Opening day of the State Fair of Texas is upon us, and we're ready to make sure everyone is fully prepared to enjoy everything new the fair this year. Along with indulging on your favorite foods, riding on the Texas Star Ferris Wheel, and taking your picture with Big Tex, here are the best new things for 2017.
1. Celebrate Texans.
This year's theme is "Celebrating Texans," which expands upon the fair's mission of promoting agriculture, education and community involvement. The theme highlights the importance of community within every aspect of the fair. During the 24-day run of the fair, experience livestock events, local talent and competitions through the Creative Arts Department.
2. Take a selfie in your dream car.
The largest new car auto show in the Southwest underwent a name change and is now the Texas Auto Show. It's a huge part of the fair experience, housed in three buildings across the fair grounds with more than 400 vehicles on display. Check out some of the newest rides, classic corral and the truck zone.
3. Bring your appetite.
Your trip to the fair is not complete without splurging on a few fried foods. There's dozens of new things to try this year, like the bacon cream corn and deep fried cannoli bites. And we can't forget about the Big Tex Choice Award winners – the funnel cake bacon queso burger and gulf coast fish bowl are definite must-try treats.
4. Check out some concerts.
The fun continues with live music and concerts every day of the fair. The best part is they're all included with admission! See big names like Maren Morris, Flo Rida and Pat Green, as well as dozens of other artists. Find the full line up here!
5. Go for an arts & culture experience.
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of America's entry into World War I, the fair has introduced two new exhibits to explore an in-depth look at history. The "Texas in the First World War" and "America and World War I" will showcase wartime memorabilia and inside the Hall of State building and the D.A.R. House.
Make plans to see the Moving Cities: Dallas exhibit inside the African American Musesum. Commissioned by VisitDallas, this exhibit is a traveling photo collection from the award-winning short film, Moving Cities. London-based filmmaker Jevan Chowdhury captures life on the street with juxtaposed imagery featuring world-class dancers with the city of Dallas landscape.
See the art work of respected Dallas Morning News cartoonist John Knott titled "Drawing Power: The Editorial Art of John Knott." On display are topics of his work that still relate to today's modern audiences.
6. Visit the Big Tex Urban Farms
This urban garden serves as an outdoor learning space, providing fresh, organic produce to the surrounding communities. Since its inception last year, the number of planters has grown from 100 to 520 planters! This year, you can visit with the planters in the Errol McKoy Greenhouse on the Midway and see how the crops are doing.
7. Learn about all things agriculture.
The Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center, Fair Park's newest building, will expand the scope of livestock and agriculture activities and educational programs available to all Fair goers. Check out "I Spy Texas," an interactive exhibit that takes visitors on an agricultural road trip of Texas.
8. See a magic show.
Take the kids to see mind-blowing magic tricks and illusions at the World of Magic show at the Oak Farms Showplace Theatre. After the show, stop by Backyard Circus to play dress up in circus costumes and become a part of the show.
9. Explore the gardens.
The Texas Discovery Gardens will host a variety of lavish floral arrangements from the Ikebana (the Japanese art of arranging flowers) International Dallas Chapter. You can also see other favorite exhibits like "Snakes of Texas," to see a variety of native reptiles, and the buzzing "Honeybee Tree," a live honeybee hive.
10. Get your extreme sports fix.
The Xpogo show debuted at the fair last year, and is back in an all-new location. Head to the Chevrolet Park Plaza for an exciting show of pogo professionals showing off their impressive skills. And don't miss the Lords of Gravity Basketball Slam Dunk Show featuring one of the most well-known international acrobatic basketball teams in Europe.