Nothing signals the arrival of Fall in the Lone Star State like football, farmer’s markets, and the State Fair of Texas.
With more than 2 million visitors in attendance last year alone, the annual event is a celebration of Texas culture and Texas life in an environment with something to do and see for patrons of all ages.
For 65 years now, Big Tex, the iconic landmark and official greeter of the State Fair, has stood tall above the fairgrounds, issuing a warm Texas welcome to all visitors as they arrive.
In true Texas fashion, the “world’s tallest cowboy” stands at 55-feet tall and proudly wears a 95-gallon hat to accompany his size 96 boots.
This year’s theme, “Celebrating Texas Creativity,” means visitors can expect a showcase of artistic and culinary creations, live music, midway rides, and of course, a plethora of deep-fried concoctions all with a Texas twist.
While visitors can expect the usual carnival-food fanfare of corn-dogs and turkey legs, the State Fair of Texas is also known for its variety of unique deep-fried dishes.
Every year, contestants vie for a chance to be a finalist in the Big Tex Choice Award Competition – the State Fair’s annual competition that honors concessionaires with the most creative and delicious fried food creations.
This year, the 2019 Big Tex Choice Award winners include:
- Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Taco Cone – slow-cooked barbacoa served in a tortilla shell shaped like an ice cream cone with black beans, rice, and all the Tex-Mex toppings
- The Big Red ® Chicken Bread – a Big Red ® soda-flavored donut topped with a fried chicken wing
- The Fla’Mango Tango – a creamy mango creation, fried, and topped with whipped cream and a citrus glaze
Other notable finalists also include the PB&J bacon pickle dog, pig in a cannoli, and deep-fried cracker jack among other deep-fried delicacies.
For those in the mood for something a little less fried, the fair also boasts Texas-inspired gourmet options, a wine garden, and a celebrity chef kitchen.
For football fans, the 277-acre Fair Park is also home to Cotton Bowl Stadium, where the annual Red River Showdown between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners are scheduled to battle it out on October 12.
The State Fair isn’t just fun, games, football, and fried delicacies, however.
Through the Big Texas Scholarship Program, more than 2,500 students have been awarded over $12.5 million in college scholarships.
Additionally, the State Fair gives back to the local Texas community through partnerships, community involvement, and financial contributions.
From the food, the people, and everything in between, this annual event that showcases Texas culture and celebrates the Lone Star Way of life is here until October 20.
Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.