Tag Archives: Texas state fair

2013 Preview of the Chinese Lantern Festival – Dallas Fair Park

26 Sep

The Chinese Lantern Festival: Light A New Dream is back in Dallas!! Here’s a sneak peek at some of what’s going on behind those walls at Fair Park! The State Fair of Texas opens on September 27th and you can enjoy the Chinese Lantern Festival located within Fair Park’s fairgrounds as a special paid attraction all throughout fair season and beyond!

Tickets to the Chinese Lantern Festival are
$14 for Adults and $9 for kids (ages 4-12).

Hours during the State Fair:
10:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M.

Hours after the State Fair ends:
October 24 – December 8
Evenings – 5:30 P.M. – 10:30 P.M.

Hours during the Holidays:
December 5 – January 12
5:30 P.M. – 10:30 P.M.

Tickets during the Holiday Season are
$22 for Adults and $14 for Kids.

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Top 10 Reasons to Visit the State Fair of Texas 2012

1 Oct

The largest state fair in the country, the State Fair of Texas is back for 24 days of spectacular fun with everything you could imagine at a state fair – plus so much more! Fair Park Dallas opens their gates to visitors from across the country from September 28 – October 21. The variety of deep-fried delicacies may be one of the main attractions for those adventurous enough to try such treats as fried bubble gum, fried peanut butter & jelly, fried frito-pie, fried ice cream and more. Others are after the traditional corn dogs, nachos, cotton candy and turkey legs. If you’re still deciding what the draw is to this 2012 State Fair of Texas and how to make the most out of your visit we’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of our TOP 10 REASONS TO VISIT THE STATE FAIR OF TEXAS.

1) Deep Fried Jambalaya (and other fried foods)
The Texas State Fair is known to be the fried food capital. This year the deep fried jambalaya won Big Tex Choice Award, while the fried bacon cinnamon roll won Most Creative. The food, whether fried or not, is a treat for those tastebuds just because it’s fair food and it’s good! Click here to see a list of some of the many fried foods and past Big Tex winners!


2) Daily Deals
A special discount is offered almost every day of the week for admission to the fair. Students and teachers are given complimentary tickets from their schools, but everyone doesn’t work for the school system. You don’t HAVE to pay $16 at the gate. Here are a few ways to save:

  • Go Online – $13.95 when purchased online ($10.95 for kids/seniors)
  • Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll culturemap.com

  • Kroger Ticket – $14.50
  • Kroger/Cinemark Season Pass – For $34.95 get unlimited visits to the fair, a buddy for one visit between Mon & Fri and a Cinemark movie pass
  • Kroger DART Combo – For $17 get one admission and one RoundTrip on the DART rail to avoid parking
  • Dr Pepper $5 Tuesdays – Bring an empty Dr. Pepper can every Tuesday and get in for $5
  • After 5pm Dr. Pepper Deal – Bring an empty Dr. Pepper can after 5pm and get in for $8
  • 3 for $2 Wednesdays with NTFB – Bring 3 cans of food on Wednesday for the North Texas Food Bank and receive $2 admission
  • Coke $6 Thursdays – Bring an empty 20oz bottle of Coca-Cola and enter the fair for $6 every Thursday
  • Dickies Day – On Thursday, Oct 11th wear/show Dickies logo clothing item and receive a FREE voucher for admission to the fair (ONLY ON 10/11)
  • McDonald’s Deal – Check your tray liner or look for bag stuffers when dining at McDonalds and get $3 off general admission. Half priced child tickets are also sometimes distributed.
  • Fried Jumbalaya paperblog.com

  • Museum of Nature & Science Members – Free admission for all members! Museum members will receive a voucher good for 2 adults and up to 4 children.
  • Senior Thursdays – Senior citizens 60 and over get in for Free every Thursday. ($12 on regular days)
  • KISS FM $5 FridaysClick here for the Kiss FM coupon allowing $5 off the gate price on Fridays
  • The Addams Family at Music Hall – Receive a same-day fair admission when buying a ticket to the Addams Family performance at Fair Park’s Music Hall.

    Click here to buy tickets & coupons online.



3) BIG TEX’s 60th Birthday
Big Tex turns 60 this year! At 52 feet high Big Tex is the world’s largest talking cowboy figure. By the way, All Seniors 60 and over get free admission on Thursdays & discounted admission for $12 any other day.

