It is now that time of year, the dreaded (or maybe loved) summer. In Tucson, we will be expecting temperatures well into the one-hundred plus region. We will go through sweltering heat, little to no cloud coverage, and burning winds, now this just seems awful. Many people may think to themselves, “Why would anyone want to do anything out in this heat?” Luckily for those of us who are a little braver to the summer heat, there is plenty fun to be had and entertainment to find. Tucson has a hidden little secret that may take some time for non-natives to realize, we have some of the best outdoor events you could ask for. If you take a drive out to Houghton and I-10, you may be surprised to see a growing figure out in the distance. No, that’s not a mirage; this small oasis of fun is real. Starting April 18 and running until April 28, the Pima County Fair graces us with droves of rides, entertainment, food, and fun for your whole family to enjoy, a place to “Get Your Fun On!” .
The Pima County Fair began 103 years ago here in Pima County, starting where Carillo Elementary Magnet School is located. For the past century has been growing and transforming to what we see today, smells of cotton candy wafting through the air (This year is the introduction of bacon flavored cotton candy), the shouts of children playing games at many of the prize booths, and the screams of those riding one of the many large-scale rides.
While the events may have begun on Aug. 18, there is a jammed packed calendar of events right up until the fair’s end. There will be concerts by bands such as the Silversun Pickups on Friday Aug. 19 as part of their larger national tour, as well as a host of others. The musical performances are aimed to please the palate of almost any attendee, children and adult alike. Whether this is your first time enjoying the sights and smells of the fair, or you have been there every year your entire life, everyone will find something to bring a smile to their face amongst the jumble of bright neon lights and crazy noises.
Now it is always assumed that fairs are going to be expensive, and they are. Luckily for us the Pima County Fair has a few different opportunities for patrons to save a little bit of cash while they have their fun. Coming up soonest, the fair will be offering both admission and parking for $2 each on Monday April 22. On the following day, Tuesday April 23, participating vendors on the fairgrounds will be offering menu items as well as some rides for only $2. On Thursday, April 24 the fair will also be offering $2 food and menu items between the hours of four and six in the afternoon. Now be careful driving down to try and take advantage of these deals, for parking is going to be pretty full with other deal-catchers. The regular operating prices at the fair will be $5 to park and $8 for admission for those who can’t make it for these deals. The fair opens at one during the week with events beginning at three. On the weekends, however, the main gate opens at ten in the morning with carnival events beginning at eleven. Now that money is out of the way, you may worry about the quality of the rides at the fair. Let me assure you, there is nothing to be concerned about. Each ride is inspected every morning across the board for all safety concerns.
This is not the only safety Tucson officials are worried about. In the wake of the terrible events that occurred last week in Boston, Pima County Sherriff’s Office will be beefing up security at the fair this year.
Find it within yourself and your family to break free of your posh air-conditioning and find some fun in the sun! The Pima County Fair is a place of excitement and entertainment for all ages, an experience that cannot be missed by any.
What: The Pima County Fair
Where: 11300 S Houghton Rd, Tucson, AZ 85747
When: April 18 – April 28
Main Gate: Monday-Friday: 1:00 p.m. Weekends: 10:00 a.m.
Carnival Hours: Monday-Friday: 3:00 p.m. Weekends: 11:00 a.m.
Cost: $8 Admission $5 Parking (Children 6-10 $3, younger for free)
What to Expect: Non-stop fun!