Phoenix, Arizona, (Nov. 20, 2012) – It was a Fair to remember. 1,154,271 fairgoers fell in love with the 2012 Arizona State Fair and enjoyed a great assortment of attractions, cool concerts, exciting events, and wonderful weather. There were plenty of love-at-first sightings of delectable food options, including the all new Big Rib, Deep Fried Red Velvet Cake, Deep Fried Pop Tarts, Deep Fried Cinnamon Rolls, Poutine Fries, and Chocolate Covered Cheese Curds. Hearts were a-pumping with the newest thrill rides such as the Groovy Bus, Alien Abduction, Flying Dutchman, Zombie Mansion, and High Flyn’ Zip Lines. Fairgoers were especially enticed by multiple daily deals and discounts offered throughout the Fair’s 18-day run.
Another successful year of the We Care Wednesday program left charities breathless with excitement due to the generous donations of fairgoers. The fourth annual program offered free admission with a donation of specific items each Wednesday from Noon to 6:00 p.m. Arizona Stand Down, an outreach organization benefiting homeless veterans, received over 5,000 socks and underwear on October 17, while St. Mary’s Food Bank collected 13,071 lbs. of food on October 31. St. Vincent de Paul received 5,347 pairs of jeans, 1,441 pairs of tennis shoes, 273 pairs of socks, 645 miscellaneous clothing items, 309 backpacks, and a full pallet of food donations on October 24.
"We are always impressed but never surprised by the generosity of our fairgoers. This statewide family friendly event continues a longstanding tradition of bringing communities together and demonstrating the best in all of us," states Don West, Executive Director. "The Fair is honored to continue its mission of offering families a multitude of affordable educational and cultural activities in a safe, clean, and welcoming environment."
15 different acts romanced throngs of admirers during the 2012 Concert Series in the Coliseum, attracting more than 98,000 fans. The breathtaking line-up included: Billy Currington, Weezer, Adam Lambert, The Mavericks, John Fogerty, Nas, Prince Royce, Jane’s Addiction, Karmin with Zero Zero, Jerrod Niemann with Jana Kramer, Korn, Arizona Derby Dames, Sublime with Rome, Zendaya, and Old School Jam featuring performances by Midnight Star, Ready for the World, Club Nouveau, Shannon, Connie, and Stacey Q. In addition, more than 7,000 local community acts wooed and wowed Fair crowds.
67,900 Grandstand Arena were passionately drawn to cheer for their favorite rider, driver, or canine in a variety of events over 17 days. Ardent admirers devoted themselves to High School Rodeo, All Indian Rodeo, and the 3rd Annual State Fair Police K-9 Competition. Engines and hearts were revved up by Figure 8 Racing, Quarter Midget Racing, and two WGAS Motorsports events – Monster Trucks, Tuff Trucks & Trophy Karts and Monster Games featuring Freestyle Monster Truck Action & Motor Home Demolition Derby. Plenty of blood pumping excitement could be found at BMX Freestyle Team, and GCS Promotions FMX Show.
Exhibitors and their homespun arts and creative accomplishments rendezvoused again to continue the Fair tradition of showcasing their agricultural and creative accomplishments to the community. Over 9,000 competitive entries from 3,737 exhibitors were displayed. Nearly 1,000 blue ribbons were awarded in different departments, including Culinary Arts, Creative Crafts and Collections, Photography, Fine Arts, Youth Development, and Horticulture.
Animals of all shapes and species enthralled fairgoers, including Sue Wee Flying Pigs, Kerr’s Farm Tours, and the Great American Petting Zoo. In addition, Youth Week featured nearly 900 animals entered for judging by 200 youths from 16 communities across Arizona. Revenues from the annual Sale of Champions on October 21 generated more than $40,000 from the sales of 23 champion animals. 18-year old Marleigh Brown of Gilbert who threw some weight around with her 280-pound Grand Champion Market Swine, which roped in $2,200. Mesa's Meg Van Rijn, 15, made a triumphant return to the auction block this year with a Champion Heavy Weight Market Goat which netted her $2,100. The Moss family of Litchfield Park made this year’s auction a family affair with three sisters each scoring big with their Jersery Futurity Heifers. The youngest, 10-year-old Regan was the family’s top dollar earner with $2,000, 13-year-old Sheridan earned a cool $1,700 and 15-year-old Shelby brought in $1,800.
Two lovelorn goats found love with their buckets of feed in the 2012 Goat Vote for President. The goats chomped away and accurately predicted the winner of this year’s presidential race. Fairgoers interacted with approximately 2,400 butterflies at the Butterfly Adventure attraction. 320 people participated in the 4th Annual Arizona State Fair 5k Fun Run & Walk and an encore visit by Our Body: The Universe Within attracted 48,603 visitors. 229 bottles of wine for 517 happy participants were uncorked at the Arizona Wine Competition & Tasting while 645 smiling samplers enjoyed Beerfest. 17 of 24 Arizona commercial wines entered into the Wine Competition won bronze, silver, or gold medals. Fairgoers also took advantage of 66 rides, 51 games, 75 food booths, 225 commercial exhibitors. The most popular rides included La Grande Wheel, G Force, Crazy Coaster, Wild River, Skyride, and RaveWave.
217 different schools brought 5,032 students to experience the thrill of learning at the Fair through School Field Trips. In addition, 2,371 fourth- and fifth-grade students and their teachers from the Rodel Foundation’s MAC-Ro Math Initiative participated in a math-themed assembly with Rodel partners Bobby & Baxter from the Arizona Diamondbacks, followed by a morning enjoying the Fair’s many exhibits and attractions on October 31. Just a couple days later, 8,346 special needs kids, their parents, and volunteers enjoyed a magical morning at Phoenix Kiwanis Kid’s Day at the Fair. Arizona kids also benefited from other programs, including the annual Read and Ride Program sponsored by ABC15. 9,477 children, ages 5-14, earned 28,431 ride passes by reading three books and completing a report. Supported by Ray Cammack Shows, the program promotes literacy and has awarded 275,895 ride passes to Arizona children since its debut in 2000.
Fairgoers continued their love affair with the Fair’s unique foods, including almost anything deep fried and on-a-stick. It’s estimated that over 10,000 lbs. of sugar, 45,000 corndogs, 30,000 bags of cotton candy, as well as approximately 2-1/2 tons of chips and 165 gallons of hot sauce were consumed at this year’s Fair. All of the cooking oil used to create these delicacies led to a match made in green heaven. This year’s all new partnership between the Fair and Imperial Western Products, d.b.a. Biotane, generated the conversion of vendor waste cooking oil into 3,016 gallons of bio-diesel. By doing this, 30.16 metric tons of smog emissions were removed which is equivalent to taking 90 cars off the road.
Plans are underway for the 2013 Fair with tentative dates set for October 11 to November 3.
Photos from the 2012 Fair can be downloaded at http://azstatefair.com/logos-photos.