The Pima County Fair is one of Southern Arizona’s largest and most anticipated annual events with nearly 250,000 visitors over an 11 day period.
People from all over the county come to see wacky and wonderful shows, to sing along with their favorite bands, to squeal with laughter on carnival rides, and to eat the kind of greasy and sugary fare that only comes around once per year.
Mark your calendars for April 18-28, 2019 – and read on to find out what to expect and how to save money at the 2019 fair.
What are the dates for the 2019 Pima County Fair?
Thursday, April 18, 2019 through Sunday, April 28, 2019
What is the location of the Pima County Fair?
Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Rd., Tucson
What are the hours?
Main Gate Hours:
- Monday-Friday: 2:00pm – close (approximately 11:00pm)
- Sat-Sunday: 10:00am – close (approximately midnight)
- Monday-Friday: 3:00pm -close (approximately 11:00pm)
- Sat-Sunday: 11:00am – close (approximately midnight)
Why would I go to the Pima County Fair?
- To ride the 60+ rides – ferris wheels, roller coasters, giant slides, flying swings
- To see your favorite bands and musicians in concert
- To wander through the livestock barns with the kids
- To admire the artwork, culinary creations, and sewing projects of local Tucsonans
- To munch on Indian fry bread, pizza on a stick, onion rings, funnel cake, cotton candy, and other fare
What shows are on the agenda for the 2019 Pima County Fair?
- Family Fun Stage with Professor Smart
- Great American Pony Rides
- Pollinators, Little Helpers Big Results
- Rawhide Express
What bands/musicians will be performing at the 2019 Pima County Fair?
- Shaggy 4/18
- Seether 4/19
- Carly Pearce 4/20
- Frankie Ballard 4/20
- Rich The Kid 4/21
- Mark Farner’s American Band 4/22
- MJ Live 4/23
- Newsboys 4/24
- TLC 4/25
- P.O.D., Buckcherry, Adelitas Way 4/26
- Dia De La Banda 4/28
How much does admission cost?
- General Admission: $9
- Military: $5
- Children 6-10: $5
- Children 5 & Under: FREE
- Parking: $5
Concerts are included with fair admission. A limited number of upgraded seats are available to purchase for $15 at the fair on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited bleacher seating is free and also available first-come, first-served. The remainder of the concert area is festival standing. Audio or video recording of performances is prohibited.
Are there any discounts and/or coupons for the 2019 Pima County Fair?
- Thursday, April 18: Pepsi Wristband Day! Bring in an unopened 20oz bottle of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, or Pepsi Zero and receive a $5.00 discount towards a $35.00 wristband for unlimited carnival rides.
- Sunday, April 21: Free Admission until noon with three cans of unopened food. Food collection to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
- Monday, April 22: $2.00 Admission! Also – Free wheel and carousel rides for ages 55+.
- Tuesday, April 23: $2.00 rides and games! Happy Hour from 3:00 – 5:00pm with $2.00 menu items and draft beer.
- Wednesday, April 24: Pepsi Wristband Day! Bring in an unopened 20oz bottle of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, or Pepsi Zero and receive a $5.00 discount towards a $35.00 wristband for unlimited carnival rides.
- Thursday, April 25: Pepsi Wristband Day! Bring in an unopened 20oz bottle of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, or Pepsi Zero and receive a $5.00 discount towards a $35.00 wristband for unlimited carnival rides.
- Sunday, April 28: Free Admission until noon with three cans of unopened food. Food collection to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
What is the parking situation?
Plentiful – $5 per vehicle (cash only). The parking lots have signs in the rows of parking to help you remember where you parked and are included on the map. Shuttle transportation is available in the parking lots 3:00pm – 9:00pm on weekdays and 11:00am – 9:00pm on weekends. You can also download the Pima County Fair App when you park to pin your vehicle location.
What are typically the most and least crowded days of the fair?
