Every Autumn, millions of people of all ages venture to Fair Park in Dallas to enjoy the attractions, competitions, and entertainment offered by the Texas State Fair. The very first Texas State Fair took place in 1886. Since that time, the celebration has grown bigger and more exciting each year. The 24-day annual event begins on the last Friday in September and has become a part of the region’s Western tradition. People have the option to purchase tickets in advance online for discounts on admission, rides, and food.
When and Where
Weekends are often the busiest time to attend the fair. Busy days also include specific days in October due to the Dallas ISD independent school district fair days. Other busy dates in October also draw crowds as the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma alumni, students and family members take in the AT&T Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl.
Fairground parking comes at a cost of $15 for self-parking, or people can opt for valet parking for $30. Otherwise, visitors can consider off-site options that include local residents who offer free parking.
The Hall of State is one of the first attractions visitors encounter when passing the entrance where guests get to see Art Deco and other themed exhibits. Make a point of visiting the fair at night to see the Starlight Parade. The procession begins at 7:15 P.M. by the Children’s Aquarium and meanders through the fairgrounds. The parade features more than one dozen floats, a band, costumed figures and more. Stop by the Creative Arts Building and see the unique butter sculptures. Enjoy live entertainment at the Chevrolet Main Stage. The fair would not be complete without livestock exhibits. See the array of award-winning animals. The midway is filled with vendors offering a wide variety of items that might serve as gifts or souvenirs. There is also a wide range of food trucks offering everything from cotton candy, popcorn, and taffy to sodas and beverages. Have a corn dog or funnel cake queso bacon burger.
The fairgrounds offer more than 70 rides that are appropriate for all ages. The Texas Star Ferris wheel stands 212 feet tall and is one of the tallest in the country. A ride on the wheel provides outstanding views over the metro area. The swan boats enable guests to enjoy a leisurely venture around the lagoon via a pedal boat. Thrill-seekers can enjoy the exhilarating Top O’ Texas Tower.