With less than a week to go before we swing open the gates to New Mexico State Fair 2023, inquiring minds want to know the answer to the age-old question:
“What’s new at the New Mexico State Fair?”
If this query has been weighing heavy on your mind as well, you’re in luck. We’re here to share all things new at the big show, which runs September 7 – 17, 2023 on the EXPO New Mexico grounds.
FILM INDUSTRY THEME
We’re celebrating the burgeoning New Mexico film industry by introducing our new “fair famous” theme. You’ll find lots of attractions consistent with the theme including a strolling old west spectacular show reminiscent of the days of Tombstone, as well as a one-of-a-kind movie “Red Carpet Theater” exhibit which pays tribute to New Mexico cinematography.
The when and the where: The Red Carpet Theater display can be viewed in the Manuel Lujan Jr. Exhibit Complex for the duration of the fair
BARBIE PHOTO BOX AND OTHER ‘GRAMMABLE PHOTO OPS
Speaking of film famous, you won’t want to miss your opportunity to hop into our custom Barbie box. Break out your finest pink provisions and bring your bestie to snap a pic against the beloved Barbie backdrop.
The when and the where: You can get a pic in the Barbie photo op box in the Manuel Lujan Jr. Exhibit Complex for the duration of the fair
Jerky’s back! While it’s not brand new, it’s definitely been a minute since we’ve had the pleasure of hosting the “Beef Jerky Showdown.” The best of our state’s jerky vendors will gather near the ag building to see who will be crowned King or Queen of the Jerky. The first 100 or so state fair patrons who sign up to be a “Jerky Judge” can get in on the fun.
The when and the where: September 8 from 5pm to 7pm at the Department of Agriculture Building Courtyard
SHARKS AND STINGRAYS, OH MY
Adventure Alley is once again your path to endless entertainment and awe-inspiring spectaculars, including new and engaging experiences.
Shark week enthusiasts, take note! This year’s fair offers not one but two new fascinating opportunities to get up close and personal with breathtaking ocean creatures. In addition to our new “live shark encounter,” fair patrons can also experience live stingrays at the “stingray encounter.”
The when and the where: Our schedule of all state fair attractions and spectaculars can be found on our website
UNIQUE VIDDLES AND FAIR FOODS
As you’ve come to expect from the New Mexico State Fair, we have a great lineup of unique fair foods, with eight vendor entrants in our annual Unique Foods Contest.
According to Ty Stevers, spokesperson for the state fair, “we’re going to have a little bit of everything from raspados with mango syrup, and chicharron chips, and nopalito strips, to deep fried Kool-Aid pickles, to pickle pizza.”
The when and the where: The ever popular unique foods contest will be held September 7 at 12:15 PM in the Chevron Pavilion
LOTS OF LAUGHS
Fresh laughs are on the menu for State Fair 2023. You can catch new comedy nights in the Main Street Beer Garden, featuring comedians from the Dry Heat comedy club on Friday and Saturday nights during the fair event.
Also making his debut at the state fair for the first time, comedian Bill Robison takes the stage most days of the fair to ensure that your NMSF experience includes a whole lot of LOLs.
When and where: A schedule of all state fair attractions and spectaculars can be found on our website.
A NEW MEXICO TRUE RODEO EXPERIENCE
The New Mexico Invitational Ranch Rodeo is a unique event which pits four New Mexico working ranches against their peers from other states including Texas and Oklahoma. Come on out to help cheer on our local rodeo families.
Bonus – the ranch rodeo is backed by country music superstar Chancey Williams.
Buy tickets now! You can purchase tickets to the concert rodeo or any of our state fair concert events by logging our ticket link via etix.
AMERICAN IDOL SCREENING FOR KARAOKE STARS
Karaoke with Ozz will be extra exciting for a few lucky participants who’ve been pre-selected on a first come, first serve basis to strut their stuff for a chance to compete on American Idol. You’ll want front row seats to witness the high stakes competition!
The when and the where: The twenty selected singers will showcase their talents on Sunday, September 10 – 7:00pm during the NM State Fair Idol Karaoke Showcase, produced by Call Me Ozz Karaoke!
A NEW STATE FAIR BREW
At the state fair, we love a good collab. Our partners at Ex Novo Brewing have produced “dusty spur,” which they describe as a crisp, clean American style pilsner that is easy drinking and super refreshing – a great complement to a day at the fair. Purchase it at several venues throughout the fair event, or grab a four-pack now at your favorite local retailer - available statewide!
CHRISTMAS IN SEPTEMBER AND (EVEN MORE) CREATIVE ARTS
Creative arts entries are consistently an aesthetic treat for the senses and the state fair continues to level up. In addition to our new Christmas Tree decorating contest, which promises to be a fan favorite, for the first time this year the fair is hosting a “tablescaping” competition. Some of the most talented domestic designers in New Mexico will put their impeccable skills on exhibit in creating Pinterest-worthy Christmas tree displays and table settings.
YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS YEAR’S STATE FAIR
According to state fair general manager Dan Mourning, “You gotta get here!”
We can’t begin to capture all there is to do at the New Mexico State Fair, but hope you’ve enjoyed this snapshot of all things new at the fair.
Of course don’t overlook the anchor events that keep folks coming back year after year, such as an extraordinary concert lineup, thrilling PRCA rodeo, incredible food vendors, cultural venues and entertainment, iconic food contests, state fair sensory station, livestock and horse shows and much, much more. For all the details, log onto our website, or download our app for either android or apple devices.