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To the state fairs

LYSA ALLMAN-BALDWIN | 8/3/2011, 2:23 p.m.
To the state fairs

(413) 737-2443, www.thebige.com/ese

The State Fair of Texas

Sept. 30-Oct. 23

Hailed as the nation's largest state fair with more than 3 million annual attendees, the fair features a wonderful array of exhibits, livestock, music, rides, food and more. This year, celebrity chefs, mobile tours and an auto show, livestock exhibitions, creative arts contests, drum and bugle corp. marching bands and the midway with long-time favorite thrill rides, including the nation's tallest Ferris wheel, are all part of the fun. Entertainment this year includes K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Randy Travis and La Mafia, among others. Be sure not to miss the Texas Garden Railway train collection, Cirque Shanghai acrobatic troupe and two classic college football games.

(214) 565-9931, www.bigtex.com/sft

Arizona State Fair

Oct. 14-Nov. 6

This year's Arizona State Fair, held in Phoenix, Ariz., is celebrating its 121st anniversary. The fair features a bevy of events and attractions, while also promising numerous 21st century innovations in technologies for education and entertainment. Some of the highlights include an arm wrestling championship, a 5K and fun run-walk, High School and All Indian Rodeos, oodles of exhibits, the Great American Petting Zoo, Valentine's Performing Pigs, livestock and smallstock displays and, of course, the ever-popular fair games, vendor booths and culinary offerings.

(602) 252-6771, www.azstatefair.com

Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including as the cultural travel writer for www.Examiner.com and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at lallmanbaldwin@kc.rr.com.