10 Acts To See This Year at the State Fair of Texas

Kathy Tran

Between all the fun, expensive rides and fried food at the State Fair of Texas this year, people might want to take advantage of what little free entertainment there is at this 24-day annual Texas tradition. There are 13 stellar musical acts ranging from Tejano music to hip-hop that will take the Chevrolet Main Stage starting Sept. 28. Here are 10 performances you have to see.

Kraig Parker as Elvis
8:30 p.m. Sept. 28

Unlike other Elvis impersonators, Parker travels with his own 10-piece group named The Royal Tribute Band. The award-winning tribute artist might just be the closest thing to The King himself. He has been playing the part of Presley for about 20 years, putting on electrifying performances across the U.S. and Europe in casinos, performance halls and cruise ships, according to his website.

Sevyn Streeter
2 p.m. Sept. 29

The smooth sounds of heartbreak and love loss can be heard in both singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter’s solo music and her collaborations with artists like Wiz Khalifa and Ty Dolla $ign. It is no surprise that after writing for R&B legends Chris Brown and Alicia Keys, her 2013 EP Call Me Crazy, But… reached No. 5 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Album chart. She released her debut album Girl Disrupted in July 2017.

Morris Day and The Time
8:30 p.m. Sept. 29

In the movie Purple Rain, Morris Day and Prince were portrayed as rivals. However in reality, they happened to be longtime friends. Prince encouraged Day to be the front man for The Time, and later had them appear in his 1984 movie, which propelled the band into stardom. Funk lives on through the band with songs like “Jungle Love,” “Cool” and “Jerk Out."

Michael Salgado
5:30 p.m. Sept. 30

In 2016, Salgado was celebrating 20 years in the music business when he was awarded Best Tejano Album in the 17th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. He took home the award for his album Por Cielo Y Tierra. The San Antonio-based singer has seemingly made a strong recovery after suffering a second stroke, while playing a show in Austin in February.

Resurrection - A Journey Tribute
5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. Oct. 5

In 2014, lead singer Ryan Christopher and keyboardist Vic White set out to make “the most authentic Journey experience anyone has ever witnessed,” according to their website. They hit the stage of Franklin, Tennessee, venue Gary’s on Main to play in front of their first live audience later that year. A month later, the band sold out 3rd & Lindsley, a legendary performance hall in Nashville, and never turned back.

The Molly Ringwalds
5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. Oct. 12

There probably are not many things more ‘80s than Molly Ringwald, so it is naturally the perfect name for a band covering the music of the decade. The New Orleans band covers artists ranging from Guns N' Roses to Queen. The band’s embodiment of the era, and wild personas on stage, have made them a great ‘80s cover band.

8:30 p.m. Oct. 13

Named one of today’s most effective influencers on American culture by msnbc.com (Editor's note: Wow), along with others such as Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffett, Ludacris gained notoriety about 18 years ago with his debut album Back For the First Time. In a matter of seven years, he's been awarded three Grammys, for Best Rap Performance in 2005, and Best Rap Album and Song in 2007.

Hunter Hayes
8:30 p.m. Oct. 14

The five-time Grammy Award-winning, Nashville country star broke onto the scene with a debut album that eventually went double-platinum. And he was only 20 at the time. On Aug. 3, Hayes released his new song “Dear God” about the human condition of never feeling good enough.

Bidi Bidi Banda
5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. Oct. 19

This Selena tribute band was a dream of Austin native Stephanie Bergara. Growing up, she would always listen to Tejano radio, singing into her hair brush and wearing her mom’s red lipstick, according to the band’s website. Bergara and the rest of the group, comprised of members of premier Latin bands in Austin, now tour throughout Texas, performing their interpretation of Selena hits.

Casting Crowns
8:30 p.m. Oct. 20

Two years after releasing their award-winning 2016 album The Very Next Thing, worship band Casting Crowns finally released a new single earlier this month. The single, "Only Jesus," is the title track of their next full-length album, which is set to be released in the fall. This year, the band was nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance and Song at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony.

If you are not free any of the days, there are still three more acts you can see. Aaron Watson, a Texas country musician, performs at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 6. Pop artist and heart throb Austin Mahone will step foot onstage early in the evening at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 7. Last but not least, Latin Grammy Award-nominated Mexican Latin group Banda Carnaval will play to the afternoon crowd at 3 p.m. Oct. 21.

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