Fair Package

The 25th annual edition of the Maricopa County Fair -- regarded by many as a cozier, countrier, cooler, marginally less hucksterish version of the Arizona State Fair -- continues through Sunday, April 16, at the fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Along with the inevitable carnival rides and games on the midway; the usual array of agriculture and livestock competitions and exhibits; and the pie-eating contest, some of this year's highlights include:

Native American Village: The new attraction presents storytelling by tribal elders, "Code Talkers," arts and crafts, and music, including a Pow-Wow Drum Contest and Blanket Dance on Saturday, April 15.

Farmers Market/Craft Show: A wide variety of area artists and craftspeople, including many from the Hispanic and Native American community, will display and sell their wares, alongside home-grown goodies from Valley farms.

Flip-itz: The latest cultlike products being marketed to the kids -- little three- and four-legged creatures called Flip-itz, with names like Limber Louie and QB Ruby -- are given away free to kids between the ages of 5 and 13.

Ron Nix's Stuntman Rodeo: Hollywood stunt specialists, men and women alike, compete with each other in this 11th annual event, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 15. Stunt honcho Nix's work has appeared in such films as Riders in the Storm, Natural Born Killers and Raising Arizona.

Jim Covarrubias: The well-known area painter, who created the fair's official art, will also host an art center at the fair with hands-on art activities available for kids, including competitions for scholarship awards.

Miss Maricopa County Pageant: Contestants in four categories -- talent, interview, swimwear and eveningwear -- compete for a four-year tuition waiver at Grand Canyon University, and, far more important, the chance to claw their way to the top in the Miss Arizona Scholarship Pageant in June.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, April 13; 9 a.m. to midnight Friday, April 14; the same hours Saturday, April 15; and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, April 16. Admission is $5, $3 for kids 6 to 12 years old, free to kids 5 and younger. For more information, call 602-252-0717.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
M.V. Moorhead
Contact: M.V. Moorhead