Ready for some deep fried jello, or that old-standby the corny dog? It’s that time of year again, Big Tex and the State Fair of Texas.
The gates swing open at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 30 for one of the longest running state fairs in the country, dating back to 1886. The fair runs for three weeks, ending Sunday, October 23. Along the way it draws huge crowds, topping well over a million people.
The rides on the Midway are the big attraction, but there are also livestock exhibits, musical entertainment, and of course, all that deep fried food.
Top musical acts perform every afternoon and evening at the Chevrolet Main Stage, and at three other stages in the park. At night there is a fireworks and laser show.
Two traditional football games pack the Cotton Bowl at the Fair Grounds. On October 1, Prairie View A&M takes on Grambling at 4 p.m. in a matchup that has been going on since the 1980’s.
Of course the big game is the Red River Rivalry, the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns, which has been played in the Cotton Bowl since 1929. This year’s game is scheduled for October 8. The game draws over 100,000 fans each year.
A new game has been added to the Cotton Bowl schedule this year, Air Force will play New Mexico on October 15.
Parking is always a problem. The lots at Fair Park open at 7 a.m. each day, and parking costs $15. You can buy tickets online or at Kroger grocery stores. There is a DART station right at Fair Park, for riders on the Green Line. Parking off-site is handled by Fair Park area residents who want to open up their lawns and vacant lots. Fees vary and parking is at your own risk.
Wheelchairs, electric carts and baby strollers are available for rent at the Front Gate, and Gates 5, 10, and at the DART station.
Ticket prices are $39.95 for season passes, $18 a day for adults, $14 for children and seniors. Seniors also get in free on Thursdays. Coupons for food and rides are 50-cents each. There are combinations of passes and discounts available on the Fair’s ticket’s web page.