2011 Arkansas State Fair kicks off Oct. 14

    1:10 PM, Oct 12, 2011   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Officials at the Arkansas State Fair extend an invitation to all Arkansans to come out and experience the fun, food, thrills and excitement at the 2011 Arkansas State Fair, which runs Friday, Oct. 14 through Sunday, Oct. 23. For ten days in October, patrons can enjoy a variety of free concerts, great food, livestock competitions, various creative arts contests, interesting attractions, professional bull riding and much more. The diversity of entertainment is sure to please everyone.

    The 2011 Arkansas State Fair offers a variety of special values to ensure that everyone has a great time at great prices. According to Ralph Shoptaw, general manager of the Fair, Arkansans can find special deals every day of the Fair.

    "We have special promotions and discounts every sing day," said Shoptaw. "For the third year in a row our guests can enjoy great fair food and save money on parking and admission with Lunch at the Fair. 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. Receive this year's Fair Food Vendors Map at the gate and find your favorite Fair food."

    Advance Purchase Ride Passes will be available at 34 participating Walgreens stores in Arkansas and redeemable for a one-day unlimited ride armband at the State Fair. The special $19 pas can be redeemed at midway ticket booths any day of the Fair, except Dollar Day on Monday Oct. 17, and will save patrons $3.

    Patrons can also purchase advance gate admission for just $6.99 and a Family Value Pack for $42.95. The value pack includes four Fair admission tickets (good for any age), one parking pass, 24 ride coupons and $10 in food coupons. Family Value Packs may be purchased at the Fairgrounds Ticket Office, online, by phone at (501) 372-8341 or at participating Walgreens locations. Food coupons are redeemable at any Food Court vendor and in Barton Coliseum. (Coupons not accepted at carnival food vendors.)

    Daily admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children (ages 6 to 12) and senior adults (ages 60 and over) and free to children ages 6 and under. Fairgrounds parking is $5 per vehicle.

    The Fair staff has scheduled another great lineup of entertainers to perform at the 2011 State Fair. "We are pleased to announce that all of the 2011 Arkansas State Fair Concert Series performances are always free with gate admission," said Shoptaw.

    Kenny Wayne Shepherd takes the state Friday, Oct. 14 at 8:15 p.m. Sunday Oct. 16 at 7 p.m., Confederate Railroad performs, followed by the Marshall Tucker Band. The Monsters of Classic Rock bring their show to the main stage on Wed. Oct. 19, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Country legend Travis Tritt performs Thurs. Oct. 20 at 8:15 p.m. Friday Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. the State fair welcomes Foghat and Jefferson Starship for a huge evening of classic rock. All of these performances take place on the Wendy's Main Stage.

    Fairgoers can enjoy a variety of free entertainment on the Wendy's Main Stage, including:
    - Taylormade
    - Mindy McBride
    - Jason Campbell
    - Tyrannosaurus Chicken
    - Spoken
    - Kingsdown
    - The Meanies
    - Texaco Country Showdown
    - Light-Headed

    The Arkansas State fair will proudly present Ridin' in the Rock when the Professional Bull Riders Tour (PBR) stampedes into Barton Coliseum on consecutive nights Fri. Oct. 21 and Sat. Oct. 22. The PBR Touring Pro Division features up-and-coming bull riders as well as tour veterans competing to qualify for the PBR World Finals. Friday and Saturday performances start at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

    Patrons can purchase PBR Ridin' in the Rock tickets online at TicketMaster.com or at the Fair Ticket Office. Tickets start at just $10, and include $15 and $20 seating levels. VIP seats are $25. All seats are reserved. Tickets purchased in advance include State Fair gate admission.

    The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas is presenting sponsor for Ridin' in the Rock. Additional sponsors include Coleman Dairy and Bumper to Bumper-AC Delco.

    Deggeller Attactions of Stuart, Florida, will bring the midway attractions to the Fair once again. Fairgoers looking for exciting and thrilling carnival rides are sure to be pleased with the selection of 65-plus rides. Several new rides can be found on the Arkansas Federal Credit Union Midway, including Rocken Out, Castle Pillow and Nemo.

