Arizona State Fair discounts: 10 ways to save money on admission and food
The Republic | azcentral.com9:32 a.m. MST October 12, 2015
With a little time and research, there are tons of ways to score deals, discounts and cheap tickets to virtually every aspect of the Arizona State Fair.
The Arizona State Fair is back with rides, decadent food,concertsand more.
The annual festival runs Friday,Oct. 16, through Sunday, Nov. 8, at the fairgrounds at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road. General admission is $10 or $5 for kids between the ages of 5-13 and seniors 55 and older.
But you'll pay extra fees on top of that to park, sample those fried treats and get your thrills on your favorite roller coaster.
However, with a little time and research, there are tons of ways to score deals, discounts and cheap tickets to virtually every aspect of the event.
"There are not a lot of new discounts, but there are a LOT of discounts," said Kristi Walsh, the fair's assistant executive director. "We have discounts every single day. So if you do a little bit of homework, you'll save a lot of money."
We've rounded up our favorite deals all in one place.
The 'early bird' discount
For those ready to commit to a day at the fair before it even starts, you can save big. Purchased by midnight Thursday, Oct. 15, you can get a general admission ticket for only $6 and a kids/senior ticket for just $3. There are also discounts on carnival "fast passes," which get you to the front of the line (actual ride tickets are sold separately), ride-wristband discounts, a season pass and deals on such specialty events as the Encounters: A UFO Experience. There are also a host of VIP parking passes available, which can be particularly useful on busy concert nights. Browsethe presale deals here.
Opening day discount
Be there when it all begins, and you can score entry on the cheap. On Friday, Oct. 16, general fair admission will be just $2 until 5 pm.
The dairy lover discount
Like milk, yogurt or cheese? This deal is for you. You can receive $3 off any regularly priced fair admission ticket when you bring in a receipt showing that you've purchased one milk product, one yogurt product and one cheese product. All brands are accepted, but you must purchase all three dairy items in a single transaction. The discount applies to any full-price adult, senior or child admission ticket on any given day during the fair's three-week run. More details on this dealcan be found here.
The coupon enthusiast discount
The Passport to Savings coupon book is back. Spend $5 on this little booklet and the fair says you can save more than $1,000 on food, rides, shopping. You can even get a free return admission ticket for another visit during the 2015 fair run.Buy the book before midnight on Oct. 15and you can save $1. Deals inside the booklet include: purchase two jumbo hot dogs and get souvenir cup free; purchase a family-size pizza and get four free sodas; buy a turkey leg at regular price, get a cob of corn for $3. You get the idea. Pick your food and vendor, and look for savings. A complete list ofbooklet-related deals is here.
The kid bibliophile discount
This is for all you kids out there (between the ages of 5 and 14) who love a good book — and a free carnival ride. Read three books approved by your teacher/guardian that are appropriate for your age and reading level. Complete the official "Read & Ride" program formand ask an adult to sign it, verifying you read the books. Then, you and your accompanying adult can bring the form to the guest-services booth and redeem the form for three free ride passes. Only one form is accepted per child, per day.
The "give back" discount
Wednesdays are called "We Care Wednesdays" at the state fair. You get free admission until 6 p.m., if you make a charitable donation of four non-perishable food items to St. Mary's Food Bank. Note: Bottled water and ramen noodles will not be accepted. Other discounts to note: Wednesday is game and ride discount day, with $2 rides and games all day.
Armed Forces Day
On Wednesday, Nov. 4, the fair is honoring America’s active duty, reservists, veterans and retired military personnel and their families by offering free admission to the fair. Enter through the Encanto admission gate, located on the northeastern corner of the fairgrounds. Military ID required.
The 'because its Thursday' (and lunchtime) discount
Each Thursday during the fair's run (Oct. 22, 29 and Nov. 5), you can get in free if you arrive between noon and 1 p.m. Thursday is also "unlimited ride-wristband day." Wristbands are $30 on Thursday and sold until 9 p.m. They are honored until 11 p.m.
The grocery shopper
The fair calls this deal "Free Fry's Fridays." Here's how it works: Starting Oct. 1 (so its underway already), if you spend $40 or more at any Fry's location, your receipt will feature a voucher for two free adult admissions to the State Fair. The only catch? They are only good for entry on Fridays, but what a way to start the weekend. All you have to do is bring your receipt to any admission gate to redeem the tickets. There are a couple of disclaimers: You must spend $40 in a single purchase. Don't try to get in with eight receipts for $5 each. The $40 threshold must be hit before tax is added in. (It excludes purchases of alcohol, tobacco, fuel and gift cards) The vouchers are valid Oct. 23 and 30, and Nov. 6, for entry between noon and 6 p.m.
The weekend warrior
Head to the fair on either Saturday or Sunday. If you arrive before 2 p.m., admission is just $2. Save even more cash by parking at the Arizona State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington St., and grabbing a free shuttle over to the fairgrounds. The park and ride shuttle runs from 10 a.m. until one hour after the fair closes.
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