Join the Fun as 79th AR State Fair Kicks Off Thursday

"Come Along for the Ride" at the 2018 Arkansas State Fair

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (News release) – Consider this your invitation to “Come Along for the Ride” at the 2018 Arkansas State Fair.

Of course, that means come along for the exciting carnival rides, but it’s also an invitation to come along for the music, unique foods, crafts, attractions, livestock competitions and all of the fall fun that the fair offers.

For the second year in a row, the fair will run 11 consecutive days, beginning Thursday, October 11.

The 79th edition of the Arkansas State Fair offers patrons a variety of free concerts, great food, livestock competitions, various creative arts contests, interesting attractions, professional rodeo and much more. Click here for rodeo information in English and Spanish.

The fair goes to great lengths to provide special values to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the event. According to Shoptaw, Arkansans can find money-saving deals every day of the fair.

“We have special promotions and discounts every single day,” said Shoptaw. “For the tenth straight year, our guests will be able to enjoy great fair food and save money on parking and admission with Lunch at the Fair, sponsored by Oaklawn Gaming. Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., we’re offering free parking and free gate admission for anyone who would like to come out to the fairgrounds for lunch. Look for our Fair Food Vendors Map in the Fair Guide, and find your favorite food.”

New this year, the Super Pass is available exclusively at Tropical Smoothie Cafes in Arkansas and offers patrons a money-saving combo ticket good for admission and unlimited rides for one day at the fair. The special $30 pass can be redeemed at midway ticket booths any day of the fair except Dollar Day on Monday, October 15, and will save fairgoers 10 dollars.

Tickets may be purchased online at ArkansasStateFair.com during the fair (October 11-21), prices are $7.99 for adult admission and $3.99 for children and senior admission. Ride bands may be purchased for $30.

Opening day, October 11, features a new promotion – Thrifty Thursday. Special pricing from 4 pm. to close includes $5 gate admission for adults, $3 gate admission for children and seniors, $5 parking and a $25 unlimited, one-day ride band.

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.

Back again this year is the convenient Express Access Pass that entitles the holder to use special express access lanes at carnival rides. Patrons will still need ride tickets or a ride pass wristband to ride. The Express Access Pass can be purchased at any midway ticket booth for $15 and is good for one day only on the day of purchase.

Quantities are limited and may be used only on rides with active express lanes.

The Fair introduced a weekend shuttle program three years ago to help alleviate potential traffic problems.

Shoptaw said the fair plans to continue the successful shuttle program.

“Our patrons have really embraced the shuttle service, so we’re planning on providing the free shuttles again this year. During designated times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, people can park in specific state government parking lots west of the State Capitol building. 

Fridays from 6 to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 11 p.m., shuttle buses will pick up riders at the State Capitol lots and drop them off at the south gate on the fairgrounds. When you’re ready to leave, you can board the shuttle at the south gate to return to your car,” explained Shoptaw.

Another service at this year’s fair is breastfeeding stations provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Nursing mothers can find comfort station tents with tables and chairs located near the main food court and in Kiddie Land.

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