Saturday morning, I got up at 4am and got on a 7:30 flight to Dallas. I took a Lyft directly to the fair grounds and arrived at the State Fair of Texas — the MOST Texan place on earth!
I grew up going to the Bartholomew County fair in Central Indiana. I showed horses for 4H and ran barrels. I also loved riding rides and walking the midway, and of course, I have always loved the food!
When I moved to Texas, I heard about the state fair in Dallas, and in 2019, I made the drive. It was fantastic — I ate lots of fried food, and even saw 98 Degrees perform. When there was NO fair last year, I was so sad.
So, I took advantage of the cheap flights, and arrived on the second-to-last day of the fair… which runs for 24 days.
Since I arrived around 9:20 (it opens at 9), I really got to walk around and take pictures well before it started getting busy. There were also no lines, so I started my food journey with a tornado tater and a look at the Budweiser Clydesdales in the horse stables. I also walked through the birthing barn where a calf was born within the hour!
I walked the midway and gawked at some of the rides (no wayyyyy) and really was reminiscing at the rides I rode over and over in high school. I stumbled upon a museum where the Junior League put together a 100-year history of the State Fair of Texas. They had some of the old bumper cars in there, and even some old stuffed animals that were prizes.
It was around this time that I finally realized the Cotton Bowl stadium is right in the middle of the fair grounds! So, every time I passed it, I gasped a little. The fair grounds are 277 acres, Big Tex (a cowboy statue that is adored by all) is 55ft tall, and I walked 10+ miles that day… just a little by the numbers for you!
I toured a butterfly garden and spent lots of time in the creative arts building admiring so many hours of hard work resulting in butter sculptures, jars of jam, antique collections, knit dresses, dollhouses, and paintings… I was in awe.
I ate $50 worth of fair food. Aside from my tornado tater, I had my first ever Dole whip (omg), fried jambalaya (an award winner for taste), fried frito pie bites, chocolate covered strawberries, and a Fletcher’s Corny Dog… wowwww!
I people-watched, and gawked at willing participants for the Army booth: do as many pull-ups as you can for a prize. No thanks. There was live music and various shows, and of course, the biggest Long horn — 90-inches from tip-to-tip of his horns!
I left the fair around 7 and caught the 10pm flight home, and was in bed by midnight. Did I say I had the best time? Because I did.
My Lyft driver from the fair to the airport asked me all kinds of questions about why I went to the fair alone. Why didn’t I just go to the Austin fair? Why didn’t I invite a friend?
Honestly, why not just do what I want to do? If I want to go to the State Fair, then I’m going to the State Fair! Most of my friends have other obligations, family, other friends… and if I waited for them to be available, then I’d never leave the house.
Don’t wait to do what you want to do just so you can avoid going alone. I like myself! Plus, I take all the precautions I can. I left the fair before dark. I shared my Lyft rides with my contacts and I wore my Flare tracking device. I’m Gucci!
None of that ruined my day. I feel like it’s so rare to have a day that’s not about working or branding or making money… it was a day just for FUN. A type of fun I remember from my childhood. And I feel like everyone at the fair comes to have fun. It’s like we all agreed to come, eat everything fried, and revel in things like a giant cowboy statue or winning a huge stuffed animal.
It’s pure joy. I can’t wait to go back!
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