Ah, the State Fair of Texas. Each fall, thousands of Texans make the pilgrimage to Dallas for the beloved annual event. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned Fair veteran, there’s no denying that there’s A LOT to do once you’ve entered Big Tex’s gates. And we mean A LOT (everything’s bigger in Texas, right?). To help plan your trip this year, we’ve compiled some of our favorite things to see and do in Fair Park. It’s so much more than fried food! Yes. Seriously.
1. Take a Texas History Lesson
And no, we don’t mean the Battle of the Alamo. The State Fair of Texas offers a variety of different ways to learn about the great state we live in, including the completely free Big Texas Music exhibit which showcases the accomplishments of Texas musicians across all genres. More of a traditional history buff? Check out the Lone Star Horse Spectacular, featuring horseback riders performing the Texas history narrative (we’re not making this up).
2. Experience Agriculture & Wildlife
The State Fair provides opportunities for patrons of all ages to familiarize themselves with Texas agriculture. While you’re there, check out a cow milking demo in the Pan Am Barn or stop by Big Tex’s Farmyard to learn how farmers and ranchers care for the animals that fuel us. Once you’re done, browse through the Food & Fiber Pavilion for sampling and shopping of Texas-made products — and stop by our booth while you’re at it (shameless plug)!
But the fun doesn’t stop on the farm. The State Fair is also home to an on-site aquarium where the whole family can get up close and personal with alligators, sharks, eels, turtles and countless other underwater creatures. Did I mention you can feed stingrays? How cool is that?!?
3. Eat Delicious Food
Okay, so I know we said the State Fair of Texas is more than fried food, but you didn’t think we could honestly write a blog on the subject without at least mentioning it, right? There’s an abundance of deep-fried creations to indulge in at the Fair, not limited to Fletcher’s Famous Corny Dogs, Carrot Cake, Lobster (you read that correctly!), Oreos and dozens of other crispy delicacies. If you can dream it, they can fry it. However, as advocates of healthy lifestyles, we should emphasize the “everything in moderation” philosophy. 🙂
4. Catch a Show (Or Football Game)
Jumping dogs, racing pigs, a body-less man, liquid fire — yes, these are all shows you can view at the State Fair of Texas. Music buff? Catch performances from some of today’s biggest artists at the Chevrolet Main Stage, which offers more than 85 free festival-like concerts throughout the Fair’s duration. There’s something for everyone — we’re not kidding.
Fair Park is also home to the historic Cotton Bowl, which hosts two of the most iconic college football rivalry games in Texas: the State Fair Classic featuring Prairie View A&M vs. Grambling State and of course, the Red River Showdown between the University of Texas and OU. Whether or not you’re affiliated with these schools, both games have been taking place at the State Fair for decades and are worth a visit for the tradition alone.
What’s your favorite State Fair activity?