tickets start at $17.50 and will include admission to the fair.

What concerts are happening at the Arizona State Fair?

The Coliseum Concert Series is making a comeback after a three-year hiatus because of COVID-19.

The concerts used to be included with fair admission, with most seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. But general admission concert access is no longer included with regular fair admission.

Concert seating is now fully reserved, with tickets starting at $25, which covers fair admission.

“We were able to book six concerts and we’re expecting a lot of people every night,” Martinez said. “We only have six but we are very excited that we have great artists in our lineup.”

Here are the performers lined up for the series:

All concerts start at 7 p.m., with no opening acts. The arena doors open at 6 p.m.

The concert venue and fairgrounds are located at the northeast corner of 19th Avenue and McDowell Road.

The arena series isn’t the only live music.

“We also have the Backyard Concert Series, which is every night the fair is open,” Martinez said.

“We have a tribute band nightly at the Backyard Stage and these tribute bands, they range from Prince to Queen to the Rolling Stones to Tina Turner to Kiss to Chicago to Santana.”

What special deals are there at the Arizona State Fair?

There are ways to get discounts and freebies at the fair.

Feel Good Fridays is your opportunity to get in with 10 non-perishable food cans or items on Fridays to receive one free ticket.

All donations will benefit Operation Santa Claus and St. Mary’s Food Bank.

How much is Arizona State Fair parking?

Parking in the two lots owned by the fair will run you between $8 and $30.

The west lot at Encanto Boulevard between 19th and 20th avenues costs $8.

The north lot at 19th and Monte Vista avenues costs $12, with a VIP parking option for $30.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Kate Ourada contributed to this report.

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Here’s everything you need to know for the 2023 Arizona State Fair