The Pima County Fair is one of Southern Arizona’s largest and most anticipated annual events with nearly 250,000 visitors over a 10 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.
What are the dates for the 2023 Pima County Fair?
The 2022 Pima County Fair will take place from April 20-30, 2023.
What is the location of the Pima County Fair?
The Pima County Fairgrounds are at 11300 S. Houghton Rd in Southeast Tucson (not far from Vail).
What are the hours?
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, fun houses, 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, onion rings, funnel cake, cotton candy, and other fare
How much does admission cost?
General Admission: $11
Seniors (55+): $6
Children 6-10: $6
Children 5 & Under: FREE
Concert Upgrade: $20.00. Does not include Fair Admission. Admission must be purchased separately.
*Discount military tickets apply to active duty and veterans with a military ID. This benefit does not apply to family members.
What is the parking situation?
Parking is plentiful and costs $7 per vehicle (cash or credit).
There are three parking lots:
The Blue Lot is accessible off of Houghton Rd and also thru the Blue Gate, which is the 2nd gate located on Brekke Rd.
The Red Lot is accessible off Houghton and Dawn Roads.
The Green Lot is accessible from Harrison Rd.
All 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 from 4:00pm – 10:00pm on weekdays and from noon until 10:00pm on weekends.
What are typically the most and least crowded days of the fair?
Wednesday, Thursdays, and weekends of the fair are highly attended. 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 Tuesday to avoid the crowds.
Avoid peak traffic time and lines by arriving right when the fair opens: 3:00pm on weekdays and 11:00am on weekends.
What should I wear?
Temperatures in Tucson in mid to late April range from 56°F to 87°F, often with blue skies and lots of sun. Aside from the exhibit halls, the fair is mostly outdoors so good walking shoes and light layers are best. Avoid jeans if the day will be sunny and/or if temperatures for the day are over 80 degrees. Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats are recommended to provide added protection from the sun.
If you plan to stay after dark into the late evening hours, a sweatshirt is a good idea. If desired, you can leave it in your car and then retrieve it if the temperature drops.
What should I bring with me?
Bring a water bottle and your phone for pictures. You’ll probably want to bring cash or another form of payment for food, drinks, carnival rides, and wares from exhibiting vendors.
Can I bring a small purse or backpack?
Yes. Note that all bags are searched upon entry.
Can I bring a water bottle to the Pima County Fair?
Yes. You are permitted to bring reusable water bottles (and we recommend that you do so to avoid overheating and dehydration). Note that hydration packs (such as CamelBaks) are prohibited.
Due to COVID-19, the Pima County Health Department had all water fountains removed from the Pima County Fair property and converted into water refill stations. These stations are located on the outside of each building, but many are currently out of order.
Are bathrooms available?
DISCOUNTS & COUPONS
Are there any discounts and/or coupons for the 2023 Pima County Fair?
Thursday, April 20: Pepsi Wristband Day! Bring in an unopened 20oz bottle of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, or Pepsi Zero and receive a $5.00 discount towards a $40.00 wristband for unlimited carnival rides and one free ride on the Titan. Wristbands are good starting at 3:00pm and must be purchased by 10:00pm. April 21 is also Game Day: Buy 5 games for $10.
Monday, April 24: Discount Day: $6.00 Admission, plus free wheel rides for fair goers ages 55+! April 24 is also Pima County Fair Happy Hour: $3.00 food vendor items and $3.00 draught beer in the Nutril Cantina until 5:00pm.
Tuesday, April 25:Pima County Fair Happy Hour: $3.00 menu items and $3.00 draught beer in the Nutril Cantina until 5:00pm.
Wednesday, April 26: Pepsi Wristband Day! Bring in an unopened 20oz bottle of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, or Pepsi Zero and receive a $5.00 discount towards a $40.00 wristband for unlimited carnival rides and one free ride on the Titan. Wristbands are good starting at 3:00pm and must be purchased by 10:00pm. April 26 is also Game Day (buy 5 games for $10) and Pima County Fair Happy Hour ($3.00 menu items and $3.00 draught beer in the Nutril Cantina until 5:00pm).
Thursday, April 27: Pepsi Wristband Day! Bring in an unopened 20oz bottle of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, or Pepsi Zero and receive a $5.00 discount towards a $40.00 wristband for unlimited carnival rides and one free ride on the Titan. Wristbands are good starting at 3:00pm and must be purchased by 10:00pm. April 27 is also Game Day: Buy 5 games for $10.
Sunday, April 30: Canned Food Sundays = Free Admission. Receive free admission until noon with 3 cans of food to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
Of note: kids can read three books and earn two free carnival rides through the Read and Ride program.
How many rides are there at the Pima County Fair?
There are 60+ rides distributed between two distinct carnival ride areas - the Midway (with larger and more daring rides, along with rides for a general audience) and the Kiddie Land Carnival (which is located near the entrances and features more rides for toddlers and preschoolers).
How much do rides cost at the Pima County Fair?
Ticket prices are as follows: 4 tickets for $5, 16 tickets for $20, or 40 tickets for $50. In other words, the cost is $1.25/ticket.
Most rides require 4 to 6 tickets, which means that the majority of rides will cost you somewhere between $5-$7.50 per ride per person.
