Pigs, monster trucks and Flamin’ Hot Turkey Legs are just a few of the attractions at this year’s Maricopa County Fair from Wednesday, April 11, to Sunday, April 15, at the AZ Exposition & State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road in Phoenix.
The county fair is geared more toward families in a more intimate setting than the state fair, says Karen Searle, executive director. “We have literally hours of exhibits, entertainment and activities for kids and families. That’s before we even talk about the carnival.”
The Arizona Ag & Ewe exhibit, as well as The SRP Safety Zone are both awesome areas for families to walk through, Searle says.
But the animals are the biggest draw, she says. “We have the largest youth livestock show and auction in the state.” More than 400 pigs, plus another 400 to 600 animals including sheep, cattle, goats, rabbits and poultry will be available for visitors to see and all are raised by Maricopa County youth. “People love to walk through the barns.”
Motorsports, specifically monster trucks, are also a crowd favorite. Friday evening and Sunday afternoon will feature monster trucks in the arena with a freestyle motocross show on Sunday. Also, throughout the weekend will be demo cross, which combines demolition derby and figure 8 racing.
Juggler Greg Frisbee and Balloon Man Skip Banks are returning with new skits and bits.
Characters from Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol will visit. First responders Chase and Marshall will meet and greet fans on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday night, Colton Dixon, a top 10 finalist from American Idol Season 11, will perform. Dixon will also meet with fans after his show. Four other stages will feature additional musical acts including one stage dedicated to local Christian artists. All shows are free with admission.
Vendors will entice visitors with their wares. Items such as Sleep Number beds, jewelry, licorice, fudge and steel buildings will be available for purchase.
Food is always a draw at any fair and the Maricopa County Fair won’t disappoint. In addition to the corn dogs, curly fries and deep-fried candy bars, a chocolate chip cookie vendor will be providing hot-out-of-the-oven cookies. Don’t miss a fair favorite- a Flamin’ Hot Turkey Leg- a combination of hot wings and turkey legs.
The Maricopa County Fair draws more than 55,000 visitors each year and has a long history, Searle says. “In its current structure, we were incorporated in the ’70s. Before that, we existed as a 4-H fair and the Maricopa County and Citrus Fair back in the ’50s.”
Maricopa County Fair, AZ Exposition and State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, maricopacountyfair.org, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, Thursday, April 12, and Sunday, April 15; and 10 a.m. to midnight Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14; $9. Various discounts available; see website.