Fall in Dallas means cooler weather, football, and the State Fair of Texas. If you’re thinking about a trip to Dallas, you have to plan to hit the fair. For over 125 years, the fair and Big Tex have welcomed people from all over. Touted as the greatest state fair in the world, you don’t want to miss it.
Running from September 28-October 21, the fair offers everything from shows, rides, games, exhibits, and more food than you can eat. The fair’s mascot, Big Tex, is a 52-inch cowboy who “announces” fair activities all throughout the day. Wearing size-70 boots and a 75-gallon hat, Big Tex has welcomed fans to the fair since 1952. You won’t be able to miss his booming voice as you wonder around the fairgrounds. Big Tex also presents a great photo opportunity, so don’t forget your camera.
If you like cars, you will want to visit the auto show which dates back to 1904. The only fair in the country to include a full auto show, the State Fair of Texas has two large buildings full of automobiles in addition to a truck zone and a test drive track. Representatives from the different car companies are present to answer questions, and you can climb in the vehicles to get a real feel for them.
For many, one of the favorites of the fair is the food. Famous for the Fletcher corny dogs, the fair also features unusual fried foods. A new fried food is introduced each year, and some of the previous hits have been deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried Twinkies, fried cheesecake, and fried coke. For 2012, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas have gotten into the mix and are showcasing deep-fried Samoa cookies. If fried food isn’t your thing, there is still plenty to eat, such as cotton candy, turkey legs, funnel cakes, ice cream, etc. If you’re not leaving the fair with a full stomach, you did something wrong!
One of the fair’s most popular destinations is the midway, which offers more than 70 attractions. The 212-foot ferris wheel has held the title of the largest in North America since it debuted in 1985. Definitely worth the ride, be prepared to wait in line for this popular attraction. The Texas Skyway is also a favorite. This gondola ride will take you all around the fairground. A must for fair goers is the antique carousel. Since 1951, these wooden horses have been loved by adults and children alike. There is a special section with rides for small children. They can “fly” airplanes, “drive” trucks, and even take a ride on a pint-sized roller coaster.
For football fans, the annual Red River Shootout between Texas and OU will take place October 13. This is game is considered to be the biggest rivalry in college football and brings thousands of fans to the area. If you plan on attending the game while at the fair, be sure to secure tickets early.
The Chevrolet Texas Main Stage features live concerts by some of today’s best-known artists. This year will feature Le Freak, Uncle Kracker, Kevin Fowler, Kellie Pickler, and more. These concerts are free with admission to the fair. For a complete list of entertainers, go to www.bigtex.com/sft/entertainment.
The huge livestock is always a hit. Walk through the many stalls of animals on display. View this year’s winners of the different competitions, and watch animal shows. There are even petting areas for the younger ones.
In addition to all the above, you’ll find baking contests, dog shows, dancers, singers, nightly parades, and tons more at the State Fair of Texas. Your biggest problem will be trying to fit it all in!