State Fair of Texas

For 24 days in the Fall, Texans flock to the State Fair.  We stuff ourselves with creative fried foods, play carnival games, and take photos of Big Tex while he greets us with a “Howdy Folks!”

I thought I’d better post this before our visit became too out of date.  The fair closed for the season almost a month ago! Peter, having lived in Texas for about 18 months, had never been to the State Fair before so I was quite excited to show him around.  We went on a Thursday and took two empty 20 oz bottles of Coke for discounted admission.

Lone Star Boulevard
Lone Star Boulevard

Once we got inside the gates, we loaded up with coupons.  Coupons are money at the State Fair, so protect them as such while you are walking around.  You pay for rides, games, food, and drinks with them.  The main objective of our visit was to try a bunch of the fried food finalists.  Each item was located at different concession stands around the fair, so we did a lot of walking.  I took a mixture of photos with my camera and my phone.

Each year, cooks come up with different food items and enter them in the Big Tex Choice Awards competition.  Judging is done prior to the opening of the fair and finalists are chosen to showcase their food item at the concession stands.  This year’s overall winner was the Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil and that was the first one we tried.  Delicious!

Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil - 2014 Big Tex Choice Awards Winner for Best Taste.
Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil – 2014 Big Tex Choice Awards Winner for Best Taste.

Big Tex is fairly new.  In 2012, some wiring inside him caught fire and he was so badly damaged that he had to be replaced.  Many people, myself included, were quite upset when it happened as Big Tex is so iconic.  There were worries the replacement would be completely different. Thankfully, tradition was upheld and only technological upgrades were made. The current version debuted in 2013.  He talks more than the previous model, but he’s still dressed in Dickies brand clothing!

Howdy, Big Tex!
Howdy, Big Tex!


While watching the news just before attending the fair, I saw a feature on Fair Hair.  I knew right away that I had to go and get it done. They use cosmetic airbrushed paint to decorate your hair in any color you want.  (It washes out with regular shampoo.)  My hair cost $20 and I was able to pay with a credit card.  Peter was kind enough to take a photo of the finished purple and pink top knot.

Fair Hair
Fair Hair

Afterward we sampled more fried food (Deep Fried “Breakfast for Dinner”) and the Funnel Cake Ale as we walked around. Oh!  This is important…Make sure you wear comfortable shoes!  I chose what I thought were a good pair, but ended up getting blisters on my heels. No bueno!


Texas Star - the giant ferris wheel.
Texas Star – the giant Ferris wheel.
The Midway is where all of the carnival games and most of the rides can be found.
The Midway is where all of the carnival games and most of the rides can be found.

As you can see in the photos above, a storm front quickly blew in.  The wind picked up and all of a sudden it started raining very heavily.  Luckily, Peter and I were at the Barnyard checking out some of the animals so we remained inside the building until the storm moved through.

The final food of the day was the Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet. A very sweet treat.  It was a blueberry muffin stuffed with cream cheese and drizzled with blueberry glaze, whipped cream, and white chocolate chips.  Yum!

Fried Texas Bluebonnet. It definitely require a fork, but it was rich and delicious!

After a few hours, I had to throw in the towel. My poor shoe choice combined with all the walking we did left my feet in a very sad state.  I was mad at myself as there was still lots I had wanted to see and taste.  Overall, we had a great time and I can’t wait until next year!

The State Fair of Texas is at Fair Park.  To get there, you can either take the DART rail Green Line or drive yourself.  There are lots of places to park and the cost will vary depending upon the lot, so make sure you have some cash.  Many different events and shows happen during the fair, so be sure to take a look at the schedule online before you go so you don’t miss anything.


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