    It is not the State fair without the smells and tastes of Fair food. Fairgoers will find all their favorites, and many new favorites this year, including Beer Can Chicken, Fried Kool-Aid, Cajun Stew, Crawfish Meat Pies, deep-fried and grilled watermelon and pineapple, Jamakin-Me-Crazy Strawberry and Lemonade Slush Drinks, Vanilla Saltwater Taffy, Letha's Ole Fashioned Fried-Pies, Fried Peach on a stick, S'more on a stick, Pie on a stick, Fried Cookies on a toothpick, Jalapeno Lemonade, European sweet and sour candy, Moink Balls on a stick and much more!

    According to Shoptaw, patrons can choose from approximately 53 food vendors that will be set up on the Fairgrounds. "The Big Show Diner will be open again this year with it popular new addition, the Showtime Deck. Patrons can again enjoy outdoor dining on a covered deck overlooking the midway. The Diner will offer breakfast, Mexican food, sirloin burgers, great down home cooking and even gourmet rib eye steak and lobster dinners. The food will be fresh-made, plus the Diner will stay open late," said Shoptaw.

    The Livestock Show is a great part of the Arkansas State Fair's heritage, and each year more and more people bring their best animals to Little Rock to see how they measure up. It is an honor to continue the tradition of showcasing some of the finest livestock in Arkansas at the State Fair. This year nearly 10,000 animals are expected to arrive on the Fairgrounds in October. Exhibitions and competitions will include activities involving beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, boer goats, dairy goats, poultry and rabbits.

    According to Livestock Administrator Jerry Masters, the Fair will welcome over 4,000 Araknsas 4-H and FFA members who have worked with their animals all year long to compete for top honors. "The Livestock Program requires a tremendous amount of dedication and personal responsibility from these young people, and the adults who support their efforts. The rewards are amazing, and the life skills such as leadership, responsibility and competitive attitudes that are developed through this program truly last a lifetime," said Masters.

    A highlight in the Livestock Department each year is the Junior Livestock Sale of Champions that will be held on Friday Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. in Barton Coliseum. Through the support of over 60 businesses and individuals the Auction raises more than $100,000 each year to help support winners in the Junior Livestock Shows. The money is often used for the young person's education and to help fund future livestock projects. Everyone is invited to the Auction, a wonderful opportunity for young people and members of the business community to work together in an effort to promote Arkansas agriculture.

    New this year is a miniature horse and pony show Friday, Saturday and Sunday Oct. 21-23 at the Equestrian Center.

    Livestock competitions will be held daily on the Fairgrounds. For schedules of competitions listing specific dates, times and locations, refer to the daily schedules found online.

    The Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts Building will host a variety of exciting activities throughout the Fair. "We have a great Creative Arts program, with more than 1,200 classes of competition for exhibitors of all ages in various categories of crafts, hobbies, and cooking skills. Many of the items are absolutely gorgeous pieces of art, and the overall display is truly amazing," said Deb Crow, competitive evetns coordinator. "Live competitions and demonstrations are scheduled daily, and artists and crafters will be displaying their artwork all ten days of the fair."

    Three different competitions highlight the 2011 schedule, the Arkansas Wine Competition, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship and the Home Brew Beer Competition.

    The state's wineries will compete for gold, silver and bronze awards in 106 wine categories. The Grand Champion award for the State fair's first amateur wine competition will also be awarded. According to crow, a special wine tasting event will take place Sun. Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. for interested fair patrons. All proceeds from the wine competition and tasting go to the Dr. Justin Morris Scholarship Fund.

    Judging for the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship will take place Wed. Oct. 19 at 10:45 a.m.

    The Central Arkansas Fermenters will judge the finals of the Home Brew Beer Competition on Sun. Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.

    The State fair also is sponsoring an Amateur Photo Contest. All contest photos must be taken at the Fair and entered in one of six categories. Additionally, the Arkansas State Fair Cookbook, loaded with winning recipes from past years, will be offered for sale online, at the fair ticket office and in the Arts & Crafts Building.

