State Fair of Texas

Dallas Travel Blog

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Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas

We tried to get as much in as possible for the few hours we were there. A few of the things we got to experience included:


THE COTTON BOWL ACTION: With a seating capacity of 91,000, the Cotton Bowl is home to three games during the 2008 Fair.  On October 4, the Grambling State Tigers take on the Panthers of Prairie View A&M in the State Fair Classic.  The Red River Rivalry kicked off on Oct. 11 in a match up between Oklahoma and Texas. On the eve of the Fair's closing, the Texas A&M Commerce Lions played the East Central University Tigers of Ada, Oklahoma. 


STATE FAIR AUTO SHOW: Filling two exhibit halls and outdoor displays, the biggest new car and truck show in the Southwest features 2009 models, plus concept vehicles and weekend rallies for collectors.

The auto show
Admission was FREE for all State Fair visitors.


STATE FAIR OF TEXAS WINE GARDEN:  We visited and explored the world of wine in an attractive courtyard setting. There were experts that conducted Wine 101 classes, and Texas vintners answered questions during scheduled tasting throughout the run of the Fair. There were special jazz performances on Fridays and Saturdays at the Go Texan stage in the garden. 


STARLIGHT PARADE: This after-dark favorite feature illuminated floats, giant puppets and characters in fantastic costumes. The bright extravaganza glided through the park nightly at 7:15 p.m.


MIDWAY LIGHTS: A Vegas-inspired, four-minute light show. It was really cool as you looked skyward at all the synchronized lights and pulsating music which create a spectacle stretching along most of the State Fair of Texas.


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The ferris wheel

The State Fair of Texas is a tradition that is as old as, well maybe Texas. The first State Fair to be held in Dallas was presented at this location in 1886. Fair Park was the site of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition which ran for six months and attracted 6 million people. An extended 31-day Fair in 1986 celebrated the Texas Sesquicentennial and drew almost 4 million visitors.

There are so many traditions including Big Tex. Big Tex made his debut at the 1952 State Fair of Texas. Wearing size 70 boots and a 75-gallon hat, Tex towered 52' above wide-eyed visitors.

The best part of the fair has to be the food. The fair is known for various fried foods that quickly become a fad or a flub. Past years favorites included fried Oreos and fried Twinkies. This year did not disappoint. Here is a list of some of the foods we saw, smelled and wondered about. Tasting only a few, I can’t be the final judge. Look for these and more at your local fairs and community events in the future.


Chicken Fried Bacon ��" Thick and peppery Farm Pac® bacon is seasoned, double-dipped in a special batter and breading and deep-fried. Served with a creamy side of ranch or honey mustard sauce.


Fried Banana Split ��" A mixture of banana and honey peanut butter is rolled in balls, battered and deep-fried and topped with assorted fixings, including powdered sugar, caramel and chocolate syrups, chopped peanuts, whipped cream and banana split flavored ice cream bites then fittingly crowned with the traditional cherry. 


Fernie’s All-American Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich ��" An American classic with a State Fair twist. Two slices of white bread filled with a blend of American and cheddar cheeses, dipped in an egg and milk batter and coated with Panko bread crumbs for extra crispness. Served with a side of shoestring potato sticks, a pickle spear and tomato soup dipping sauce. The All American Meal! 


Texas Fried Jelly Belly Beans ��" Jelly Belly Beans are rolled in funnel cake batter and fried to a crunch. People can share the treat with friends and try to guess the flavors before biting down.


Deep Fried S’mores ��" Marshmallow cream and chocolate chips are sandwiched between two graham crackers dipped in a feather-light batter and fried to a golden brown.  They are dusted in powdered sugar.

Fire & Ice ��" A pineapple ring is battered and deep-fried, then topped with banana-flavored whipped cream that’s been frozen in liquid nitrogen. The smoking concoction is ladled with strawberries and syrup. 


Fried Chocolate Truffles ��" A silky-smooth, handmade, dark chocolate truffle is rolled in cocoa powder before being battered and deep-fried. The melting chocolate goodness is dusted in cinnamon, sugar and cocoa powder. 


Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Waffle Balls ��" Plump fresh strawberries covered in a thick chocolate shell are dipped in a sweet, waffle batter and deep-fried. Dusted with powdered sugar and served on a stick. 


Fried Pop Rocks Fundae Blast - Ignite your senses with this explosion of Tastes. Fried Ice Cream covered in Hershey’s Syrup and Pop Rocks. The fuse is a Twizzler rolled in Pop Rocks. While you disarm it, you’ll find an Atomic Fireball inside . . .“Fire in the Bowl”!


Fried Dinner Roll ��" A savory dinner roll filled with cream cheese and covered with a sweet batter, placed on a stick and deep fried. 


Fried Cake on a Stick ��" A delicious, chocolate covered white cake filled with strawberry jelly and cream, dipped in sweet batter and deep fried until golden brown and served on a stick!


Green Bean Fries - Fresh Green Beans lightly battered, deep fried, and served with a side of cucumber ranch dressing for dipping! 


Texas Bar-B-Que Egg rolls - BW’s Chopped Beef in an egg roll wrap, deep fried to a delicate crispness, and served with BBQ sauce for dipping or ignite your senses further with a splash of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce


“Jalapeno” Deep Fried Gorditas -  Jalapeno flavored gordita cooked on the grill and then deep fried, stuffed with beef, chicken, or bean & cheese, and finally topped with lettuce, tomato, guacamole, and cheese


Fried Apple iPie ��" A warm, delicious crispy fried apple pie with just a hint of cinnamon,  smothered in rich vanilla ice cream and topped with an edible iPod “like” mp3 player and whipped cream. Real working souvenir “ear-bud” earphones completed this tasty iPie experience! 


Fried Snowballs ��" Fresh from the fryer!  A lightly battered Snowball (cupcake) dusted with powdered sugar! 


Fried Honey Bun ��" A lightly battered Honey Bun, served fresh from the fryer with a dusting of powdered sugar! 


Deep Fried Apple Bites ­��" Fresh cut apples dipped in a homemade batter, deep fried, and then covered with a caramel sauce and cinnamon topping! 


Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce ��"Warm bread pudding chock full of real butter, cream, and rich cinnamon flavor served with a creamy rum sauce


Mini Chopped BBQ Slider - Sweet, tangy and juicy chopped barbecue beef brisket on a mini bun. 


Mini Chicken Fried Steak Slider - A miniature crispy chicken fried steak patty served on a mini bun with a side of cream gravy. A bite size version of the "Big Texas Taste". 


Dessert Shooters - A 3 oz. serving of rich and decadent desserts. Choice of three fabulous flavors: Chocolate Oreo Mousse, a layer of Oreo cookie crumbs, creamy chocolate pudding, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, sprinkled with more Oreos and a cherry on top: Strawberry Cheesecake, Graham cracker crumbs, classic cheesecake filling, strawberry sauce, whipped cream and more graham cracker crumbs: and  Vanilla Caramel Supreme, crushed Vanilla Wafers, creamy vanilla pudding, rich caramel sauce, whipped cream, sprinkled with more Vanilla Wafers and a cherry on top.


Jalapeno Tamaritto ��" Two Pedro’s Tamales wrapped in a warm flour tortilla, topped with chili, cheese, and Pedro’s spicy Jalapeno relish!


Ignited Moon Pie­ - The Original Moon Pie, lightly battered and deep fried, then sprinkled with powdered sugar!


Fruit Bag Drinks ­��" Fruit, juice and ice combined in a clear bag with a straw for slow sipping. Savor the flavor of the juice and then eat the fruit! 


Beefy Fried Queso Bites ­��" Queso mixed with taco meat breaded in a zesty batter and deep fried. 


Chick-a-Mole Bites ��" Guacamole mixed with a taco-flavor shredded chicken and cheddar/Monterey jack cheese, breaded in a zesty batter and deep fried


Crispy Fried Cantaloupe Pie ��" Diced cantaloupe seasoned with brown sugar, cinnamon and coconut milk, rolled in a flaky pie pastry, and then deep fried and topped with powdered sugar and whip cream. 

Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas
Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas
The auto show
The auto show
The ferris wheel
The ferris wheel
photo by: chiyeh