TEXARKANA, Ark. — With both a new carnival and time-honored traditions, the 75th annual Four States Fair & Rodeo kicks up its heels Friday to start 10 days of fun and frolic on the midway.
Marking three-fourths of a century, this year's Four States Fair has come a long way since its start at Spring Lake Park. Now the fair boasts a large array of attractions, including the midway rides, livestock shows, live music on the outdoor stage, demolition derby, equipment rodeo, and, for three evenings, a PRCA Rodeo competition.
This year's fair runs through Sunday, Sept. 22. Brent Talley, president and CEO of the Four States Fair & Rodeo, has been busy letting the public know about all the great things at this year's fair. In his office you'll find a saddle for the Miss Four States Fair 1964.
"Every day has got another action-packed event. Friday night the Equipment Rodeo, Saturday night the Demolition Derby, a crowd favorite across the region. Sunday is Seniors Day here at the fairgrounds. Dierksen Hospice will have some special events and activities for our seniors. Monday night is Road Runner Family Night at the fair where the rides are $1 with the stickers you get from Road Runner from around town," Talley said. Then Tuesday night is Back the Badge Day. Law enforcement and first responders with badges (plus three people) get in free that night.
Both the Equipment Rodeo and Demolition Derby start at 7:30 p.m. with gates open at 6:30 p.m.
"Wednesday night we're excited about having Mark Wills live in concert on the MHC Kenworth Outdoor Stage," Talley said. Show time is 8 p.m. That country recording artist is known for hits like "Wish You Were Here" and "19 Somethin,'" as well as "Places I've Never Been and "Don't Laugh at Me." The Moss Brothers Band opens for Wills.
"We will have entertainment on the outdoor stage every night," Talley said. That includes acts like Relentless and the Cummins Prison Band, who are back this year. "They are always a favorite," he said.
Then there's the RAM PRCA Rodeo on Thursday, Sept. 19, through Saturday, Sept. 21, starting nightly at 7:30 p.m. J.J. Harrison is this year's rodeo clown. "Then Sunday we'll come up with the Mexican bull riding," Talley said about the fair's final day.
"We're making some changes as we come into our 75th," Talley said. "We've changed up our carnival."
Wagner's Carnival on Midway is new this year. "The midway area is always a hit during the fair with so many different activities going on. Of course the midway is one of the highlights," said Talley.
Fairgoers will also notice a big new ticket booth as they enter the fair.
Then there are the beloved treats that fairgoers devour each year. This year's fair has a few new vendors on the circle in addition to traditional favorites. "Obviously the fair food is always a hit, as well," Talley said.
Gates open at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays. The Four States Fair Parade will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday downtown.
Fun passes giving unlimited gate admission and rides are available for $75 with a limited number available. The Mark Wills concert is free with regular fair admission but reserve seating close to the stage is $30.
The RAM PRCA Rodeo tickets are $20 for reserved box seats and bleacher general admission of $15 for adults, $10 for children. For Cavender's Kids Night at the Rodeo on Thursday, Sept. 19, children under 12 receive free rodeo admission with a paying adult but must have a ticket to enter.
Tickets for both the 4 States Equipment Rodeo and Demolition Derby are $15 for adult, $10 for children. All event tickets include fair admission.
(Admission: $7 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 12, free for 5 and under. The fairgrounds is located at 3700 E. 50th St. in Texarkana, Arkansas. More info and event ticket purchase: Four States Fair box office, FourStatesFair.com or 870-773-2941.)