4) Chinese Lantern Festival
For the first time this ancient Chinese tradition will be on display in the American Southwest with a collection of authentic Chinese art, a 110 yard long dragon made of 15,000 porcelain dishes, a Chinese marketplace, live shows, souvenirs and it all lights up at night. Open daily

5) State Fair Photo Contest
Capture the best angles and focal points during your visit to the fair and if you’re a skilled enough photographer you could win an iPad or $500 gift card!
Click here for details and where to submit your pics!

6) Auto Show
Big Tex stands over the only state fair to feature such a major automobile show as a yearly attraction. Two buildings and an outdoor truck area contain more than 400 new cars and trucks presented by manufacturers. Click below to see some of the new 2013 models and featured manufacturers taking up 350,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space this year! Auto Gallery

7) Free Chevrolet Concerts
See musical guests like Le Freak, Kevin Costner & Modern West, Kevin Fowler, Rebirth Brass Band and The Commodores perform live from the Chevrolet main stage. Click here for a complete main stage lineup and schedule of the featured performing artists

8) Garden Expo
The State Fair Garden Exhibition continues to grow each year. Locate the Greenhouse on the Midway where Southern Living Lecture Series every Saturday and Sunday. Professional landscaping and sculptures by artists are featured in the Fall Garden Expo. Click here to view the speakers and garden exhibition artists.

9) Legendary College Football Rivalries
Our fair is the only one to host legendary college football rivalry games as an annual event.

Saturday, Oct 6th – Southwest Airlines State Fair Classic
Grambling State vs Prairie View A&M (Kickoff: 6pm)

Saturday, Oct 13th – AT&T Red River Rivalry
Oklahoma vs Texas (Kickoff: TBA)

10) It’s good for the economy!!
The longest running state fair in the U.S., TX state fair earns an estimated $350 million making a major economic impact on the DFW economy.


Hope these 10 reasons are good enough to convince you to attend! We could only choose 10, but there are plenty more where that came from! The thrilling rides, nearby museums, Chevrolet Test track, livestock and Illumination sensation show are other great attractions of the State Fair of Texas. Happy 60th to BIG TEX! This year we’re celebrating BIG at the 126th Annual State Fair of Texas.

Exhibit Hours:
Friday & Saturday 10am – 10pm
Sunday – Thursday 10am – 9pm

State Fair FOODS | The Fried Food Capital of Texas

7 Oct

I know a place where your tastebuds will jump and prance in excitement! A place where suddenly “green eggs and ham” no longer seem so strange, like foreigh food. A place where calories are of no concern. A place where Deep fryers reign the land and the batter never runs dry. A fatty’s, *cough* I mean foodie’s paradise: The State Fair of Texas!!! YES!! *insert Jafar laughter*

We can pretty much agree that FOOD is the #1 attraction to state fairs, and with The State Fair of Texas being the Fried Food Capital, there’s only one guess as to why millions attend each year. Sure the rides make your heart jump into your throat, the shows are eye-catching and the cars will keep your attention for about an hour, but the FOOD will feed a part of your brain reserved only for September 30 to October 23. More than just sustenance, it’s almost a 9th Wonder of the World to see what they’ll come up with next. You walk for miles across Fair Park only because your just that determined to find the fried food item your mind is set on. This year’s new fried food is : FRIED BUBBLEGUM. Is it REALLY bubble gum?? No, more like a marshmallow-y substance. But they still managed to deep fry whatever it is and take home the 2011 award for “Most Creative”. This year’s winner for Best Taste went to the Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack.

New this year: Fried Bubblegum

This year’s Big Tex Choice Awards included the following competitors:

DEEP FRIED PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
DEEP FRIED TEXAS SALSA™
EL BANANARITO
FRIED AUTUMN PIE
HANS’ KRAUT BALL
WALKING TACO

Here’s the list of winners over the last 6 years:

2005 Most Creative Viva Las Vegas Fried Ice Cream
2005: Best Taste Fried PB, Jelly and Banana Sandwich
2006: Most Creative Fried Coke
2006: Best Taste Fried Praline Perfection
2007: Most Creative Deep Fried Latte
2007: Best Taste Texas Fried Cookie Dough
2008: Most Creative Fried Banana Split
2008: Best Taste Chicken Fried Bacon
2009: Most Creative Deep Fried Butter
2009: Best Taste Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream
2010: Most Creative Fried Beer™
2010: Best Taste Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie
2011: Most Creative Fried Bubblegum
2011: Best Taste Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack

See anything you like? Maybe you saw some stuff that you have NEVER EVEN HEARD OF. Well, you’re gonna hear about it at the State Fair of Texas. Besides, isn’t this what the state fair is all about? FOOD!

