Arkansas State Fair opens Friday for 10 days of fun

After a year-long hiatus due to the covid-19 pandemic, the 81st Arkansas State Fair opens Friday, offering 10 days of rides, fair food, music, games , “unique attractions”, breeding and craft competitions, until October 24. at the State Fairgrounds, 2600 Howard St., near Roosevelt Road, Little Rock.


North American Midway Entertainment, based in Farmland, Indiana, offers the attractions for this year’s carnival. Rides include the Crazy Mouse roller coaster, Euro slide, Giant Wheel, Mach 3 and Mega Drop, with ‘kids’ rides such as Balloon Race, Bumble Bees, Kite Flyer, Lollipop Swings and Spidermania.


It wouldn’t be the fair without the usual fair food favorites — corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, burgers and pizza. There will be 52 food and drink venues throughout the fairgrounds – at the main fairground food court, in the industry hall and midway.

The Big Show Diner will serve “freshly prepared ‘cafeteria-style’ meals for quick service, including American favorites, Blue Plate dinners, homemade pies and a kids’ menu,” the fair’s acting general manager said. , Anne-Marie Doramus. Find the Fair Food Vendors Map online at

On weekdays, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., have lunch at the Fair (sponsored by Entergy). Entrance to the door and parking are free.

(Special at the Democrat-Gazette)


The program of the show:

◼️ Friday: Maddie & Tae at 8 p.m., with opening act Anna Brinker at 6:30 p.m.

◼️ Saturday: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at 8 p.m. Dazz & Brie opens at 6:30 p.m.

◼️ Sunday: Bel Biv Devoe, 7 p.m.

◼️ Monday: Zac Dunlap, with Jettway Music Group, 6 p.m.

◼️ Wednesday: Fox Green, 7 p.m.

◼️ Oct. 21: Better than Ezra, 7 p.m.

◼️ Oct. 22: Blackberry Smoke, 8 p.m. Stephen Neeper & the Wild Hearts opens at 6:30 p.m.

◼️ Oct. 23: Country singer Riley Green, 8 p.m. Saving Grace and the Sinners opens at 6:30 p.m.

Concerts are free with door admission, but guests interested in an “upscale concert experience” can pay $25 for a limited number of seats on the deck (door entry is not included). Visit the exhibition center ticket office or


The Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts Building hosts craft, hobby, and cooking skills competitions, including flower arranging, commercial Arkansas wine, baked goods, State Fair pie, Arkansas Honey Cooking, Hiland Dairy and Petit Jean Meats Cooking, Tammy Sue’s Meatloaf Cooking, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association BBQ Ribs, Arkansas Cattlewomen’s Association Chili Cooking and various demonstrations culinary.

(Special at the Democrat-Gazette)

(Special at the Democrat-Gazette)


Livestock Show exhibits and competitions include beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, Boer goats, dairy goats, poultry and rabbits. According to incoming animal husbandry president Chris Bacchus, the fair will welcome more than 7,000 Arkansas 4-H and FFA members who have worked with their animals year-round in preparation for the fair. Competition times are at


◼️ Hiland Dairy Foods is once again sponsoring the Show Me Swine Racers, athletic pigs chasing an oatmeal cookie, on Hiland Hill, just halfway through.

◼️ The Musée de la Découverte presents “truer-than-life experiences that are unusual, unexpected and downright breathtaking,” according to a hyperbolic statement.

◼️ “Bears of Bearadise Ranch”, billed as the nation’s largest traveling educational bear exhibit, offers “a personal, up-close look at these majestic creatures” with information “about bears and their favorite pastimes” and a chance to “see them show off their amazing skills.”

And don’t forget the State Fair Petting Zoo, in a gated building at the south end of the midway.


Youth Talent Shows and Fair Queen Pageants are held at the Arkansas Building. Talent finalists perform at 1 p.m. on October 23; the Fair Queen finale begins at 5 p.m.

Although the State Fair no longer includes a rodeo, it still crowns Rodeo Queens. Competitors will compete in a horse riding competition and private interviews. The coronation ceremony will take place between 11 a.m. and noon Sunday at the Barton Coliseum.

(Special at the Democrat-Gazette)

(Special at the Democrat-Gazette)


◼️ Vaccinate Arkansas will be sponsoring a free covid-19 vaccination clinic in the hall of industry on Fridays and Saturdays during the fair.

◼️ The Official State Fair Guide, including daily schedules, maps and a list of food vendors, available in print in previous years, will now be available online and on your smartphone via the website, You can also use your smartphone to access the daily schedule of events and the map of the fairgrounds by scanning the QR codes on the information towers of the fairgrounds.

◼️ Regular daily admission is $12, $6 for children 6-12 and seniors 60+, free for children under 6. Locally purchased treads cost $35. Buy an entry in advance on today, before the fair opens, and pay $8, $4 for children and the elderly; day trip groups are $30.

◼️ Regular fairground parking is $10 per vehicle; premium parking — parking closer to the action in designated lots — costs $20.

Call (501) 372-8341 or visit

CORRECTION: Stephen Neeper & the Wild Hearts will open for Blackberry Smoke on October 22 at the Arkansas State Fair. An earlier version of this story misspelled the group’s name.

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