New Mexico State Fair Day 2: First responders, teachers, state employees honored

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Day 2 of the New Mexico State Fair is here and there will be a mix of old and new Friday at Expo New Mexico.

Friday is both Firefighter & First Responders’ Day and State Employee Appreciation Day. First responders get in free with a valid ID while state employees get in for $8 with a valid ID or paystub.

It’s also the start of “Teacher Appreciation Weekend.” That means teachers, with a valid ID, get in for free Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Once you’re in, you may feel like a kid again.

A petting farm is open until 10 p.m. at the Box Car Lawn. Then, at 1:30 p.m., the Candy Contest begins at the Creative Arts Lot.

If candy isn’t your thing, the Beef Jerky Showdown is taking place from 5-7 p.m. at the Agriculture Building Courtyard.

The Beef Jerky Showdown last happened in 2019. This year, there are the salt and pepper flavor and green chile flavor categories.

If you go, you can get a taste of the competition and determine who takes home a trophy, as each category will have a “People’s Choice” winner.

Come 6:45 p.m., you can polish your cowboy boots and your favorite air guitar. The PRCA Xtreme Bulls will kick off a night of entertainment featuring Wolfgang Van Halen at Tingley Coliseum.

Wolfgang is the son of Eddie Van Halen, the legendary guitarist for the rock group Van Halen.

Don’t feel like busting a move? You can bust a gut instead.

The fair’s first comedy show is happening from 9-10:30 p.m. at the Main Street Beer Garden. That will round out day 2 of the New Mexico State Fair.

For a full schedule of events, information on tickets and more, including how to get there, click here.