As a non-Texan, I have a list of places I want to visit and things I wish to do in Texas while here for graduate school. One of these things included the renowned Texas State Fair. Established in 1886, the Fair has been an iconic event synonymous with Texas. The saying “Everything is bigger in Texas” rings true on the fair grounds. Located on the outskirts of Dallas, the state fair boasts the largest and longest running fair in the entire country. With over 277 acres of rides, games, and food there is something for everyone to enjoy. During the 24-day duration of the fair over 2 million people from all 50 states and 183 countries enjoyed the festivities. So, after buying my tickets and finishing my assignments, early Saturday morning I made my pilgrimage up to the Fair.
Big Tex, the fair mascot
The theme for this year was “Celebrating Texas Innovation”. In the Hall of State were historical displays of the ingenuity that has stemmed from the Lone-Star state. From Southwestern Airlines to Mary Kay cosmetics and even stadium nachos, there are many achievements that make Texas so influential.
I enjoyed the classic fair food: corn dogs and cotton candy. Although I did not venture into the extreme concoctions, it was interesting to see how many foods can be fried. The Texas State Fair could be considered the pinnacle of fried food. My stomach churned at some of the choices, both with interest and skepticism. The options ranged from relatively simple fried oreos and twinkies, to more complex with shepherd’s pie and pico de gallo. The Midway was decorated with assorted games highlighted by glittering lights. Game runners rattled off words of adventure and reward to entice passing fair goers. Giant stuffed animals were proudly carried on the shoulders of winners. The creative arts gallery showcased the talent of Texans and it even included a sculpture made entirely of butter. From music concerts to livestock competitions, a variety of events entertained the crowds of people.
I had a great time at the Texas State Fair and I am excited to see what else Texas has to offer!
Kalifa is a masters student in the Biotechnology program in the College of Engineering