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2013 State Fair of Texas

Fried Foods, Football and Farm Animals: What Else do You Need?

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The State Fair of Texas is an annual festival event held at Fair Park in Dallas. It's food, it's football, it's farm animals, it's fun for all ages. It begins near the end of September and continues into the middle of October. In 2013, the State Fair of Texas runs from September 27 through October 20.

An estimated 3 million people attend the fair each year, bringing nearly $350 million to the Dallas economy. The State Fair of Texas kicks off each year with a parade through downtown Dallas. The 2012 parade starts at noon.

Plan to spend money on the great food, rides or games but don't forget that there are a lot of fun things to do at the fair that are free. Concerts, livestock shows, the car show and more attractions don't cost any money. Pick up a visitor's guide when you enter the fair so you don't miss a thing.

For exciting State Fair updates, follow me on Twitter.

The State Fair of Texas

Angela Patterson

There really is something for everyone at the State Fair of Texas. The fair showcases unique foods (pk lots of fried treats), exciting carnival rides and games on the Midway, livestock shows, concerts, exciting football games including Texas vs. OU, shopping and so much more.

If you love to shop, this is the place. You can shop for almost anything at the fair. Spend hours shopping at The Embarcadero for arts and crafts, pet-related items, jewelry and more. Shop for a new car in the Truck Zone or Automobile Building.

In 2009 Oprah and her BFF Gail made an appearance at the State Fair and taped a show to the delite of many fans.

Check out the photo gallery for the sights and scenes from the fair. It includes everything from the midway to hands-on attractions for the kids -- and every fried food I could sample over a 3-year span.

Hours: The Fair is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Exhibit buildings open at 10 a.m. daily and close at 9 p.m. Sunday - Thursdays. Buildings remain open until 10 p.m. each Friday and Saturday.

Tickets

  • General Admission: $16
  • Kids under 48" tall: $12
  • Seniors 60 and over: $12
  • Children 2 and under: Free
  • Seniors 60 and over: Free every Thursday (October 6, 13 and 20)
  • Dallas Fall Garden Getaway: $19
  • Parking $15 per space
  • See the Discounts and Deals section for special pricing

Discounts and Specials

Angela Patterson

There are many special discounts during the State Fair of Texas. There's even an opening day deal on September 27, 2013. Bring a full 20 oz. Dasani water bottle or any Coca-Cola product for donation to the North Texas Food Bank containers at Fair admission gates and enter the State Fair for $6 per donation per person. Check the updated list of discounts and specials here and for information on when you can catch most rides for only 6 coupons!

Parking / Directions

Angela Patterson

Self parking is available on official State Fair lots for $15 per space. Look for "Official State Fair Parking" signs. Valet parking offered at Grand Avenue (daily) and Haskell/Parry (Saturdays/Sundays only) for $30.

Spaces marked for the disabled are located in each lot. First come, first serve. If spaces are filled, an attendant will direct you to the next available spaces.

Directions to the State Fair of Texas.

The 9th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards

Eight finalists competed for Best Taste and Most Creative in the 2013 Big Tex Choice Awards. If you loved fried food, then be sure to make a trip to the Fair part of your fall festivities.

Big Tex Choice Awards

©Angela Patterson

The food is one of the top reasons people love going to the State Fair of Texas. 

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 Frito Pie
2011 Most Creative: Fried Bubblegum
2011 Best Taste: Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack

Rides

Angela Patterson

Get a bird's-eye view of Fair Park by riding the Texas Skyway. The aerial track stretches 1,800 feet between two stations and can accommodate strollers and wheelchairs.

The Texas Star is the tallest Ferris wheel in the Southwest.

The Midway is really known as the Kidway -- with many great rides for smaller children.

Texas Star

Photo courtesy of Kevin Brown / State Fair of Texas

The Texas Star is the tallest Ferris wheel in the Western Hemisphere. Put it on your To Do List for the State Fair this year. Save yourself 14 coupons ($7) to enjoy the view from the top. I rode this monster a few years ago. OK, it was sometime back when 1980s hair bands were popular. I'm a big chicken now. They would have to pay me to ride it these days.

The Texas SkyWay

©Angela Patterson

The Texas SkyWay provides State Fair visitors with some of the best views of the fair. Fairgoers can sit back and enjoy the magic of the Fair – soaring high above the sights and sounds of the colorful Midway.

The family-friendly attraction provides a smooth ride for its occupants, and the level loading system accommodates strollers and wheelchairs.

Even thought I'm a little nervous, I do ride this every year. I love to ride it during the day and the views at night are amazing. You can get some great photos of the Texas Star from the ride -- but you do have to shoot through glass -- so be prepared to battle a bit of a glare. Super fun and only 5 coupons on Tuesdays!

Concerts

There's some pretty cool bands lined up to play (for free) at the State Fair of Texas in 2013! Which band would you most like to see?
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