Rides, games, a petting zoo, racing pigs, a magician and music will fill the 100-acre Greater Baton Rouge State Fair grounds through Nov. 2.
The fair began in 1965 as a project of the Baton Rouge Jaycees. Since 1985, the fair has been operated by the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation. An all-volunteer fair board operates the event, which is staffed by volunteers. In 2010, the fair celebrated 25 years with the Fair Foundation.
The fair has donated more than $2.4 million to youth-oriented causes in the greater Baton Rouge area.
This year’s daily entertainment includes local sleight of hand magician Tim Spinosa; the 40 Mitchell Brothers and Sons Amusements rides, which include rides for young children and the entire family, and also the Mitchell Brothers game concessions for children and families.
Another daily attraction, Noah’s Way Exotic Petting Zoo, features deer, antelope, kangaroos, wallabies, llamas, alpacas, sheep, camel and exotic cattle. Also mini goats, horses and, occasionally, a zebra, baby bison, yak or tortoise.
The Swifty Swine Racing Pigs race around an oval track at fairs, festivals and special events 11 months a year. They run as fast as 15 mph in pursuit of an Oreo cookie. Only the winner gets the cookie.
Also entertaining daily are Larry Hiskett, aka Washboard Willy, and his wife, Wishboard Wanda. Many other musical acts, including the Grammy-winning zydeco band Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, will appear throughout the fair’s run.
Special events at the fair include the competitive Lawn-Tractor Pull, taking place at 2 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. For more information, call Darrell Lanier at (225) 753-2000 or (225) 665-8789.
The Mutton Bustin’ Kids Rodeo will be held at 2 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. The Mutton Bustin’ and Goat Ribbon Pulling events are for children 6 years old and younger. The Calf Riding and Goat Tying events are for children 6 to 9 years old.
Those interested in participating in the Kids Rodeo should be at the fairgrounds at 1 p.m. on the Sunday they wish to participate and register at the arena.
The Air National Guard, a reserve component of the United States Air Force, will have its new Air National Guard Mobile Experience at the fair this weekend. The immersive experience lets visitors participate in simulated challenges that replicate the real-life experiences of Air Guard men and women during Basic Military Training (BMT), technical training and on drill weekend.
The display will be open 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, and noon-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Junior Rabbit and Poultry Show takes place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the fair’s Livestock Pavilion. The Junior Dairy Show is 1 p.m. Sunday at the Livestock Pavilion.
The Junior Goat Show takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Livestock Pavilion. The Junior Beef Breeding Show is 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Livestock Pavilion.
The fair’s annual Jam, Jelly, & Pie Baking Competition takes places at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Exhibit Pavilion. Premiums will be paid for first, second and third place.
6:30 p.m.: Chase Tyler Band (country and variety)
8:30 P.M.: DAVID ST. ROMAIN (COUNTRY AND VARIETY)
2 p.m.: Shot Time (country, blues, soul, rock ’n’ roll)
6:30 P.M.: CHUBBY CARRIER AND THE BAYOU SWAMP BAND (ZYDECO)
2 p.m.: Rae and the Line (funk, R&B)
6:30 P.M.: JUSTIN GARNER (R&B/POP)
6 p.m.: The Rockolas Band (blues)
6 p.m.: Eric Gautreaux (acoustic and variety)
6 p.m.: Kajun Konflict (country/Southern rock)
6 p.m.: Orphan Annie (variety)
FRIDAY, OCT. 31
8 p.m.: Black Water Bride (Southern rock/country)
SATURDAY, NOV. 1
2:30 p.m.: Christian Serpas and Ghost Town (rock-a-billy)
4:30 P.M.: DEXTER LEE AND THE PROPHETS (ROCK)
8 P.M.: VOODOO GUMBO (VARIETY)
SUNDAY, NOV. 2
2 p.m.: Rusty Yates Band (R&B/soul)
5 p.m.: Na Na Sha (oldies)