Fried Buffalo Chicken

I’m going to introduce you to some of the NEW foods to this year’s State Fair. (btw, most of them are Fried) It may be better if I leave the descriptions to your imagination, but then this wouldn’t be as fun right? First up we have Fried Naked Tamalesfresh tamales dipped in egg wash and rolled in masa harina para tamales (whatever that means). Next, Texas Steak Conea flour tortilla cone stuffed with mixed beans, juicy steak, chicken pico, shredded cheese, & sour cream.

Fried Butter

The Heavenly Deep Fried Brownie will have you on Cloud 9 with its bite-sized battered chocolate decadence dusted with powdered sugar and served with chocolate-cherry syrup ambrosia (hold my cherry dressing please). Ever wondered how southern breakfast could be deep fried? Well the answer is in Deep Fried Biscuits and Gravya flaky biscuit filled with gravy and dipped in a light batter. Speaking of Southern, taste the new Deep Fried Southern Hospitality – its combination of seasoned pork, fresh collard greens and hot water cornbread, shaped in a cone and served on a stick will make you always feel welcome in the southernmost state. If that wasn’t enough consider the Praline Sweet Potato Popperssweet potatoes mashed and blended with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, brandy, orange zest, chopped pecans, ginger and marshmallows. Is anyone keeping record of calories yet? Want to give your blood pressure a scare? Get the Fried Pecan Caramel Candy. Sheesh, saying it just gave me a cavity.

Where it all began

This sweet tooth fix consists of flattened caramel candy squares dipped in pecan chocolate batter, topped off with a buttery caramel sauce. Double Fried Chicken Breast Taco – a hand breaded home-style chicken breast wrapped and refried in a flour toritilla, served with either cream gravy or jalapeno ranch dressing. Last but not least, Fernie’s Deep Fried Whole Lotta Chocolatta is a Whole lotta SUGA as takes two slices of Italian bread stuffed with dark chocolate, dipped in egg wash, coated with crunchy bread crumbs and served with a side of Russet potato chips, sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with a hard white and milk chocolate shell. Now everyone take 5 laps around the coffee table because sitting here reading those descriptions was nearly sinful. I think you may have gained a pound.

Fried this...Fried that..

New Vendors List:

CRISPIES
(located on the Midway at the intersection of MLK and Midway)

CASSIE’S FROZEN YOGURT
(located at the intersection of Pike and Fun Way on Fun Way St.)

COWBOY’S STYLE PHILLYS
(located in the Food Court inside the Tower Building)

BRAIN FREEZE
(located on Fun Way in front of the Lost Children’s Shelter)

ISLAND SPOT
(located on First Ave. on the lawn of the Magnolia Lounge across from the Old Mill Inn.)

THE ORIGINAL BERRIE KABOB
(located in the Food Court inside the Tower Building)

CHIP’S OLD FASHIONED HAMBURGERS
(located on Pike Street inside the Kids Way Area

WILLIAMS CHICKEN TENDERS
(located in Cotton Bowl Plaza)

Click here to find out what each of these vendors serve.

Funnel cake with the works

Enter if you Dare

A personal favorite: Texas sized Nachos

Have your workout plan set for early November because you may be tempted to keep tasting and tasting when the Fried Food Capital sucks you into Jenny Craig and Kirsty Allen’s worst nightmare.

I don’t know how Big Tex keeps his figure with all those Fried Oreos and Cheesecakes surrounding him.

The Aftermath from our table in the food court

The 2011 State Fair of Texas

16 Sep

If you’re a Texas resident, and you’re experiencing an increased heart rate, unexplained cravings for cholesterol-bearing fare, and anxiousness AND it’s the month of September then you may not necessarily need to see a Physician. Just pay a visit to Big Tex because those symptoms are a clear indication of the soon arrival of the annual State Fair of Texas!! I don’t know about cold sweats at night, but depending on the weather you may just have general sweats during the day. Our summer temperatures may or may not taper off in time to go see Big Tex up close and personal!

