HUTCHINSON — The nation’s top bulls and rising world-class cowboys, who buck up a storm on the pro rodeo circuit, will kick off the 2020 Kansas State Fair.
Tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. today, June 1, for the Nex-Gen Bull Riding Tour, which will deliver a night of adrenaline-pumping action starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 at the Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand.
The tour features 30 of the toughest skilled bull riders from across the United States, who will go head to head against some of the fiercest animals in the business. The show begins with explosions and flames before the bravest cowboys deliver two hours of edge-of-your-seat entertainment.
These cowboys are competing for thousands in cash and prizes, along with the honor of being the Kansas State Fair Nex-Gen Bull Riding champion.
“It’s a fast-paced, high energy show,” said General Manager Robin Jennison. “These 140-pound cowboys will battle 2,000-pound bucking bulls. It’s been many years since we’ve had bull riding at the Fair, and we’re excited to bring it back to the grandstand.”
Besides skilled cowboys, the event features three bullfighters, including Cade Gibson. A Texas native, Gibson grew up amid the rodeo scene and, in 2018, claimed the first-ever American Freestyle Bull Fighting world title at the AFB World Championship held in Uvalde, Texas.
World-traveling rodeo clown Matt Merritt, one of the best entertainers in the business, will keep crowds laughing. Known for his dancing skills, Merritt loves to create an atmosphere that's fun for the audience.
Mutton Bustin’ has all the makings in itself of being a real-life bull riding competition in miniature. With that in mind, the Fair moved the Kansas State Fair Mutton Bustin’ Championships to coincide with the bull riding tour. The mutton bustin’ semifinals begins at 6 p.m. The mutton bustin’ finals will take place before the bull riding finals. The Pretty Prairie Rodeo Association helps put on the annual event, which is sponsored by Continental Siding.
To Purchase Tickets
Bud Light Bull Pit seating is available for avid bull riding fans who want an up-close experience. These tickets offer premium seats, gate admission and one beverage ticket. The first 80 ticket purchasers will be offered a 30-minute, behind-the-chute experience before the performance. This experience includes demonstrations and an educational tour by the bullfighters. The Bud Light Bull Pit ticket price is $50 a person.
Grandstand reserved seating is $35 and includes gate admission. General admission tickets are $20 for adults 13 and older and $5 for children 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. General admission seating does not include gate admission.
Fair officials advise fairgoers to be cautious when purchasing tickets. Etix is the only authorized seller for Fair tickets. Tickets can be purchased through Etix by visiting the Kansas State Fair’s website — kansasstatefair.com. Also, tickets can be purchased by calling 620-669-3618.
The 2020 Kansas State Fair is Sept. 11-20. Fair officials are still finalizing the remaining Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand entertainment series. Here are the acts announced so far.
- Tracy Lawrence and Logan Mize — 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15. Mize is an up-and-coming country star from Clearwater, Kansas. His “Come Back Road” album has more than 150 million streams across all platforms and debuted at No. 2 on the Country iTunes chart. Other singles include “It Ain’t Always Pretty, "Can't Get Away from a Good Time,” "Better Off Gone” and “I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up.”
- Newsboys with Adam Agee – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16. Newsboys has defined Christian music since winning their first Dove award in 1995. Along the way, they’ve sold more than 10 million units and amassed eight gold certifications and 33 No. 1 radio hits. Among the chart-toppers are “Shine,” “It is You” and “He Reigns” from earlier years to more recent singles like “Born Again,” “Miracles” and “We Believe” and platinum-certified mega-hit, “God’s Not Dead.” Ticket prices start at $20.
One of country music’s truest traditionalists, Lawrence has sold more than 13 million albums and has charted 18 No. 1 songs. His singles that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 include "Sticks and Stones," "Alibis," "Can't Break It to My Heart," "If the Good Die Young," "Texas Tornado” and "Time Marches On." The most recent No. 1 was in 2007 with "Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” featuring Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. Lawrence has 22 Top 10 hits, including “Better Man, Better Off,” “If the World Had A Front Porch,” “As Any Fool Can See” and "Paint Me a Birmingham." Ticket prices are all general admission – $20 in the grandstand seating area and $45 in the Bud Light Party Pit.
- 38 Special — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17. Spanning five decades, 38 Special helped write the classic rock soundtrack of the 1970s and 1980s with hits like “Hold on Loosely” and “Caught Up in You.” Ticket prices are all general admission – $20 in the grandstand seating area and $45 in the Bud Light Party Pit.
- Chris Janson – 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. Janson put himself on the country music map with his single “Buy Me a Boat,” in 2015. The chart-topping, double-platinum single received the iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Song of the Year in 2016 has had more than 82 million streams on Spotify. Other hits include “Drunk Girl,” “Fix a Drink,” “Power of Positive Drinkin’” and “Done.” “Good Vibes” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in October. Ticket prices start at $25.
- Nelly with Willie Jones — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. Nelly, a diamond-selling, multi-platinum artist, has sold more than 22 million albums, ranking him as one of the best-selling rappers in America. His songs include “Ride Wit Me,” “Hot in Herre,” “Air Force Ones” and “Country Grammar,” which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in June. Rising star Jones blends his country roots with R&B and hip-hop influences. Recent singles include Whole Lotta Love,” “Bachelorettes on Broadway” and “Down For it.” Tickets are still available at $25 and $35.
- Darci Lynne Farmer — 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20. Teen ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer hit stardom in 2017 after becoming one of the youngest contestants to ever win NBC’s America’s Got Talent.” Darci Lynne will be accompanied by her puppet friends: divaesque rabbit Petunia, shy and soulful mouse Oscar and a sarcastic old woman named Edna. Ticket prices start at $20.