A GUMBO OF FUN!
113th Annual State Fair to offer something for everyone's taste
There is something for everyone at this year’s 113th Annual State Fair of Louisiana: Carnival rides and midway games, food, concerts, exhibits, a rodeo and more.
The fair kicks off on Oct. 24 and will be in town through Nov. 10. This year’s theme is “A Gumbo of Fun!” The State Fair is a Shreveport staple.
State Fair of Louisiana president and manager Chris Giordano says it has always been held in Shreveport since it was formed back in 1906. He says between 350,000 to 450,000 people visit the fair each fall.
The fair is a way for many families to spend time together having fun. Geya Prudhomme says her family likes to arrive early to beat the crowds. “My kids love going to the fair,” she said “They love getting on the rides! My daughter likes the more laid-back ones, but my son loves all of the thrilling rides.”
The fair brings with it a midway packed with more than 60 rides from Crabtree Amusements Inc., plus carnival games galore. Attendees can expect to see a few new rides, as well as familiar favorites. There is also a children’s section with kiddie-sized rides for younger children that include trains, motorcycles, a childsized roller coaster and, of course, a carousel.
Megan Blanchard says her daughters love the rides in Kiddie Land. “Their favorite ride that they talk about is the bumpy whale that blows the bubbles. They also like the carousel,” she said. “They love playing all the carnival games, too.”
Everyday Eden Photography owner Alyssa Gantt says the lights, bright colors and the movement at the fair naturally bring out the smiles she is trying to capture in her craft. "I specialize in children, so any time you can do something that naturally brings joy – that is something that you strive to look for in a place to do pictures," she said. "The pictures that I did of my own kids [at the fair] are by far my favorite that I’ve ever taken of them.”
Many attendees make sure to grab their tried and true favorite fair foods. "Our favorite foods to get at the fair are the corndogs, strawberry lemonade, funnel cake and cotton candy,” said Prudhomme.
Brian Fleming says corndogs are on his list of fair food must-haves as well. “I love the corn dogs, cinnamon rolls and the old-fashioned root beer," he said. “Those are staples I have to get every time. I also like the fried Twinkies and Oreos.”
Other food concessions available will include fried cheese, donut burgers, kebabs, fried watermelon, frog legs and even pizza with unusual toppings like edible bugs – crickets, worms or scorpions.
Giordano says some new shows have been added to the Fair's line-up. Among them is Hydro Flying Circus. Skilled pilots use jet skis and flyboards to perform turns, spins, barrel rolls and even dance moves 50 feet in the air.
The Survivor Family Game Show is also a new addition. Giordano says Bob Bohm’s Family Entertainment does three different shows – “Survivor,” “Farmily Feud” (like “Family Feud” with agriculture as the topic), and “The Magic of Bob Bohm.” Other presentations at the fair include a Friesian Horse show, a double hump camel show, pig races, Circus Hollywood and Paul Bunyan's Lumberjack Show.
Opportunities to see exotic animals and petting zoo animals up close will be available in the popular zoo attraction. The giraffe, with its long black tongue, is always a crowd favorite. Blanchard says the animals are a favorite for her girls. “They enjoy seeing the animals in the zoo area. They love the petting zoo and feeding the giraffe!” she said.
Animals can also be seen over at the junior livestock show and sale. The show runs the duration of the fair; the sale is on Oct. 30. “Back in 1906 ... agriculture was the whole reason [the state fair] was formed. The circuses, carnival midways and all the entertainment came later,” said Giordano.
Children and adults can learn where food and clothing and other products in stores come from over at AgMagic. It is an interactive experience where food and other everyday products will be linked to the forests, crops and livestock produced in Louisiana.
Daily live music concerts are free with admission. Giordano says Louisianan native Frank Foster is sure to be a big draw this year, along with the opening act, Sam Williams, son of country music legend Hank Williams Jr. Quick trivia fact: Hank Williams Jr. was born right here in Shreveport!
A family-friendly hip hop show will entertain music lovers with performers Baby Bash, Yung Joc and DJ UNK. Several Latino bands will perform as part of the Fiesta at the Fair event, including headliner Los Tigrillos, a group from Mexico. Other musical acts during the fair include Southern Roots, Tipsey the Band, Casey Martin Band, Beau Atkins, Bayou Boogie and a Gospel Mega Fest.
Street entertainers will amuse crowds with stilt walkers in animal-themed costumes, Dallas the Fire Guy will bring the heat with his fire breathing and juggling skills, Nick "The Escape Artist" will break out of straight jackets and chains, and the Clown of Many Faces will be seen winding through the crowd on her tricycle or funny car. New this year – the Kenya Safari Acrobats will also perform on the midway.
