Summer is winding down, which means the Kansas State Fair is on the horizon.
Specifically, this year’s fair opens Friday, Sept. 8 and runs through Sept. 17.
Most things will be the same at this year’s fair. No need to worry: your beloved Pronto Pups will still be available, as will rides through the more-than-century-old Ye Olde Mill.
But the fair, as always, is featuring some new amenities and attractions this year.
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Among them are the following:
▪ An e-ticketing system, designed to alleviate long lines and a reliance on paper tickets at the gate. Fairgoers will be able to purchase tickets online beforehand, and when they do, they will receive an e-mail with a code to scan at the gate. For those without smartphones, the fair will still sell paper tickets like always, but this new ticket option is designed to cut your wait time and increase your fairgoing time.
▪ The Dairy Bar was majorly overhauled in the off-season. The popular ice-cream vendor – which peddles treats such as Alma cheese curds and double-dipped ice cream cones underneath the fair’s grandstand – now has a new modern look. There are now six service lines, instead of two: providing more opportunities for people to order their dairy treats.
▪ New fried foods are hitting the scene. Be on the lookout for a full recap of what’s to come from the Eagle’s Denise Neil later this week, but suffice it to say s’mores funnel cakes, “tachos,” fajitas, and fresh-fried pork rinds.
▪ Steampunk acrobatic aerialists will perform as part of this year’s show at Gottschalk Park. The park, which in the past has regularly hosted animal-themed variety shows, is featuring this new steampunk show this year. Showtimes are every day at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.
▪ The grandstand lineup has already been set, featuring Loverboy, Survivor, Josh Turner, Los Lonely Boys, TobyMac, Smash Mouth, The Charlie Daniels Band and more. So far some of the hottest tickets are country artist Josh Turner on Sat., Sept. 9 and Christian artist TobyMac on Wed., Sept. 13, according to fair officials.
For more information, visit the fair’s (new) website, www.kansasstatefair.com. Follow Kansas.com for more Kansas State Fair coverage as the week progresses.