Held on the same fair grounds since its inaugural year in 1886, the Texas State Fair is steeped in tradition. From deep-fried Twinkies to one of the country’s largest and most impressive auto shows, the outlets for pleasure and indulgence and the Lone Star State’s annual fair are numerous. Fair Park’s 277 acres are host to some three million visitors annually. If you don’t want to get lost or feel that you have missed out on something when the Ferris wheel stops turning and the time to leave comes, it can be helpful to do just a bit of advance planning. Below, we offer six fool-proof tips that will ensure your enjoyment of one of the most exciting events on earth.
1. Donate Water, Save Money
Have plans for Friday? If not, consider hitting the Texas State Fair grounds on opening day, September 27th. Bring a 20-ounce bottle of Dasani water or any Coca-Cola product for donation to the North Texas Food Bank, and you can enter for a reduced price of . This translates into savings of 0 per person.
2. Arrive Hungry
Take that 0 you save by visiting the fair on opening day, and spend it on on corny dogs, deep-fried Oreos, or one of several other delicacies for which the Texas State Fair is known. If you are coming on any other day and paying full price, you will still want to budget money for at least one or two snacks/meals. If you are on a diet and allow yourself a break one day each week or month, take that break on the day you visit the fair. After all, it’s not every day that your meal options include deep-fried pork ribs, deep-fried Girl Scout cookies, and batter based fried soda.
3. Ride the Texas Star
Why? It’s the biggest Ferris wheel in North America. It also affords riders with exceptional views of the massive Texas State Fair grounds and Dallas’s beautiful skyline. With a height of 212-feet, the Texas Star stands taller than both the Navy Pier Ferris wheel and the Seattle Great Wheel. A ride on this massive wheel, the most popular ride at the Texas State Fair, is a highlight of the event for many.
4. Go Shopping
Deep-fried delicacies are closely associated with the Texas State Fair, but they aren’t the only objects on which visitors can elect to spend their money. From the massive Embarcadero to the Texas State Fair Auto Show, one can buy everything from handicrafts to jewelry to luxury sedans at Fair Park.
5. Make Plans for the Game
One of the country’s greatest sports rivalries is the annual game that pits the football teams of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas against one another. This year’s game will be held on Saturday, October 12th, and the Texas State Fair is bound to be filled with plenty of Sooner crimson and Longhorn orange. Other big games that will be played in the Cotton Bowl during this year’s Texas State Fair fair include the State Fair Classic and the Heart of Dallas Classic. In the first, the Grambling State University Tigers and Prairie View A&M University Panthers will go head-to-head, kicking off at 4:30 PM on October 5th. The Heart of Dallas Classic is a showdown between Army and Louisiana Tech, which will be held for the first time this upcoming Saturday, September 28th. If you are an alumni or die-hard fan of any of these schools who lives in a luxury Dallas apartment, you should make plans to watch the game at or near the Cotton Bowl so that you can be close to the center of the action.
6. Take a Photo with Big Tex
From the unveiling of the 52-foot tall statue in 1952, Big Tex has been the face of the Texas State Fair. The original statue was unfortunately destroyed in an accidental fire at last year’s fair, but he has been reconstructed and is now bigger and better than ever. If you attend this year’s State Fair, you will have the chance to do something that fair goers haven’t been able to do in more than 60 years: take a photo in front of a brand new Big Tex!
Everything is bigger in Texas, and the Texas State Fair is no exception. With a little bit of planning, some patience, and the right attitude, you can have the time of your life with your family and friends at the Fair Park grounds. From this Friday, September 27th thru Sunday, October 20th, the Fair Park grounds will be the place to Live Life + Love Life in the City of Dallas. So pick a date for your visit, call of your dieting plans for a day, and have fun with people you love in an unforgettably exciting environment. The Texas State Fair only occurs once a year–you don’t want to miss it.