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A Newcomer's Guide to the State Fair

What's all the fuss about? Find out why the locals count the days to the fair every year.

Posted on Oct 6, 2016

If you're new here, you are probably wondering what the big deal is - after all, you've seen one fair, you've seen them all, right? Well, read on!

It is truly big

Compared to others, the Texas State Fair is really big, and we're not just saying that because we love it. Big Tex, the 55-foot tall cowboy that greets you at the fair gates (he actually talks!), is the tallest cowboy in Texas. Before you even get to the Fair Park gates, you can see the iconic 212-foot Texas Star Ferris wheel, the largest in Texas, and if you ride to the top of the 500-foot tall Top o' Texas Tower - on a clear day you can see the AT&T Stadium! The bustling Midway has more than 70 rides - and that doesn't include all the games - for hours of fun for the whole family!

Not into rides?

How about the biggest new car show in the Southwest, with about 400 of the latest models from the world's leading auto manufacturers? More into arts? Fair Park has the world's largest collection of art deco exhibit buildings - and this year you can experience the majesty of the Sistine Chapel right here in Dallas - check out the 34 reproductions (in their actual size!) at the Women's Museum Building.  

So much fun for everyone – that's why we keep coming back!

The fair runs for 24 consecutive days, making it the longest running fair in the nation, and that's a good thing because there are hundreds of things to see and do: Daily lineup of concerts, dance shows, livestock exhibits - speaking of big, be sure to visit the famous Budweiser Clydesdales - and all the animal shows kids love, cooking demos, wine tastings, beer garden, college football games (the AT&T Red River Showdown has been played here for 94 years!), and of course all the fried foods with unbelievably tasty new concoctions (who knew you could fry jello?) unveiled every year.


Chevrolet Main Stage, State Fair of Texas
Chevrolet Main Stage at the State Fair of Texas. Photo credit: Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas

Fair Park seems pretty far from where I live…

While there's plenty of parking around the Fair Grounds, many folks prefer to ride DART. So, you can sit back and enjoy the view as you ride the Green line to either Fair Park Station or the MLK Jr. Station - both located next to the fair gates.

Christine (moved here from Seattle), second time at the fair: "I couldn't believe how quickly the day went by! We are coming back next weekend. I loved the Michelangelo art exhibit!"

Jonathon (moved here from Denver), first time at the fair: "I went with my team and we got some drinks and went through the car show. Totally worth the trip! I'm definitely going again."

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Children & Family Holiday/Festivals