The State Fair of Texas
One of the reasons that we were happy to be staying in Texas for fall is the annual state fair held in Dallas. It’s season begins on the last friday in September and ends 24 days later. The 2012 State Fair therefore runs from September 28th until October 21st. It is held at the historic Fair Park – where it has been held since 1886. Justin brought me to this Fair Park last summer for the 4th of July Fireworks show ~ You can see those pictures here.
The State Fair of Texas is the largest state fair in the united States by annual attendance, with 2,618,500 attendees in 2010. Most local schools and some businesses give their students/ employees a day off during the fall so that everyone may enjoy the festivities together. General admission is $16, however there are a number of ways to get discounts. Justin does not have classes, so we were able to go on a “KISS Friday” – We downloaded and printed a coupon from the KISS FM website. Admission was $11 with the coupon.
My first State Fair – I was pretty excited!!
In order to buy food or go on big rides, you need to buy coupons. These are valued at 50 cents each, and you literally use sheets of it at a time because most foods and rides cost between 8-14 coupons per person.
We decided to go to the fair alone because we love to take pictures and usually this is quite boring for other people. We also knew that we would have the opportunity to go again later with friends and family, so we went on during a week day when most other people we knew were working.
This is BIG TEX, a 16 m (52 ft) tall cowboy. He has been a symbol of the State Fair of Texas since his introduction in 1952. In 1953, Big Tex’s jaw was hinged, so that he appears to “speak” the announcements that promote fair events. Just below him there were tons of people getting their picture taken in front of him. Apparently, besides eating a corn dog, this is one of the “must do’s” of the fair.
This optical illusion had everyone stopping to take a peek.
There are no shortage of games to play here!!
This 65m (212 ft) Texas Star Ferris wheel has been the largest in North America since it debuted in October of 1985.
hehe… Zombie feeding area!!
This looked like it might be fun ~ but I didn’t want to embarrass myself by screaming louder than the children!
These blue awnings provided some shade but we were still boiling. It may not be summer anymore, but Texas is still experiencing some very warm/humid days. We were dripping with sweat so we tried to stay in the shade while we explored the fair grounds.
This is the worlds tallest portable swing attraction, and to this date, is the tallest portable amusement ride in North America. Have a look at the diagram below to see how the Stratosphere compares to other “tall” fair rides in the US.
Justin and I did a maze like this while we were on vacation on Jeju island, South Korea. The walls are made of mirrors, and get through it was quite confusing.
Behind here is the construction ground of what will become the world’s tallest ride.
Justin pitched a couple balls and did pretty well here ~ well, he beat all the girls on the board!
Next up, we headed to the track to test drive some new cars.
The State Fair of texas is the only fair in the country to include a full blown auto show, dating back to 1904. It includes over 300,000 square feet of new model vehicles, two buildings, a Truck Zone and a Test Drive Track.
There is plenty of beer, wine and cocktails available at the fair, so it is only understandable that you would need to do a breathalyzer test before trying out any of these cars.
SEXY – 2013 Camero Convertible
Wow, only Justin knows how much I looooove this Chevy!! *drool*
I have been eyeing these for a while so I was happy to finally sit in some of the newest editions!
Passenger and Driver.
Now this beautiful car was our number one choice! We definitely wanted to get a spin in this one!!
I am so in love with this car so I was super excited to check it out.
Justin was like a little boy playing with toy cars!
Thanks, I will take it!
2013 Chevy Avalanche ~ Texas Edition
Now, we loved the Camero, but this is something we are more likely to buy
(if we HAD TO choose, haha).
Justin can take the truck and I will take one of these Camaro’s in pink too.
Thank you very much!!
We put stickers on a map to show where we were from.
haha… I’m way off the board!
Chevy buttons for test driving the cars and trucks.
Souvenir photo at the Chevrolet booth. Can you tell that Justin was STILL excited about playing with the life size toys!?
Inside the Food and Fiber Pavilion we wandered around sampling all kinds of soups, sauces, and other foods. We watched some guest chefs cook meals, and promote certain cooking products/ utensils. It was like watching live infomercials… And if you know me well, then you know that I want to buy everything that I see!! I tried not to stick around too long at any stall.
Soups and sauces.
I saw cute little cowboy outfits for Charles!
Many people bring their livestock to the fair for shows, or to auction them off.
This pig was so big that I couldn’t imagine him standing up.
I’m sure that he can stand up, but we didn’t see him do much more than snort a few times.
Very pretty show cows.
Many of these pigs were quite cute.
hehe, this is how one of our dogs lays with her back legs out at the back!
There are a live bands playing on a revolving stage at the fair.
We walked all day, only stopping to eat when we needed to rest our legs. I will do a separate blog post on all of the food that we ate. It was a little insane!!!
A miniature horse ~ adorable!
The Chevrolet Main Stage
There are free music shows at the stage everyday. We stopped to listen to some country music.
At the doggie adoption tent we saw some really cute mutts that needed homes.
This little guy was helping raise money by sitting at the kissing booth.
It’s very tiring being so darn cute!
The World Famous Redwood Log House was on display. We went inside to look at this home inside a tree trunk. It was pretty fascinating!
Can you believe that people actually lived in here?!
Lots of signs and souvenirs for sale.
As the sun started to dip, so did the temperature. Even though we had been sweating all afternoon, we started to feel the chill in the air!!
Time for more munchies!
Walking around all day wears you out –
Justin stretches out his back like an old Korean man.
Just after sunset there was a huge parade.
At 7:30pm we met a friend and made our way to the Esplanade Reflecting Pool to view the light show that is highly recommended ~ The Illumination Sensation.
This show included high tech visual effects, spraying water, fire and pyrotechnics.
We could feel the heat of the fire on our faces. It was awesome!
There was a very patriotic section of the show that made everyone cheer and clap. It gave us goosebumps. Pretty impressive!
We had wanted to go on the Ferris Wheel all day, but we decided to wait until after dark so that we could see the fair, all lit up, from the sky. Just before this we were introduced to some new friends, and we all went on the wheel together. There were at least 15 of us, so we had to split into smaller groups to jump onto the big wheel.
The view of the city was breathtaking!
This is a very sweet girl I met at the fair. She goes to the same church that we have been to twice now, so I hope to see her again.
I had been eyeing the Stratosphere as well, so I was happy to hear that the others wanted to try it too. Again, the views from up there were phenomenal. Perhaps I have been in too many planes and high towers, but I just wasn’t scared. I felt so peaceful up there, especially because I had no shoes on, and I could see the city just below my toes as they swung round and round through the air.
This looked like LOADS of fun! Especially because as the kids were exiting, they were covered from head to toe in bubbles. I wanted to try it out, but there were a NO FLIP FLOPS/ NO BARE FEET rule, so I was not allowed in. Boo, maybe next time.
We strolled around with the group of people that we had met – trying more fried foods, and crazy rides. It was getting very cold though, so we knew that we would need to leave soon.
Fun fun fun!!
As we were leaving, Justin got attacked by a stray T-Rex!
The Texas State fair is really awesome, and I can’t wait to go again. We will probably head back there very soon with some friends and family. I will try to take some different pictures so that all of you can see what else the fair has to offer. I can’t quite describe just how many things there are to see
~ It’s HUGE!!!!
I know that you are all dying to know what we ate at the Texas State Fair aka the FRIED FOOD CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!! I have to do a separate post on that because we over-indulged and there are too many things to list here!!
Coming up next…
What we ate at the Fair!!!!