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story.lead_photo.caption This year's Four States Fair features new attractions as well as old favorites that keep residents coming back for more. The fair runs from Friday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 23. (Gazette file photo)

With a theme of "Fun Comes Home," the Four States Fair & Rodeo puts on its fancy boots, dons snazzy Western wear and struts down the midway a week from today at the Four States Fairgrounds.

Held from Friday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 23, this year's Four States Fair features new attractions with those old favorites people have come to love, including an opening night Equipment Rodeo at the Entertainment Center.

Brent Talley, president and CEO of the Four States Fair, says this year's festivities are the 74th annual. "We look forward to having some great family fun for all 10 days of the fair," Talley said, noting they've worked hard to bring new things to this year's rendition.

That first Friday's Equipment Rodeo will see local operators competing with the type of equipment seen at construction work sites. They'll face off in various skill tests and equipment handling maneuvers with an obstacle course. Many young children are spellbound by equipment like this.

"We're trying to tie into our kids as well as our construction folks around," Talley said. The fair opens with Wright's Amusements Carnival at 4 p.m. that first Friday, while there's also junior beef cattle show that morning and a 9:30 p.m. street dance that night at the outdoor stage.

The midway opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

On Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. one of the fair's most popular, enduring attractions gets the spotlight. It's the 28th annual Demolition Derby inside the Entertainment Center.

"The Demolition Derby is always a great crowd favorite," Talley said. Typically it's a sellout or close to a sellout. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. start time. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children.

The Four States Fair Parade starts up at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 in downtown Texarkana. (Gazette file photo)

The fair's first Saturday also welcomes a different type of attraction. "Another new thing we have is Burt Fleming the chainsaw artist," Talley said. He'll display his talents with wood carving four times from early afternoon to the evening. He'll also be there Sunday and Monday. A gospel celebration will be held on the outdoor stage starting at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Of course, one of the time-honored traditions for the Four States Fair is the parade, which rolls downtown at 10 a.m. that Saturday.

The Ram PRCA rodeo brings the broncos and bucking bulls to the Entertainment Center from Thursday, Sept. 20, to Saturday, Sept. 22, with a 7:30 p.m. start each night. Box seats are $20 with adult tickets for $15 and child tickets for $10. Box seating is reserved while bleacher is general admission. This year's rodeo clown is J.J. Harrison.

Other attractions ongoing throughout the fair include the daily livestock shows and "a host of new food vendors," Talley said, who bring that "great Four States Fair food."

For music and more entertainment, the Circle J Cowboy Church Band performs that first Sunday, a Starz Youth Talent show is held Monday and Thursday, Nashville recording artist Mo Pitney performs in concert Tuesday (free with fair admission), the Oklahoma Kid performs Wednesday and Thursday (with trick roping), Trophy Husband performs Friday, Sept. 21., and Relentless performs Saturday, Sept. 22.

For those with a speedy sweet tooth, an ice cream eating contest is held 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at the Ag Learning Center. There's also a 4D Open Barrel Race at 8 a.m. the final fair day. The Globe of Death motorcycle riders perform that final Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The fair's closing day also includes the Mexican Rodeo, a "Celebrando Dia Del Hispano" starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are $35-$45. Festivities in the Entertainment Center ring that evening include various bull riding events with a full mariachi band performing, too.

"That's quite a cultural treat for those who've never been to one," Talley said. Ten-day fun passes are now on sale for $75 and photo IDs will be available next week, he said. There are unlimited ride specials for $30 per day for both weekends, Friday through Sunday.

Other promotions include Senior Citizens Day on Sunday, Sept. 16, $1 Ride Day at the Fair on Monday, Sept. 17, and Back the Badge Day on Tuesday, Sept. 18. First responders with their IDs and three others with them get into the fair for free on Back the Badge Day. The Ag Learning Center is open each day. In addition to educational exhibits and games, pig races will be held there.

(Fair gate admission: $7 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 12. Free parking. All event tickets include fair admission. Tickets available at the Four States Fair box office or online at FourStatesFair.com. More info: 870-773-4831.)

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