I've been to many different festivals around the states, but the Arkansas State Fair was the first state fair I've been too. My first time going to it was some five or six years ago, with me attending almost every year after that. They have it around the same time each year; this time it was from October 14 -23.
The fairgrounds are used for various events throughout the year, like gun shows, flea markets, and other small events.The biggest event that all the crowds attend though, is the yearly fair.The fair has the same rides and stalls installed every year, but it has enough things that it would take more than one day to look at everything. Remember those state fairs in the movies with the corndogs, the games, and rides? They hit it right on the money. The fair does look like those old time fairs, but with modern music in it, and slightly modern attractions.
Since all fairs do this a bit differently from each other, let me tell you how the pricing works. An entrance fee is paid up front, with a standard price for seniors, kids, and adults. The fee will be discounted on certain days when they have some event going on, so if you plan to go in the future, check up daily while the fair is in town. Then comes the inside fee. The games,food, and some events usually accept cash. The rides work in two ways; you can get coupons, which require a smaller usage per ride,(like two coupons per ride), or the tickets which you get from various ticket booths from the fair. A word of advice, the rides are expensive this year, and the pricing fluctuates yearly, so have extra cash on you if you want to try the rides. ( This year, it was about 5 or 6 tickets per ride, with 10 or 11 tickets costing approximately $20.)
Now if you're a health food lover, you might have to do a lot of digging around in the food booths. The fair has food, and very good food, but not really healthy. The traditional funnel cakes and corn dogs are in the fair, as well as Virgin Pina coladas and other drinks in their own special booths. However, the most popular food, (that I hear numerous people talking about), is the fried food. I can't speak for other state fairs, but the one in Arkansas have people experimenting with fried everything! You have fried Oreo, fried butter, fried ice cream,(don't ask), fried pie,(which I tried), fried watermelon, fried vegetables, and, well, you get the idea. For long time fair- goers this might come as no surprise, but I figure a new comer would appreciate the info. :p
So do I recommend the fair? Even if it's your only time, I whole heartedly say yes. I think, even once, it's worth the experience.Though, for future reference, it would be advisable not to be dead last, like what me and some friends did this year... you're not going to find much in terms of discounts or cheap admission. (Here is a local news channel showing all the discounted days this year. It will probably be very similar for the next fair. They also explain how to purchase coupons. Today THV)
Part of the entrance. Since these were taken at night, there is going to be a glare,sorry!
As you're going in... we took a side entrance.
I went to that booth and got myself a little fried something...
Presenting, Fried Key Lime Pie! It was good but a bit messy,haha.
I wish I knew how to fix the glare; but it's a cell photo so it's complicated. ><
We usually played games, and I have a few prizes from previous years,
but didn't really bother this time.
The photo is of a funhouse; I think it was taken from the Pirate Ship.
( The fair has the ride with an Egyptian theme, so it's called Pharoah's Fury. :p)
Hm... I'm too scared to try the taller fair rides cause they don't look safe to me.
In parks like Six Flags or other bigger amusement parks, I do like to go on
rollercoasters and those rides though! XD This was also on the Pirate Ship.
We went on this ride; it wasn't really scary. :p
"Pahraoh's Fury." Taken as we got off.
We also went on bumper cars, the swings, and the Zero Gravity ride that takes you sideways and you're not holding on to anything. XD By the way the carousel and swings have Old Victorian paintings and decor to them; so they might be older than the rest of the rides. I can't confirm it as fact though, but they are more decorated!
This year's fair is over, but if you want something to do for next October, book a day if you're in town!