We have listed the rides in alphabetical order below, along with how many tickets are required to ride:
Alien Abduction: 5 tickets
Balloons Up Up: 4 tickets
Bumper Boats: 5 tickets
NY NY Funhouse: 5 tickets
Carousel: 4 tickets
Cliff Hanger: 5 tickets
Clown Funhouse: 3 tickets
Crazy Coaster: 6 tickets
Creep Show: 5 tickets
Cyclone: 5 tickets
Disko: 5 tickets
Dodgem: 5 tickets
Endeavor: 6 tickets
Euroslide: 4 tickets
Farm Tractors: 4 tickets
Flying Dutchman: 5 tickets
Freestyle: 5 tickets
G Force: 6 tickets
Galaxy Coaster: 6 tickets
Goliath Slide: 3 tickets
Grand Wheel: 6 tickets
Haunted Mansion: 5 tickets
Ice Jets: 6 tickets
Joker 360: 8 tickets NEW FOR 2023
Jumbo Flying Elephants: 4 tickets
Kite Flyer: 4 tickets
Konga: 5 tickets
Liberty Wheel: 5 tickets
Little Dipper: 4 tickets
Mach 1: 9 tickets
Mini Bumper Cars: 4 tickets
Monster Trucks: 4 tickets
Motorcycles: 4 tickets
Pelican Splash: 4 tickets
Pirate's Island: 4 tickets
Puppy Roll: 4 tickets
Quads: 4 tickets
Rave Wave: 6 tickets
Remix: 5 tickets
Rockin' Rodeo: 4 tickets
Sea Ray: 5 tickets NEW FOR 2023
Silly Sea 2: 4 tickets
Silver Streak: 4 tickets
Skyflyer: 6 tickets
Slingshot: Pay for Service; not a ticketed ride NEW FOR 2023
Surf Shack: 4 tickets
Survival Island: 4 tickets
Tilt A Whirl: 5 tickets
Titan: 14 tickets
Tug Boat: 4 tickets
Twister: 5 tickets
VW Bugs: 4 tickets
Wacky Worm: 5 tickets
Wild River: 6 tickets
Zero Gravity: 5 tickets
Zipper: 5 tickets
Available rides and number of tickets required are subject to change. Please confirm the price with the vendor upon arrival.
Are there any carnival ride discounts at the Pima County Fair?
Yes. See our section on discounts & coupons above. Note that Weekday Discount Fun Passes are available for use only on Mondays-Fridays, 10 rides for $20.
Do you have any tips for skipping lines and getting rides faster?
You can save time and avoid the lines by downloading the RCS FunPass App to buy, share, track history, and reload carnival tickets directly to your phone. You can also upgrade to a FAST PASS for an additional fee (see below).
Is there a Fast Pass line for fair rides?
Yes. You can upgrade your ride purchase by $25.00 to a FAST PASS and get into the Fast Pass carnival ride lane for faster fun. While supplies last.
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 plentiful 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!" In fact, you'll see and smell food in every direction you turn.
Are there any stands where you can get free refills on drinks?
No. There are no free refills or refillable cups with free refills. There is, however, at least one stand where you can get $4 refills after purchasing a drink.
What restaurants are located near the Pima County Fairgrounds?
Not many! You'll probably want to buy food on-site or eat before you come - unless you want to drive 10+ miles for dinner.
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!
What shows are on the agenda for the 2023 Pima County Fair?
Bird Show: Daily at 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm
Fables from the West: Mon-Fri 4:00pm-8:00pm; Weekends 1:00pm-6:00pm
Nerveless Nocks Cirque Extreme: Daily at 4:30pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm
What bands/musicians will be performing at the 2023 Pima County Fair?
Concerts at the Pima County Fair take place on the Budweiser Stage and are included with fair admission. This area offers free bleacher seating and festival standing.
An upgraded seating area is also available as a $20 add-on.
April 20 at 8:00pm: Lil Jon
April 21 at 8:00pm: 80's Rock Invasion
April 22 at 8:00pm: Joe Nichols
April 23 at 7:30pm: Ginuwine, Ying Yang Twins, and Paul Wall
April 24 at 7:30pm: Uncle Kracker
April 25 at 7:30pm: Lee Greenwood
April 26 at 7:30pm: Jeremy Camp
April 27 at 8:00pm: 24KGOLDN
April 28 at 8:00pm: Dirty Heads
April 29 at 8:00pm: Jordan Davis
April 30 at 7:30pm: Laberinto
There are 50+ carnival games throughout the midway and all around the grounds. Toss a ring, do pull-ups, shoot hoops, or squirt a water gun for your chance to win a prize.
ANIMALS & LIVESTOCK
As to be expected at a county fair, there are many animals to see (and even to touch!). Marvel at prize-winning pigs, horses, goats, rabbits, and chickens.
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 and 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.
Cirque Extreme is located outside Kidde Land Carnival.
Pig Races are located on the West side of Central Park.
The Petting Zoo is always a favorite and located directly across from the red animal barn.
INSIDE PIMA HALL:
Kiddie Korral, located at the East end of Pima Hall, is especially for young cowboys and cowgirls! Appropriate for ages 7 and under, this western town themed play area has an old-fashioned church, schoolhouse, desert scene, and wagon - with limited seating available for parents. See photos above.
A Mother’s Convenience Area is located just inside the main double doors of Pima Hall. This area is for parents with infants and toddlers for private changing, napping, and feeding. See photos above.
Pacific Animal Productions: Located at the West end of Pima Hall.
INSIDE OLD PUEBLO CONFERENCE & EVENT CENTER:
Agricultural, Critical Thinking, and Science Centers for Kids
Nasa Space Exhibits
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?
Tucson's best resorts are not located near to the fairgrounds, but you should be able to get to the fair in under an hour from most of them.
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