Big Tex

Each year thousands gather for this amazing festival which celebrates any and everything Texan! Fair Park is transformed into Heaven of Unhealthy foods and extreme rides that won’t find at your local Six Flags. The State Fair of Texas is a one of a kind. Many state fairs pale in comparison to what we’ve got going on in Dallas. The State Fair of Texas menu has put Dallas on the map as being the “Fried Food Capital of Texas”. ANYTHING, and I do mean ANY-thing fried that you can imagine or are looking for, will be at this Fair. At one point there was talk of bringing the state fair to the summertime. After a record amount of revenue that was brought in in 2010, there was discussion of “Summer Place” a three month amusement park that includes a big new ride. Some people make their yearly income JUST from business they receive AT this State Fair! It’s insane! But It’s TEXAS.

I got so caught up talking about what you can find at the fair that I forgot to mention the actual dates. You get a window of 3 weeks to check out the fair. Opening day is September 30th as the State of Fair of Texas Celebrates 125 years!!! Big Tex even got some new threads and boots to celebrate. The exact dates for the fair are September 30 – October 23. That’s practically a month!! Plus, you can find special deals on weekdays. Get discounts on your Texas State Fair tickets here!

I’ll likely post an article solely devoted to the FOOD of the Fair (since FOOD IS the top reason why people attend the State Fair of Texas), but I can give you a preview of some of the new edible Fried stuff coming out! The 2010 Big Tex Choice Award went to Fried Frito Chili Pie last year as it should have! That thing was delicious! This year’s winner for Best Taste goes to the Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack while Fried Bubblegum won Most Creative! Imagine fried bubble gum!! ONLY at the State Fair of Texas. It’s technically not real bubblegum though; more like a pink marshmellow-y type substance, but either way, you’d probably never hear of such a thing outside the Texas State Fair.

Other 2011 Deep Fried Finalists include:

Fried Frito Chili Pie

Deep Fried Pineapple Upside Down cake
Deep Fried Texas Salsa
Fried Autumn Pie
Hans’ Kraut Ball
Walking Taco

Click here to see some of the winners over the years!

At the fair you also get the mega auto show, livestock, tons of arts & crafts, games, free concerts and more live entertainment. You almost have to take on this Texan festival with a strategy in mind. Decide whether you’re going to get your food first, what shows you want to see, when to spend time in the Auto Show pavilion and when to ride rides, if you’re brave enough. I wouldn’t recommend eating right before the rides, just in case some of the fried delicacies don’t agree with your system OR if you plan on pigging out. This fair only comes around once a year but you can always pace yourself. Speaking of pacing, the park grounds are rather LARGE so be prepared to do a lot of walking around the 277 acres that the Fair inhabits.

Expect to pay in and around $15 for parking. ($30 for Valet) There are lots of ‘sidestreet hustlers’ (whom you can trust if they have a permit) that will be selling parking spots in the surrounding areas of the Fair grounds for about $10-$15 or you can attempt to park inside the designated Fair parking also. Just know it’ll either be packed (if you go late) or you’ll spending a little bit more than you have to. (if you don’t mind a little gravel or grass on your tires)

The Auto Show takes up two buildings! Then there are truck areas all outside with various activities, TV screens playing the football games and live performances on the Chevy main stage. You get the chance to see some of the newest models coming out in the Auto Show pavilion and just enjoy getting into some of the cars you like to explore. All ages seem to enjoy this part of the Fair and it can be quite exciting for any car lovers.

Catch lots of Trucks, even in the Sky

There’s even a Garden Show at the State Fair now. The State Fair Fall Garden Exhibition, which started back in 2002, has only gotten better with time. It started out as a professional landscaping contest during the 24-day fair but now most participants just maintain their beds all year long. I’m telling you this Fair has something for EVERYONE! (You included) If you didn’t see something in here that grabs your attention (which is highly unlikely since so many of us like Fair Food) then visit http://www.bigtex.com to see what else I may not have covered. Plus, stay posted for the Texas State Fair FOOD article!

We even got OPRAH to break her diet & wear a cowboy hat

We don’t even need Oprah & Gail for this taste testing. It’s best to just get out there and do it yourself! Celebrate 125 years of Texas Fun at the 2011 State Fair of Texas which officially opens for business SEPTEMBER 30TH!! The countdown to the 2011 State Fair of Texas has been on since the day the 2010 State Fair of Texas ended! See you there!!

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