Arkansas State Fair

Samantha Hagler feeds one of her Nigerian Dwarf goats. Hagler is one Arkansas teen that uses much of her time and resources to participate in livestock showing.
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

Over 470,000 people visited the Arkansas State fair this year, with many coming for the food and rides. However, one thing that attracts the attention of many competitive youth in the state is livestock showings.

Last week at the state fair, Future Farmers of America students, members of agricultural clubs, and independent farmers competed against one another to show premier animals from around the state. Many competitors are young people who sacrifice their time and resources to take part in livestock showing.

KATV, Channel 7

Final attendance numbers are in and this year's Arkansas State Fair had the second-highest attendance in its 80-year history.

Doug White, in his first year as president and general manager of Arkansas State Fairgrounds, said the lack of rain was one reason for the success of this year's event.

"Having nine days of sunshine, having our only rain-day be on a Tuesday, which is typically a slow day anyway, we couldn't have scripted it any better. My first fair, obviously I’m elated," White said.

Arkansas State Fair
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The 2019 Arkansas State Fair kicks off Friday, running through Sunday, Oct. 20. At the fairgrounds along Roosevelt Road in Little Rock, rides are being assembled and game booths set up. General Manager Doug White says several new rides will be among the more than 60 rides on the midway.

Last year, six days of rain hurt attendance, he said. The fair typically averages 400,000 to 450,000 people each year. This year, White is hoping to exceed that.