Wednesday, Thursdays and weekends of the fair are highly attended for the Wristband Day promotions and concerts. Upgrade your ride purchase by $25.00 to a FASTPASS on these days and get into the FASTPASS carnival ride lane for faster fun! If you are at the fair to enjoy all that the fair has to offer but don’t care for carnival rides, consider attending on a Friday or Monday to avoid the crowds.
Avoid peak traffic time and lines by planning to arrive at the fair by 2:00pm.
What should I wear?
Temperatures in Tucson in mid-April range from 49°F to 86°F, often with blue skies and lots of sun. The temperature is rarely below 65 degrees or above 94 degrees. Aside from the exhibit halls, the fair is mostly outdoors so good walking shoes and light layers are best. Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats would also come in handy.
What should I bring with me?
A camera and water bottles.
You’ll probably want to bring some cash for food, drinks, carnival rides, and wares from exhibiting vendors.
Are bathrooms available?
Is outside food allowed at the Pima County Fair?
Outside food and drinks are not permitted.
What dining venues are available on-site?
There are a number of food truck style booths with typical fair food. “If you are looking for deep fried or grilled, dipped in batter or dipped in honey, on a stick or in a cone, hot or cold, or sweet and sticky then you’ve come to the right place!”
What restaurants are located near the Pima County Fairgrounds?
The only decent option in the vicinity that comes to mind is Argenziano’s at 16251 S. Houghton Road (7 miles from the fair entrance). Yummy calzones!
BABIES & KIDS
Can kids attend the Pima County Fair?
Yes! In fact, the fair is designed with families in mind. Kids love the live animals, the funny + entertaining shows, the whirly-twirly rides, and the tasty treats.
Here are some helpful tips if you are visiting the fair with young children:
- Kiddie Land Carnival is located near the main entrance with rides for little ones!
- Family Bathrooms and changing tables are located in the Kiddie Land Carnival.
- Kiddie Korral, located at the East end of Pima Hall, is especially for young cowboys and cowgirls! Appropriate for ages 7 and under.
- A Mother’s Convenience Area with Infant and Toddler Care Center can be found in Pima Hall with comfortable furniture, crawl and play areas, nap space, tables, and baby wipes for changing, as well as a curtained section for privacy.
- Life Depends on Pollinators Exhibit: Kids and adults will learn about he diversity of pollinators and how all contribute to our own qualify of life by helping to provide good food, gorgeous surroundings, medicines—even clothing.
- Agricultural and Critical Thinking Centers for Kids: Located in Old Pueblo Conference and Event Center.
- The Petting Zoo and Pony Rides are located directly across from the red animal barn
- Free train rides are offered throughout the grounds every day for families.
Of note: kids can read two books and earn three free carnival rides through the Read and Ride program.
Should I bring a stroller?
Probably. A stroller could be useful as you walk the grounds with little ones. A baby carrier might be your best bet for infants.
The Pima County Fair also offers strollers and wagons to rent. The rental area is conveniently located next to the Pima County Fair Guest Services, directly inside the Main Gate.
Is there a designated area for nursing moms?
Yes. Pima Hall provides a Mother’s Convenience Area which includes comfortable furniture, a crawl and climb area, nap space, tables and baby wipes for changing. There is also a curtained section for mothers who wish to breastfeed or change their little one in private.
Are changing tables available?
What about my other “baby” (dog, cat, etc)?
Pets are not permitted at the Pima County Fair.
Is the Festival wheelchair accessible?
The Pima County Fairgrounds are ADA compliant.
Can I have my wedding at the Pima County Fair?
The Pima County Fairgrounds can be rented out for weddings and other special events. Limitations do exist during the fair itself, but the grounds are available year-round. Facilities include four buildings, outdoor park-like settings and ramadas, RV and camping space, stage and concert areas, and a large equestrian facility with barns, stalls, and arenas. Call 520-762-9100 for more information.
WHERE TO STAY
What hotels do you recommend for visitors to the Pima County Fair?
Is the Pima County Fair active on social media?
What else do I need to know before I go to the Pima County Fair?
That just about covers it. Have a great time! *Note that our video is from a few years back, but it should give you a general idea about what to expect at the fair.