Arizona State Fair: Food Safety and Culinary Delights

$15 General Admission for Guests 8+

Children 7 and under are free



Opening weekend (Fri-Sun Sep 22-24) gates open at 4 p.m.

Admission Gate Hours (Approximate)
Mon, Tues and Wed: CLOSED
Thursday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The Arizona State Fair, running from September 22 to October 29, promises a thrilling and sugar-filled experience for visitors. With a myriad of food choices, including favorites like turkey legs and roasted corn, it’s essential to ensure the safety of these culinary delights. Maricopa County Health Inspector Starletta Brown plays a vital role in making this happen. All 88 vendors undergo inspections before the fair opens and receive surprise inspections later on to guarantee safe food preparation.

The inspections cover handwashing procedures, hygiene, and the proper handling of food, ensuring that everything is both hot and cold as necessary. Vendors are committed to maintaining high health code standards, with no food booths being shut down or cited for multiple violations so far.

Apart from the delectable food offerings, the Arizona State Fair features a culinary exhibition where entrants showcase their baking skills and more. However, due to the absence of preservatives in homemade items, keeping them fresh throughout the event can be challenging. Some tricks, like limiting certain ingredients and last-minute deliveries, help maintain the quality of these entries.

The culinary items are judged by panels that include professionals and enthusiasts, making it a diverse and exciting competition. To attract more attention, the exhibition has moved to the Coliseum in recent years. The fair organizers also continually introduce new categories to stay on-trend, like the addition of sugar-free and gluten-free categories this year, with a planned keto category for 2024.

At the end of the event, most culinary items are disposed of, but contestants often return to retrieve their canning jars.

The fair offers something for everyone, from thrilling rides to major musical acts. You can enjoy staple fair foods like corn dogs and funnel cakes or explore new menu items like deep-fried Oreo ice cream sandwiches and hot Cheeto and cheese chicken on a stick. Various promotions and deals, such as Read & Ride and Feel Good Fridays, help make the fair more affordable.

So, as you plan your visit to the Arizona State Fair, be sure to indulge in both the exhilarating experiences and the delectable culinary creations that make this annual event a true delight.