If you ask us, the best time for funnel cakes and ribs is whatever time the clocks reads at that very moment. Who says summer pie-eating contests and Labor Day hayrides are the only way to go? The organizers of these three late-fall state fairs certainly don’t. Instead, they’re using these next few weekends to celebrate farmers, food and Ferris wheels — and we couldn’t be any happier about it.
Arizona State Fair
Did you know that the Arizona state reptile was the ridge-nosed rattlesnake? We didn’t either, but we’re pretty sure the guy manning the Reptile Adventures area here did. This all-encompassing fair features animals that slither, animals that run (Sue Wee Flying Pig Race) and animals that don’t do much of anything (daily livestock shows). But beyond critters, the Phoenix festival offers a monster truck derby, fried foods (everything from red-velvet cake to Pop-Tarts) and an impressive concert series (ska rockers Sublime on November 1) on the busy slate. Through November 4.
Georgia State Fair
Atlanta Motor Speedway is usually the home to NASCAR and other racing circuits, but this year, for the first time, it will be where all of the state fair fun will happen. From death-defying motorcycle stunts to Lady Houdini’s jaw-dropping escapes, the 10-day fest is stuffed with lots of excitement. But considering the venue, it makes sense to actually have a race for you to watch. On October 26 and 27, the Legend Asphalt Nationals will rev its engines on the quarter-mile short track. The race is an additional $5, but the twists and turns go down great with fair corndogs. Through November 4.
The State Fair of Louisiana
All of the fair shows and concerts are nice — the roster here in Shreveport includes Circus Hollywood, a safari and a host of stage performances — but it really comes down to the food. And trust us, this festival gets a gold medal in grub. Its eclectic menu includes local favorites (crawfish étouffée), carnival staples (caramel apples) and odd treats (pizza on a stick) you can only find at a state fair. Taking in shows from the BMX Pros Trick Team or the acrobatic Acromaniacts won’t help you burn off the calories, but it sure will be a sight to behold. Through November 11.
Photo Courtesy of Arizona State Fair