The State Fair of Texas is a favorite activity among locals and visitors alike. We're all itching to get to Fair Park for 24 days of fried foods, corny dogs, midway games and much more. A true fair veteran knows it's all about the traditions, but if you're new to the State Fair, you might be wondering where to start. Consider this your State Fair of Texas bucket list!
The Texas Star
Known as the most popular ride at the State Fair, the Texas Star Ferris wheel takes you on a 12-minute ride as you enjoy a panoramic view of the fair grounds and Downtown Dallas from 20 stories high in the sky. On a clear day, you can see all the way to neighboring cities and may even be able to spot AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, 21 miles away!
A Fletcher's Corny Dog
The long lines don't lie! Invented by brothers Neil & Carl Fletcher in 1942, the original corny dog is a must-eat each time you visit. In fact, over 500,000 corny dogs are sold annually throughout the 24 days of the State Fair of Texas. While the most popular stand to grab a corny dog is the one by Big Tex, there are Fletcher's locations across the fair grounds. And for those who'd rather skip the beef, Fletcher's also offers The Bird Dog (turkey) and a Veggie Dog.
A photo with Big Tex
A fair staple for more than 65 years, Big Tex is also the fair's shining star. Standing 52 feet tall, he welcomes fair goers with a deep Texas accent and a jolly wave. You might have to get creative with angles to fully capture him in your family photo, but that's part of the allure! Fun fact: Big Tex was previously Santa in a small Texas town east of Corsicana in the 1950s.
The pig races
Make your way to the Coliseum to see a gang of piglets race to the finish line! The entire race takes no more than a few minutes, but seeing them give the race their all as adoring fans cheer them on will certainly bring a smile to your face. There are four races daily, so you have plenty of opportunities to see the little ones in action.
The Starlight Parade
End your State Fair outing with a front row seat at the fair's after-dark parade. Featuring everyone from majestic Clydesdales to stilt-walking performers, the parade is viewable from all over the fairgrounds.
A HBCU game
While the Red River Showdown often takes the glory, it doesn't mean the annual State Fair Classic between Grambling State and Prairie View A&M is one to miss. In fact – we argue it should be your starting point! Our main reason? The halftime Battle of the Bands, a vivacious showcase of both school's marching bands and performers. This year's game is slated for Saturday, Oct. 1. See all fair time football here.