    Other competitions include two themed photography contests, floral arrangements, ice cream, pies, cookies, pork, rice and a chili cook-off with the help of sponsors such as Hidden Valley, Spam, Fleischmann's, Arkansas Times, Arkansas Outdoors Photographers Club, Central Arkansas Fermenters, Arkansas Farm Bureau and more!

    Talented youth from across the state of Arkansas have an opportunity to compete in the Youth Talent Competition and Fair Queen Pageant held during the Fair. The Arkansas Building will be the venue for four days of regional competition or Fair Queen and Youth Talent contestants, all hoping to make the finals on Saturday night, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., followed by award ceremonies, and the crowning of the 2011 Arkansas State Fair Queen.

    Two new events are planned this year. A Junior Fair Queen Pageant for young ladies between the ages of 13 and 16 will coincide with the Fair Queen Pageant schedule. On Sat. Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Arkansas Building will host the Little Mr. and Miss Pageants.

    Rodeo Queen Contestants will compete for the title through a riding competition at 10 a.m. Sat. Oct. 22 and private interviews. See all the contestants ride in the Grand Entry of both PBR performances, and don't miss the crowning of 2011 Arkansas State Fair Rodeo Queen during the Sat. night performance at 7:30 p.m.

    Following the successful opening of the Arkansas State Fair Museum last year, the Fair proudly announces the addition of the Barton Rock and Roll Museum. The Rock and Roll Museum, inside the northeast concourse of Barton Coliseum, will feature 25 classic rock bands that played here through the years. Collections of band and concert memorabilia from legendary Little Rock concerts will be on display.

    Patrons can also see and relive the history of the Arkansas State Fair. The State Fair Museum is located adjacent to the Farm Bureau Arts & Crafts building. In just a few minutes, visitors can learn fascinating facts about the Fair's storied 72-year history. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

    Fairgoers will discover several new attractions and some returning favorite. "We work hard to keep the exhibits and entertainment fresh at the Fair. This year, we're debuting a very funny show called ShenaniGuns," said Shoptaw. "ShenaniGuns is a Wild West comedy show that's full of corny jokes and sight gags that are sure to keep folks entertained."

    Back for their second year at the Arkansas State Fair is Wild About Monkeys. Trainers Kevin and Martina Keith bring their highly intelligent baboons to the stage for a fun-filled show that is equal parts entertaining and educational.

    "The Fair is also pleased to welcome back two of our more popular attractions - the Exotic Petting Zoo with pony rides, and the Show Me Swine Races," state Shoptaw.

    Coleman Dairy Presents:
    ShenaniGuns! Comedy Wild West Show is the Old West at its funniest. Audiences follow the slapstick antics of Sheriff Hoppalong Casually and Deputy Leon P. Jones as they face off against two dimwitted desperadoes. Performed in front of a custom-built Wild west town, the show includes an off-the-wall combination of cornball comedy, special effects and audience participation.

    Wild About Monkeys is a captivating live animal production that showcases the unique personality, talent and behavior of baboons. These "show biz" primates perform hilarious routines with their trainers. In fact, you've probably seen some of these monkeys starring in feature films, television shows and commercials.

    The Exotic Animal Petting Zoo is an educational, "hands on" experience for children and adults, and will be located in the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas' Family Land. The attraction features exotic animals from around the world and pony rides for the children.

    Show Me Swine Races will be performing all 10 days of the Fair. The races feature athletic porkers racing around a sawdust track as fast as their hooves will carry them. The reward for the first pig across the finish line? A single cookie!

    The Great American Wild West Show makes its Arkansas debut at the 2011 Fair. It's a spectacular celebration of the American West on a grand scale. Cowboys and Indians, Hollywood Heroes and Daredevil Riders saddle up for a thrilling show that features action, music and history. Trick riders and ropers, a stagecoach and a herd of real longhorn steers are just some of the highlights of the Great American Wild West Show. Showtimes are Sat. Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets may be purchased for $18, and children's tickets are just $12. Box seats are available for $25. Children under 2 are admitted free. All seats are reserved. Tickets include State Fair gate admission when purchased prior to entering the fairgrounds. Doors open one hour before each show.

