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The Arizona State Fair (until Nov. 7)

Unlike art walks, the State Fair is all about people watching and shenanigans. So grab a camera and a bottle of TUMS -- here's a peek at our Field Guide to the Arizona State Fair: ...

Illustration by Claire Lawton
Click on the image (or right here) for a full-sized, printable version.

More State Fair hints and details after the jump ...

On the Map:
- Food/Drink: Expect the expected ... with a dash of crazy. For the full food rundown, check out Fry Girl's State Fair experience on our foodie sister blog, Chow Bella.

- Rides: Are anywhere from two to eight tickets, which you can purchase at the ticket kiosks at either end of the park (though find any carny with a card reader and they can fill up your "fun pass" if you hand over the cash). The zip line is a must, and should be taken first -- you can get a good view of what's around from about two stories up and prioritize. The Ferris Wheel is another classic and takes about 20 minutes. It's best at sunset and at night when the Fair lights are turned on and everything gets that "State Fair" glow ...

- People Watching: Let's be real -- this is at least half of the reason you came to the Fair. And trust us, it doesn't disappoint.

- Refuge: While the stench of livestock is down right overwhelming, the petting zoo and cattle barn warehouses are the only air-conditioned joints on the grounds. There's also a mini grandstand inside, and visitors seem comfortable setting up their own hangouts with fold-out chairs and wagons.

Off the Map:
- Concerts: Coming up: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Megadeth, Snoop Dogg, and Godsmack ... keep up with the Fair's music scene on our music blog, Up on the Sun.

- Cheats: If it's particularly warm outside, visit one of the balloon-popping tents to get a blast of air from one of the air machines. If you've had too much strawberry lemonade, check out the bathrooms in the Coliseum. If you're looking for the totally bizarre, visit the kids in the hamster balls, just south of the Coliseum (pictured above).

Other Useful Hints:
- Hours: Until November 7 -- Wednesday through Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (it closes at 10 p.m. on Sundays). Be sure to check out specific opening/closing dates on the official State Fair website.

- Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors, free for kids under 5 years old, and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., it's buy one admission, get one free.

- Parking: is $10 in the main lot, but you might be able to find a better deal from one of the nearby independently owned lots or in the surrounding neighborhoods.

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