Updated: Oct 2, 2018
While there are plenty of things to do in Phoenix and Scottsdale on any given weekend, the area draws in visitors for a wide range of events. From the Waste Management Open for golf fans to the Phoenix Auto Show for car lovers, there are plenty of options for entertaining weekends. Of all these events, however, one of the biggest draws is the Arizona State Fair.
Open every year in the fall, the fair draws in over one million visitors to Phoenix. Unlike many state fairs, however, these visitors aren’t just coming in from the surrounding towns and cities. The Arizona State Fair draws in tourists from across the nation and even international sightseers. There’s certainly a reason this massive event, located on the Arizona State Fairgrounds, is ranked as one of the top five state fairs in the entire country.
Greeting visitors are 75 amusement rides, including the world’s largest transportable Ferris wheel. There are over 300 booths to peruse and the sheer amount of options for delicious food is enough to overwhelm anyone. Many of the buildings on the fairgrounds have been around for almost a century, including the Gem and Mineral Building and the Arizona State Fair Grandstand.
The fair has certainly come a long way. It was first held in 1884, back when Arizona was just a territory. In those days, families would attend agricultural and livestock exhibits, let their children play various games, and of course watch the horse, pony and mule races. When the Salt River flooded in 1891, the original location of the fair was wiped out and it moved to where it stands today.
Between hiking, climbing and exploring the desert, it’s easy to fill your days with fun activities in Phoenix, Arizona. But if you’re in the area in October, the fair is something you don’t want to miss!