This is Big Tex. He welcomes visitors to the Texas State Fair in a loud, booming voice. The Fair runs for about 4 weeks in Sept/Oct every year and is a fun way to spend a Fall day in Dallas. There is lots to do there — from games and rides to shopping to concerts. You can see livestock, as well as fun shows like pig races and dogs doing tricks. And, of course, there is the food. Lots of it fried and some of it delicious. Once-per-year kind of food. We went to the Fair last week and took about a million pictures, which we culled down to the 50 or so in this post (you’re welcome). It’s a long one, but worth it if you want to see a little bit of what the Texas State Fair is all about.
One of the first things we do when we go to the Fair is get a corny dog (if you’re not from Texas, you may know them as “corn” dogs). It has to be a Fletcher’s corny dog – don’t be fooled by the imitators.
A little mustard and a side of Miller Lite – perfection. I put ketchup on mine, which infuriates Dan for some reason.
Another popular thing to do at the Fair is go to the car show, where they display tons of the new makes and models. It’s also air-conditioned and has clean bathrooms, which is probably part of the appeal.
Novelty Mustang pool table (the girl attempting a shot was terrible at it).
Dan would love to get a pickup truck some day. I would love for it to not be quite as big as this one.
Lots of shopping to be done at the Fair – with a wide variety of wares.
From clipper ships, helicopters and planes made out of wood….
…..to brightly-colored bling….
…..to cowboy hats…..
…..to – just what everyone needs – an Armadillo Beer Holder.
Lots of live music at the Fair too. This band was playing on a little stage near the car show.
Then there was another band playing on the “Main Stage,” which is huge. Those are real cars up top on the left and right.
In addition to music, there are all sorts of product demonstrations going on at the Fair. You can wander around and find many different products being tested or displayed, many of which are available for public use.
Maybe you’d like to get in a quick workout.
Catch a cooking show. (TONS of cooking demos and shows at the Fair).
Take a load off in a lighted canopy swing and visit with friends.
Or perhaps you’d like to get your teeth whitened in between tastings of deep fried stuff? Look to the left of the photo – there is a guy really getting his teeth done – at the Fair.
Or you could catch a quick nap.
How about a dip? In past years, we have seen people actually get in the displayed hot tubs, fully clothed.
If the hot tubs, fried food, games and rides aren’t enough for the kids – the Fair also has kid-friendly shows and displays, such as Mother Goose Storytime.
Time to eat again – smoked turkey leg! Tastes like ham.
Speaking of food – butter anyone? Every year, someone does a giant sculpture out of butter. Really. This year it was UT and OU football players, in honor of the “Red River Rivalry” game that is played at the Cotton Bowl every year during the Fair. According to Wikipedia, the name is derived from the Red River that forms part of the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma.
The butter sculpture was in the “Creative Arts” area of the Fair, which we had never been to before.
Tons of prize-winning art, photographs, crafts, quilts, etc. were on display.
Including this huge wall of canned and pickled goods.
After looking at the art, we decided to continue the “cultural” portion of our Fair visit by checking out the wine tasting.
Who knew you could get good wine at the State Fair? We did! This is not our first rodeo (er, Fair), nor our first year to sample some delicious Texas wine. The wine tasting is in a little courtyard area of sorts in between a couple of the display buildings. There are little tables and chairs and twinkle lights in the trees. It’s a nice break from the crowds and loud noises of the Fair.
With our wine, we had what may have been our favorite thing to eat the whole day — the Spiral Potato. Just the right amount of crispy – somewhere between homefries and potato chips. So good.
People line up like crazy for the latest and greatest (?) deep fried food. This year, “Texas Fried Fritos Pie” was popular. We didn’t try it, but I would have if the line hadn’t been so long. Longest line we’ve ever seen for food at the Fair was the line for Fried Butter last year. Crazy.
One of my favorite things to do at the Fair is go to the children’s petting zoo. Even if I did almost get eaten by a giraffe this year.
I don’t know what this little guy is, but he was damn cute.
The giraffe that tried to eat my face. Here he is just sort of hanging out in his pen, minding his own business.
Maybe it was the camera (even though I wasn’t using a flash), but something about me caught his attention, and he quickly came over to investigate.
This is what it looks like when a giraffe is about to eat your face. Except slightly more scary. I took a couple more photos right before he head-butted (but in a surprisingly gentle way) the camera, but they were understandably blurry.
This kid was watching Dan feed the giraffe and looked like he wanted to get in on the action. That is, until Dan put some food in the kid’s hand and the giraffe came over to eat it. Then he didn’t seem so sure it was a good idea.
Baby cows are so cute. And delicious.
Baby camels are pretty cute too.
Aren’t most things adorable in miniature form?
The piglets were sleeping in an area with a incubator type of light to keep them warm. Look at the one in the middle smiling! Aw, Wilbur. You are Some Pig.
After the petting zoo, we caught a little bit of the parade.
Every parade needs a beauty queen.
And a giant jalepeno.
Pretty flower float.
This one was kind of creepy, but in a cool way.
One of the areas we missed this year was the livestock. We think maybe they had all packed up by the time we got around to that section. But it’s definitely something to see when you’re at the Fair – lots of cattle, pigs, sheep, bunnies, chickens/roosters, etc. etc.
We meant to ride the ferris wheel this year, but I’m a little too scared to do that at night. “The Texas Star” is 212.5 feet tall and is the tallest ferris wheel in North America. We’ve ridden it before and it’s pretty amazing (and scary).
One more fried food sampling — fried peanut butter & jelly sandwich. I had half a bite and did not prefer it. Dan managed three bites. He said that the first two were very good, but the last bite was extremely bad, as the cholesterol coma sunk in.
Bumper Cars! We didn’t spend much time on the Midway, but there’s definitely a lot to do there if you like games and rides.
Does every state fair have the Pirate ship ride?
Finally, if you don’t want to go quite as high in the sky as the ferris wheel goes, but you still want a birds-eye view of the Fair, ride the skyway. It’s a cool way to see an overview of the Fair and how much stuff there is to do there. As evidenced by the length of this post, we love the Texas State Fair and highly recommend that you go, especially if you’ve never been. It’s open one more weekend this year – if you can make it, you should!