Anyone living in Texas would find it next to impossible not to notice the excitement building when the Texas State Fair is approaching. Anyone planning on attending needs to start thinking about what they want to experience on their visit as there’s an abundance of things to see and do. After all, the Texas State Fair really does live up to all the hype. And there’s a lot to live up to. The fair began in 1886 and takes place at Dallas’ historic Fair Park. It typically begins on the last Friday in September and runs for 24 days. It has a reputation for serving up delicious fried foods. Of course, there’s far more to do here than just enjoy food, although you’ll definitely want to try some of those fried treats. There are also music concerts, fun events, cute barnyard animals, and much more.
Each year, the fair begins with an annual parade in downtown Dallas. Anyone planning on visiting on the first day should make the parade a part of their plan. It never fails to put anyone in just the right mood to enjoy the fair. There are also vintage cars, colourful floats, beauty queens, girls in cowboy boots and twirly skirts, and marching bands. For anyone who can’t make the parade downtown, they’ll have the opportunity to see it at the fair. Each night at Fair Park is an array of characters, stunning costumes, lovely music, and spectacular floats.
Meeting Big Tex
One fun thing to do is to head over to Big Tex for a photo op, along with a Fletcher’s corn dog for good measure. Big Tex made his first fair appearance in 1952 and has appeared every year since, becoming something of an iconic character in the state. While the original was burned in a fire at the 2012 fair, he made a comeback the following year- this time taller, with even bigger boots and a 95-gallon hat. It seems you can’t keep a big Texan down. There’s also a neon 35-foot tall Big Tex that lived at a liquor store before he was recently sold. As alluring as Big Tex is, however, he’s also sort of creepy, which probably isn’t the intention.
A midway is an important part of any fair, and this one is huge. It’s particularly popular with the little ones, but the grown-ups also love it. It looks its prettiest at night, with everything lit up. You can take in a panoramic view by riding the Texas Skyway, entering it from either end. Riding the huge Ferris wheel (aka the Texas Star) is one of the must-do activities at the fair. It’s the fair’s most popular ride, in fact. Looming over the midway, it can be viewed from multiple spots around the park. The wheel was given its park debut in 1985, and features 44 gondola baskets, with a maximum capacity of 264 passengers, and is 216 feet tall.