“Howdy folks!” will boom once again as Big Tex® welcomes fairgoers to the State Fair of Texas®. He may be quirky, but he’s family. Join Big Tex for a 24-day celebration of Texas.
Each year the State Fair of Texas celebrates our great state with amazing food, shopping, live music and family fun. There are hundreds of daily shows, a nightly parade, free concerts on the Chevy Main Stage, and throughout the grounds, the always popular livestock exhibits and competitions, and of course, Big Tex himself. Plus, the State Fair has the largest new car Auto Show in the Southwest.
For generations, the State Fair of Texas has been the destination to bring all Texans together and create lasting memories. In celebration, the Fair has selected “Deep in the Heart of Texans” as its theme for this year’s exposition, open September 26 through October 19.
When fairgoers step onto the fairgrounds this year, they will notice several changes, including an emphasis on “Texification.” The fairgrounds will be redressed around the theme of Texas pride and State Fair of Texas icon, Big Tex, in addition to new Texas-themed floats and music in the nightly Starlight Parade. The most notable addition will be a new 30 foot by 50 foot Texas state flag flying proudly 120 feet in the air, in the shadow of the Top o’ Texas Tower.
“We want to make sure that when people visit the Fair that they know that they are in Texas,” says Mitchell Glieber, president of the State Fair of Texas. “There is not a more loyal or proud group of citizens of any state in the country than Texans. The greatest event in Texas should fly the flag proudly and prominently. Therefore, fairgoers can expect to see an emphasis on the “Texification” of the Fair throughout the grounds.”
To get the surrounding area into the Big Tex spirit, the State Fair holds special Creative Arts cooking competitions Sunday, September 21, prior to opening day. In addition to the annual Chili and Barbeque cook-offs, the State Fair has been chosen to hold an International Dutch Oven Society (“IDOS”) Dutch Oven Cook-off this year. Participants in the contest will prepare and cook a main dish, dessert and bread in a three-pot Dutch oven. The Grand Champion winner is eligible to go to the 2015 World Championship Cook-off.
A Texas Sports Hall of Fame exhibition, titled Texas Sports Legends, will be featured in the Hall of State. Visiting from Waco exclusively for the Fair’s run, the attraction will showcase a selection of memorabilia from Texas sports legends recognized since the Hall of Fame’s start in 1951.
As part of the State Fair’s mission to give back to the community, it has partnered with Canstruction® to showcase architectural structures built using cans of food. At the end of the Fair, the cans displayed will be donated for hunger relief efforts to the North Texas Food Bank and Tarrant County Food Bank.
Fairgoers will enjoy a brand new show in the historic Fair Park Band Shell, The Wild West Pet Palooza, featuring Joel Slaven’s Professional Animals, which was created especially for the State Fair of Texas. One unique aspect of the show is that all of the featured animals have been rescued from shelters across the country. Joel Slaven and his staff of trainers have adopted hundreds of homeless pets and brought them back to star in shows all around the country, including Sea World®. These animals are given a second chance at life, with a happy home, plenty of play time and most importantly, lots of love and affection.
A new colorful area near Fair Park’s Leonhardt Lagoon, Kids’ Boardwalk, will offer several free interactive activities for kids, including a Ronald McDonald show, pumpkin painting, fun games, photo opportunities and more.
The Chevy Main Stage will feature top entertainers every weekend, plus live regional bands throughout the week. These concerts are free for fairgoers. This year’s Chevy Main Stage performers include: the Swon Brothers; Fantasia; Lucy Hale; Kool & the Gang; Siggno; a special Red River MusicFest event, featuring Deryl Dodd, Cody Canada & the Departed, Jason Boland & the Stragglers, and the Casey Donahew Band; Le Freak; Becky G; Danielle Bradbery; Collective Soul; and La Maquinaria Norteña. The State Fair is excited to debut a new turf that is being placed in front of the Chevy Main Stage, for all fairgoers to enjoy while listening to the daily selection of live music.
Mundo Latino, a Latin American themed exhibit, returns this year to present Fútbol Soccer, A Look at the World’s Sport. This new exhibit will cover the history of soccer, its significance, and how it has a captive hold on children and adults. Featured inside the Women’s Museum are daily attractions of the exhibit, great shopping of Mexican jewelry, clothes, purses and textiles from Latin America, and lively presentations of Latin music and dance from the Mundo Latino stage.
Football fans will once again step onto the fairgrounds to cheer on their teams. Since the 1980s, the Grambling State University Tigers and Prairie View A&M University Panthers have traveled to Dallas during the State Fair to go head-to-head on the grass of Cotton Bowl® Stadium in the Southwest Airlines State Fair Classic. This year’s game will be held the first Saturday of the Fair, September 27. The AT&T Red River Showdown game between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners has been played in Cotton Bowl Stadium since 1929, and is an iconic staple of the State Fair of Texas. This year’s game will be held on Saturday, October 11.
For the first time in over a decade there will be a concert held in Cotton Bowl Stadium during the State Fair of Texas – the inaugural Mattress Firm Music Fest. The stacked line-up for the party will include headline performances by Texas country music sensations Randy Rogers Band and the Josh Abbott Band, along with Easton Corbin and Jerrod Niemann. Tickets to the Mattress Firm Music Fest are available for purchase at OuthouseTickets.com, and include admission to the Fair.
It is almost impossible to come to the State Fair of Texas and not enjoy amazing food. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Fair’s Big Tex Choice Awards contest. Winners selected during the Labor Day event will once again keep happy Fair fans fed when the gates open on Friday, September 26.
As the sun sets on the Fair each day, fairgoers will enjoy the addition of more than one million new decorative lights that illuminate Fair Park’s historical buildings, fairgrounds and Esplanade Fountain, which debuted this summer at Fair Park Sparks.
Season passes, tickets and coupons to the State Fair of Texas, discounted through August 31, are available now.