Southern Arizona fair returns

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Jen Pimentel | The Daily Wildcat The ferris wheel and a booth game at the Pima County Fair on April 23, 2016.

Now that Spring Fling has come to a close, it is time to get ready for the next big fair of the semester: the Pima County Fair. From April 19-29, this annual carnival will offer a variety of rides and attractions, as well as food vendors for all ages. 

“Every year, the Pima County Fair is an event that many natives enjoy going to,” said Kinnetay Powell, a junior majoring in finance. “It’s a big occasion for people who live in all areas of Southern Arizona.”

As a Tucson native, he emphasized the excitement the carnival brings to the community. 

This year, the carnival offers nearly 60 different rides and almost 50 games. From classics such as the Big Wheel to more unique rides like the Galaxy Coaster, there is something for all ages on the vast fairground.

“I’ve always been a sucker for the Ferris wheel. It’s so nice to ride at night because you can see all the bright lights down below,” said Sheila Hill, an anthropology junior.  

Not only are there an abundance of rides, but there are also unique features such as this year’s Bengal Tiger Exhibit, horse show and a petting zoo.

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“I’m a huge animal lover, so I’m really excited to see all the exhibits featuring the different exotic animals such as the Bengal Tiger,” said Tim Mitchell, a senior studying film production. “At the same time, I’m wanting to visit the petting zoo with all the different farm animals.” 

With so many things to do, it only makes sense that there are tons of food options as well. With 43 vendors, there is a variety of specialty foods, such as Indian fry bread and Sonoran hot dogs. 

“There’s a lot of cultural food to experience,” Mitchell said. “Since there are so many booths with local and unique foods, I love taste-testing a little of everything.”

While there will be local cuisine offered, Pima County Fair also offers the classic fair favorites. 

“There’s nothing better than enjoying a good funnel cake with some good kettle corn to go with it,” Hill said. 

Aside from the abundance of attractions, many fair-goers also attend for the various big-name performers who range in different genres and styles.

This year, musicians such as Ludacris, Mercyme and Ja Rule & Ashanti will be some of the 12 musicians headlining on the Budweiser Main Stage. 

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“This will be the first year that I’m going with my girlfriend,” Powell said. “I’m excited to take her to the face-painting booth and attend a live concert.” 

Although this fair is an annual outing for some individuals, for others it gives a sense of nostalgia. 

“It reminds me of home,” Hill said. “Our city has a lot of fairs, and I’d love to see how different they are.” 

Whether young or old, the Pima County Fair offers a day filled with great food, attractions and fun for all. 


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