Today, it's known as "The Biggest Show in New Mexico."
The New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque started decades after most state fairs, but unlike its trailblazing neighbors, was an immensely popular hit from the outset.
The first fair of 1881 ran a total of five days which attracted huge crowds
despite the gloom of rainy weather. Even for these first fairs, (which began before New Mexico was even an official state) business
owners knew knew an opportunity when they saw one, and invested heavily.
Crowd pleasing trapeze artists and other daredevil acts - like parachute jumpers
who jumped from hot air balloons - eventually earned the fair a reputation as being one of the greatest annual events in the Southwest.
This year, the New Mexico State Fair is a 11-day event that kicks off on Thursday, September 7 and runs until Sunday, September 17, 2017.
Entertainment, of course, is still a big draw along with artisans, performers,
and food vendors showcasing the state's rich Spanish and Native American heritage and culture.
Not to be outdone by rivals, the New Mexico State Fair closely follows an All-American venue featuring livestock shows and exhibits, as well as cooking and gardening competitions.
Concert lineup and the big parade
The 2017 New Mexico State Fair concert lineup
includes Midland, Sawyer Brown,, Kansas, and Big & Rich.
The New Mexico State Fair concert lineup has in the past included such star headliners as Josh Turner, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, and many others.
This year, the full 2017 concert and entertainment schedule was announced in May. Individual tickets go on sale July 21st
Friday, September 8th, 7:00pm - Aaron Lewis & Rank Lil' Buckers
Saturday, September 9th, 7:00pm - Midland with Special Guest The Last Bandoleros & PRCA Xtreme Bulls
Wednesday, September 13th, 6:45 pm - Sawyer Brown & PRCA Rodeo
Thursday, September 14th, 6:45pm - KANSAS & PRCA Rodeo
Friday, September 15th, 6:45pm - Big & Rich & PRCA Rodeo
For more information about concert tickets, see the official site online or at Ticketmaster outlets. Early purchase of tickets includes gate admission to the Fair.
General admission prices usually run about $7 for adults (that means age 13 and older.) Special discounts are available for kids and seniors. Children under 5 get in free. Additional fees are charged for carnival rides with special discounts for parties of 25 or more.
Another great New Mexico State Fair tradition? The big parade! -- as the festivities step outside the fairgrounds to march, sing, and dance down Central Avenue. This year, watch for the grand procession to commence at 9AM on Saturday, September 9. 2017.
Rodeo and bronco riding extravaganzas, and mariachi music (as well as local ethnic bands) usually round out the attractions that offer family-friendly fun for anyone traveling through New Mexico at summer's end.
More about the New Mexico State Fair around the Web:
Mexico State Fair - The official site with information on admission and ticket prices, fair highlights, entertainment line up, and events including food concessions, kid-friendly attractions, directions, map, photos.