Originally published September 2019.
I’m sure that when I was little and my parents brought me to the State Fair of Texas every year, they had no idea just how much I’d grow to love this place as an adult. I’m a Texas girl, born and raised, and to me, The Great State Fair of Texas is my happy place. I’d equate it to how some feel about Disneyland or Walt Disney World.
Those 24 days in September/October are my most favorite of all in the fall (or any season really!). And, although I could make this a list of 100+ things I’m looking forward to most at the State Fair of Texas, I’ll keep it short and sweet and name my top five.
5. THE PHOTO OPS
If you’ve never been or if you’ve been every year as far back as you can remember, there is always something new, something you just didn’t get around to seeing and the photo ops are never ending. Perhaps the most iconic is one is with the big guy himself: Big Tex. Just like you would take a pic with the wonderful mouse at Disney, if you’re at the State Fair of Texas, it a MUST that you take one with The Man, The Myth, The Legend himself!
4. THE RIDES
Since I’ve been going to the fair practically all my life, something about the rides that just brings me back to being a kid. We definitely make several trips to the Great State Fair: at least once with the kids, once with my parents, and at least once just my husband and me. We make a day date or date night of it so that we can enjoy ANY food, show, or ride without the kids directing us to where they’d like to go. We always hit up the “Love Bug,” and I not only scream my head off like if it’s the first time I ever got on that ride, but I laugh uncontrollably! Here’s a tip though—if you want to save a little money on admission and rides go on one of the Tuesday’s for Dr. Pepper Half-Priced Tuesdays. Not only will admission be $9 with an empty Dr. Pepper can, but most rides are offered at a reduced price as well.
3. THE AUTO SHOW
Believe it or not, I do enjoy perusing the cars and trucks inside the automobile buildings. Something about getting to see the newest vehicles out on the market without the pressure of a car salesman haggling with me that just puts me at ease. I’m also passing on this love of the Auto Show to my impressionable boys (12, 7, and 3). More often than not, they are ready to check out and get into ALL OF THE CARS!
2. THE FOOD
I can’t help it that my love language is food. The State Fair has a way of making people think outside the box with some crazy new delicacies (like that one year they had fried butter on a menu), but I like to stick to a few of my favorites: Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, sausage on a stick, funnel cake, Belgian Waffle (my absolute favorite btw!). I’m eager, however, to try a few new things from the Big Texas Choice Award Winners and Finalists: Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Taco Cone, Big Red Chicken Bread and Southern Fried Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Ball. The common theme here seems to be “FRIED,” and although all these things will be eaten in moderation, I just don’t count calories when the State Fair is in town. I’ll put in plenty of steps, just trust me on that one!
1. THE MEMORIES
Just like I look through old photos of my parents at the fair with me as a little girl, I know I’m setting the same tone for my boys. They’re amped up and ready when we start talking all things State Fair. The memories I make with my family are ones that I will cherish, and I know it’s something that they’ll remember for years to come, just like I have.