    According to Shoptaw, the Fair staff worked with various sponsors to provide a variety of promotions to make the State Fair more affordable for Arkansas families.

    Special daily promotions include:
    KARK-4 Ride-O-Rama: Friday Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to close buy an armband at a midway ticket booth for $22 and get unlimited rides this day. Gate admission and parking not included.
    Alice 107.7 Ride Day: Sat. Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to close buy a $22 armband at a midway ticket booth and get unlimited rides this day. Gate admission and parking not included.
    Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Weekend: Oct. 15-16. ECA members receive a special coupon in their statements good for a $2 discount on gate admission.
    Power 92/KOKY/Praise Ride Day: Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to close buy an armband at a midway ticket booth for $22 and get unlimited rides this day. Gate admission and parking not included
    Coca-Cola Kiddie Days: Oct. 17 ad Oct. 21 kids ages 6 and under can ride the Kiddie Rides from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Free gate admission 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for adults bringing kiddies.
    The Point 94.1 Dollar Day: Oct. 17 Gate admission, parking and rides are only $1 each.
    Super Tuesday sponsored by 100.3 The Edge, KSSN 96 105.1 The Wolf, 94.9 and TOM-FM: Oct. 18 buy a special $22 armband and get unlimited rides from 11 a.m. to close.
    Susan G. Komen "Fair for the Cure" Day: Oct. 18 all patrons wearing their Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure t-shirts to the Fair receive $2 discount gate admission.
    Military Appreciate Day: Oct. 18 11 a.m. to close free gate admission for military personnel and immediate family members with a valid Military ID
    College Night, sponsored by 100.3 The Edge: Oct. 18 from 6 p.m. to close FREE gate admission for college students with valid school ID
    Wendy's Wednesday: Oct. 19 buy a $22 armband and get unlimited rides from 11 a.m. to close. Save your Wendy's ride band and use it to receive a FREE Wendy's Frosty at participating Wendy's restaurants. Gate admission and parking not included.
    Ladies Night Out: Oct. 19 free gate admission for ladies 18 and older from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Thrill Thursday: Oct. 20 buy a $22 armband at a midway ticket booth and get unlimited rides this day. Gate admission and parking not included.
    "Ridin' in the Rock" PBR coupon: Oct. 21-22 get $3 off a $15 reserved adult ticket. One coupon per ticket must be redeemed at the Fairgrounds Ticket Office.
    103.7 The Buzz Ride Day: Oct. 21 from 11 a.m. to close buy an armband at a midway ticket booth for $22 and get unlimited rides this day. Gate admission and parking not included.
    School Day at the Fair: Oct. 21 a $3 fair gate admission for all school children through 12th grade beginning at 1 p.m.
    Arkansas Federal Credit Union and Citadel Broadcasting Ride Day: Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to close buy an armband at a midway ticket booth for $22 and get unlimited rides this day. Gate admission and parking not included All AFCU members who present a valid AFCU membership ID card, ATM card, credit or debit card receive FREE gate admission. (1 admission per valid ID card) Plus, AFCU members can purchase a $22 armband at a midway ticket booth for $22 and get unlimited rides from 11 a.m. to close
    FFA, FCCLA, Scout Day and 4H day: Oct. 22 $3 fair gate admission sold until 5 p.m. to FFA and FCCLA students, scouts and 4H members
    Power 92 Power Pack: Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to close buy an armband at a midway ticket booth for $22 and get unlimited rides this day. Gate admission and parking not included.
    KARK-4 Ride-O-Rama: Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to close buy an armband at a midway ticket booth for $22 and get unlimited rides this day. Gate admission and parking not included.
    Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts "Ridin' in the Rock" PBR coupon: Oct. 21-22 get $3 off a $15 reserved ticket. One coupon per ticket.

    (Source: Arkansas State Fair)

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