Fair Play: The Arkansas State Fair returns after record-breaking year


The Arkansas State Fair offers fun for all ages.

The Arkansas State Fair might be 82, but it can still party. The fair returns to Little Rock Oct. 14-23, offering food, entertainment, rides and various competition, from livestock to baking to pageants.

The event is coming off of the highest attendance in its history in 2021, attracting nearly 540,000 fans, a testament to the Arkansas State Fair’s enduring popularity.

“The Arkansas State Fair is Arkansas’ largest and most historic event,” said Tiffany Wilkerson, interim general manager. “This time-honored tradition attracts over half a million people to Little Rock and has tremendous economic impact on the city. Hotels, local businesses and restaurants benefit from the visitors the fair brings during our 10-day event.

“This year’s event will offer something for everyone.”

Unique fair food is one of the main attractions. DWAIN HEBDA

North American Midway Entertainment of Farmland, Indiana, will again provide the carnival attractions.

Patrons will find all their favorite fair food, including corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, hamburgers, pizza and more. Fairgoers will also want to sample this year’s novel offerings, including pickle pizza and the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos walking taco.

Regular daily admission is $12 for adults, $6 for children (ages 6-12) and seniors (ages 60 and over) and free to children under 6. Ride bands purchased on-site are $35 each. Regular fairground parking is $10 per vehicle; premium lots charge $20 per vehicle.

As in past years, the Arkansas State Fair offers a variety of ticket deals. Advance ticket purchase reduces gate admission to $8 for adults and $4 for children and seniors. Ride bands, good for unlimited single-day rides, are $30 purchased before opening day. Various promotions, which vary by day, are also scheduled, featuring free and reduced gate admission, rides and parking for various individuals and groups. To see the full lineup of promotions or to purchase advance or regular daily tickets visit ArkansasStateFair.com.

Youths can participate in the State Fair’s livestock competition for cattle, goats, sheep, horses, swine, poultry and rabbits.

Also back this year is a slate of concerts, free with gate admission. Fans can also upgrade to a premium concert experience for $20. Premium seating tickets can be purchased at the fairgrounds box office or online; gate admission is not included.

This year’s concert headliners include:

  • Oct. 14 – Drive-By Truckers
  • Oct. 15 – ’90s Dance Party featuring Color Me Badd, Tone Loc and Young MC
  • Oct. 16 – The Wallflowers
  • Oct. 22 – Blanco Brown

Presenting sponsors for this year’s Arkansas State Fair include the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, as well as Legends Resort & Casino, Arkansas Farm Bureau and Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.