New Mexico State Fair kicks off Thursday

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Thursday, Expo New Mexico will open its gates for the 2017 New Mexico State Fair. It’s expected to be bigger and better this year with unique food and attractions.

Just one of those unique and possibly unusual things you’ll see this year is alligator wrestling.

In fact, General Manager Dan Mourning says it’s something he’s been trying to have at the fair for a while.

“This show is absolutely ridiculous. I guarantee nobody in New Mexico has seen anything like what is about to be brought,” said Mourning.

There’s also going to be plenty of entertainment with Aaron Lewis, the former lead singer of Staind, kicking things off Friday night.

As for rides, there’s going to be over 50 of them, and new this year is a water slide.

If rides aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of food to eat with many new vendors including a company serving up Canadian comfort food, poutine, as well as a company dishing out the “World’s Hottest Pizza” topped with some of the world’s hottest peppers.

People can sign up throughout the day to compete in the World’s Hottest Pizza Eating Contest. Four people will be chosen to compete and the person who can eat a slice and keep it down for five minutes will win $50.

There’s also the unique food contest.

“We have a vendor that’s taking a tortilla if you will doing something fried with it stuffed with ice cream wrapped with cotton candy. That’s a State Fair right there,” said Mourning.

Rex’s is said to be the longest running stand at the New Mexico State Fair. It is famous for its bacon wrapped deep fried green chile cheeseburgers

KRQE News 13 asked owner Rex Thompson how many years his stand has been at the fair.

“Forty-eight [years], since 1979, I haven’t missed a day here,” he said. “Not one day at the fair. The fair is open I’m here.”

Of course, you will still find your fair favorites.

“The pig races and the duck races are the most popular thing we got here,” Mourning said.

If you’re wondering how to get here for the first time, the State Fair is offering a free park and ride from the Coronado Mall on Saturdays and Sundays.

Tickets are free for kids up to 5-years-old and $10 for adults. Officials suggest taking advantage of the Megapass which will give you a 20 percent discount. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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