Back again is the LRCA Finals Rodeo featuring steer wrestling, barrel races, roping and bull riding. Giordano says the cash prize for the competition has grown with a pot of approximately $175,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. Special act Rider Kiesner will wow crowds with some jaw-dropping cowboy tricks and treats with his “The Art of Trick Roping, Gun Spinning and Whip Cracking” show. The rodeo is a separately ticketed event.
Giordano says one of his favorite things about the fair is the final day when they hold Veterans & Military Appreciation Day. “All military, whether they are active, former or retired, get free parking and free admission, along with their immediate family,” he said. “We have a big parade down the midway honoring veterans and military groups.”
The fair runs from Oct. 24 through Nov. 10 and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Gate admission and parking are free on weekdays until 3 p.m. Wednesdays are $5 gate admission after 3 p.m. and carnival armbands are $20 instead of $35.
Advance discounted tickets may also be purchased through Oct. 23 at area Brookshire's and Super 1 Foods stores or www.statefairoflouisiana.com.
Visit the fair's website for detailed event schedules, discount days and theme days.
2019 STATE FAIR OF LOUISIANA
October 24 – November 10 (Closed Mondays & Tuesdays)
Dates: Oct. 24-Nov. 10 (Closed Mondays & Tuesdays)
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays) 10 a.m.-11 p.m. (Fridays & Saturdays)
Carnival Hours: 12 noon-10 p.m. (Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays)
10 a.m.-11 p.m. (Saturdays & Sundays)
Ticket Prices: Gate Admission - $12
CARNIVAL MIDWAY, LRCA FINALS RODEO, COOKING CONTESTS
Enjoy all the fun of Crabtree Amusements Inc. Carnival Midway! The largest carnival midway in the State of Louisiana featuring over 60 exciting rides, games and food.
LRCA FINALS RODEO
When: Thurs., Oct. 31 / Fri., Nov. 1 / Sat., Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Hirsch Memorial Coliseum
Advance: Upper Level GA: $15
Box Seats: $25
Day of Show: Upper Level GA: $20
Box Seats: $30
Thursday Night Discount: Upper Level GA: $10
Box Seats: $20
STATE FAIR COOKING CONTESTS
When: Wed., Nov. 6, through Sat., Nov. 9
Where: Cooking Contests Tent next to State Fair Administrative Office.
Description: Cooking contests are free to enter and categories consist of: Favorite Cupcake, Favorite Cobbler, Favorite Candy, Beef Appetizer, Mexican Beef Dish, Best Beef
Fajitas, Pecan Cake, Pecan Candy, Favorite Pie, Favorite Cookie, Favorite Quick Bread, Best Chocolate Fudge/Candy, Best Chocolate Cake, Best Chocolate Cookies/Brownies. Awards consist of cash prizes and ribbons.
For more information on the 2019 State Fair of Louisiana, please visit their website at: www.statefairoflouisiana.com
State Fair of Louisiana
3701 Hudson Avenue
Shreveport, LA 71109
Find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/TheStateFairofLouisiana
Follow them on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LAStateFair
The State Fair Zoo
The Double Hump Camel Show
Hydro Flying Circus
Ms. Stevana’s Friesian Horse Show
Hollywood Racing Pigs
The Magic of Bob Bohm
Farmily Feud - Ag Education Program
Survivor Family Game Show
Paul Bunyan’s Lumberjack Show
Kenya Safari Acrobats
STREET ENTERTAINERS (Free!)
Dallas The Fire Guy
The Clown of Many Faces
Nick The Escape Artist
Animal Cracker Conspiracy Stiltwalkers
World Stage Productions “An International Breakdancing Show”
Bob Bohm’s Roaming Character
FREE CONCERTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Kandu: 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 9 p.m.
Casey Martin Band: 7:30 p.m.
Beaux Atkins: 9 p.m.
Frank Foster: 8:30 p.m.
Gospel Mega Fest: 3 p.m.- 9 p.m.
The Savage Trio: 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 9 p.m.
Blaze Band: 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 9 p.m.
Southern Roots: 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 9 p.m.
DJ Love: 7 p.m.
DJ UNK: 8 p.m.
Yung Joc: 9 p.m.
Baby Bash: 10 p.m.
Fiesta at the Fair: 3 p.m.-10 p.m.
Los Ligaditos: 6 p.m.
La Internacional Furia Colombiana de Chon Arauza: 7:30 p.m.
Los Tigrillos: 8 p.m.
The Joanitones: 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 9 p.m.
Tipsey The Band: 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 9 p.m.
Star Chamber: 8 p.m.
Spectra Vamp: 9:15 p.m.
Cupid & Dancy Party Express Band: 7 p.m.
The Bigg Robb Show: 9 p.m.
Dave Perryman & The Country Revue: 3 p.m.
Bayou Boogie: 5:30 p.m.