DALLAS – On September twenty-sixth, the State Fair of Texas successfully opened for the 129th time, with the time honored tradition of a grand parade down Main Street in downtown Dallas.
The gates to the fairgrounds however, opened a full two hours before the parade even began. Hundreds of early birds flocked to historic Fair Park to be first in line for obligatory treats such as kettle corn, funnel cakes, turkey legs and Fletcher’s corny dogs. Others made a bee-line straight towards the Midway and the cues of the popular rides like the Texas Star ferris wheel, filled up fast.
The official opening day declaration took place at 7 p.m. on the steps of the Hall of State. Texas governor Greg Abbott addressed the crowd before cutting the ceremonial ribbon (with a pair of super-sized bedazzled scissors), amidst customary pop and circumstance provided by the Killgore Rangerettes and the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. Mattress Firm;s Illumination Sensation celebration capped off a perfect opening day at the Fair with their grand fireworks display and dance routines, set to pop music.
One of the new programs this year is called Thrifty Thursdays. Each Thursday of the Fair (October 1st, 8th and on the 15th), select food vendors will offer discounts on classics like cotton candy and funnel cakes, plus many more. Another feature new to 2015 will be a free “photo walk” for season ticket holders. This tour of all-things-cool-to-photograph is open to all skill levels and will take place on October 3rd starting at 8:30 a.m. at Big Tex Circle.
Click here for a handy State Fair visitor’s guide containing valuable coupons
Don’t forget there’s also guided live stock tours, over half a dozen museums and exhibits and the famous Auto Show, showcasing dozens of spectacular cars, trucks and SUVs. The Creative Arts building features culinary contests (including the awe-inspiring butter sculptures), instructional classes and the prize winning submissions from the various creative arts categories; everything from can foods to photography to needlework. For children, there’s the children’s boardwalk with a whole host of cool activities, the Little Hands on the Farm interactive area, kid-sized tractor pulls and of course no visit would be complete without a stop at Big Tex’s Farmyard and a selfie with a real live Texas Longhorn.
Click here for a map of the 2015 State Fair
In addition to all the great food, cool sites and incredible Midway rides, the Fair also offers a stellar amount of live music, all free with Fair admission. Over 100 musical acts will grace the 5 stages and concert areas during the 24-day-run of the 2015 Fair. For more info, please visit bigtex.com
The 2015 State Fair of Texas runs NOW through October 18th.
Words and photos by Ryan Javier