Historic changes coming to the fair, set for Oct. 12-22
With the theme “The Natural State of Fun,” the 2017 Arkansas State Fair is guaranteed to be not only fun, but historic as well. This year’s fair is scheduled for 11 consecutive days, beginning Thursday, Oct. 12. This marks the first time the fair has ever opened on a Thursday. For the past 48 years, the Arkansas State Fair has opened on a Friday for a 10-day run. Prior to 1969, the fair was a six-day event.
The other historic development concerns a change in carnival companies for 2017. North American Midway Entertainment (NAME) of Farmland, Indiana, will provide the carnival this year. NAME is the largest and most prestigious traveling outdoor amusement park in the world.
The company entertains more than 15 million people in 20 states in the U.S. and four Canadian provinces on an annual basis, and operates over 250 state-of-the-art rides, custom-designed food concessions and family-oriented games. NAME provides the carnival for 12 of the 50 largest fairs in North America, including the Indiana State Fair, Illinois State Fair, Mississippi State Fair, Miami-Dade County Fair and Expo, Kentucky State Fair, South Carolina State Fair, Canadian National Exposition and Calgary Stampede.
According to the fair’s General Manager Ralph Shoptaw, NAME will bring a new level of quality family entertainment to Arkansas.
“NAME has an outstanding reputation for top-of-the-line rides, games, food, personnel and, most importantly, standards of safety and operation. I know our patrons are going to really appreciate the enhanced experience NAME will bring to the fair, including at least a dozen rides that we’ve never had at the Arkansas State Fair,” said Shoptaw.
Fair officials invite all Arkansans to come experience the fun, food, thrills and excitement at the 78th Arkansas State Fair. Patrons can enjoy a variety of free concerts, great food, livestock competitions, various creative arts contests, interesting attractions, a professional rodeo and much more.
The 2017 Arkansas State Fair offers an assortment of special values to ensure that everyone has a great time at an affordable price. According to Shoptaw, Arkansans can find money-saving deals every day of the fair.
Regular daily admission at the gate is $10 for adults, $5 for children (ages 6 to 12) and senior adults (ages 60 and over) and free to children under six. Fairground parking is $10 per vehicle.