The Greater Baton Rouge State Fair is marking its 53rd event this year, and of course, all of the favorites, the Ferris wheel and rides, the funnel cake and deep-fried Oreos will be back. But there's also always something new happening at the fair.

Keeping up with rapidly changing technology, the fair last year added drone racing and a robotics demonstration. Both of those events will return this year — drone racing takes place Saturday and the Bots on the Bayou exhibition on Sunday — along with the third annual Lego building competition (taking place Saturday) and a karaoke competition, returning for its second year on Monday.

This year, the fair is adding some thrills with a new daily attraction: Pages Globe of Death, a motorcycle stunt show featuring riders circling the inside of a tight metal sphere, usually with a brave soul standing in the center. The globe will be set up near the food court, and performances will take place several times a day, said state fair chairman Cliff Barton.

Each year the fair tries "to have something or some things new out here that we haven't done in years," Barton said, "just so people will know it's not the same ol' fair."

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Patrons peer out over the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair from the Ferris wheel. 

The 53rd annual fair is underway Thursday, Oct. 25, through Sunday, Nov. 4, at the BREC Airline Highway Park/Fairgrounds, 16072 Airline Highway. The fair is open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entrance fee is $5 for anyone 48 inches tall and over. Coupons, $1 each, are required for rides, but an unlimited ride wristband is available for $25.

Along with Pages Globe of Death, the daily attractions include pig racing, magician Tim Spinosa, a petting zoo and more than 40 carnival rides. The beer garden is back, and so is the Nitro Shack selling "Dragon's Breath" cereal balls — cereal dipped in liquid nitrogen, which produces vapor that looks like smoke coming out of your mouth and nose.

This weekend's music lineup includes Lafayette indie rock band Strange Theories (8 p.m. Friday), country singer-songwriter David St. Romain (8:30 p.m. Saturday) and soul act Naydja Co Joe & The Lagniappe Section (7 p.m. Sunday). Next week, Rae & The Line will perform 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; Micah & The Gunslingers plays 8 p.m. Friday; and Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band headline 6 p.m. on Sunday. See the accompanying full music lineup.

More information on the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair can be found at gbrsf.com.


53rd Annual Greater Baton Rouge State Fair

Continues through Sunday, Nov. 4

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

BREC Airline Highway Park/Fairgrounds, 16072 Airline Highway

$5 for anyone 48 inches tall and over. Unlimited ride wristbands are $25. Ride coupons are $1 each.

gbrsf.com

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Powdered sugar flies all over as a funnel cake is prepared at the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair. The 2017 event continues through Sunday. For more information and a complete schedule,go to gbrsf.com

Entertainment Schedule

All events take place in the entertainment pavilion unless otherwise noted

Friday

6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Clay Parker & Jodi James

8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Strange Theories

Saturday

1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Author Rosie Politz ("Key Moments") book signing

1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Drone Racing (takes place in arena area)

2 p.m. to 4 p.m., LEGO Extravaganza Building Competition (takes place in the exhibit pavilion)

2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Old Dawgs

4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., Cold Grits

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Burnhouse

8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., David St. Romain

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Three-year-old Jaiden Wendt beats a drum along with one-man band Washboard Willy at the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair in 2017.

Sunday

2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Scholarship Presentation

3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tomplay

3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Bots on the Bayou robotics demonstration (takes place in special events area)

5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Steam Wheel

7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Naydja CoJoe & the Lagniappe Section

Monday

6 p.m. to 8 p.m., 2nd annual GBRSF Karaoke Competition

Tuesday

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Doc Hearl: The One Horse Band

Wednesday

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Rae & The Line

Thursday

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Cumberland County

Friday, Nov. 2

6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Justin McCain Project

8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Micah Lipsmeyer & The Gunslingers

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A view of some of the midway at the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair in 2017.

Saturday, Nov. 3

2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Studio 4

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., The Anteeks

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sara Collins Band

8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Nashville South

Sunday, Nov. 4

2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Paul & Pete Band with Randy Albarez

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Richard LeBeouf & Two Step

6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band

Daily attractions

Includes Pages Globe of Death, Washboard Willy, Swifty Swine Racing Pigs, magician Tim Spinosa, caricature artist Chris Melton and Noah's Way Petting Zoo

Follow Jake Clapp on Twitter @Jake_Clapp

Red Editor