Texas State Fair Fun
It’s State Fair Time Again!
As if Dallas – Fort Worth is not already filled with deep rooted culture, agriculture, arts, and much more fun. The Texas State Fair fun is unlike anything in the world. The State Fair comes around every year, bigger and better that each year past. The even is so big that schools allow students to take a day off from school to participate. Many DFW school districts provide their students and their families with ticket to the State Fair.
Simply Must Know More
Which is why if you are not from Dallas – Fort Worth it would be hard to fathom the reason for keeping your kid out of school. Where it seems like its just a Ferris Bueller kind of day off, it is actually more educational than many might think. So, it is no surprise that the State Fair writers chose to personally create an article just for DFW’s new influx of residents and potential prospects.
State Fair of Texas Star-Telegram Reports
Sure fried foods, Big Tex and the Midway get a lot of attention, but agriculture is central to the State Fair of Texas. Since its beginning in 1886, the State Fair has had a three-point mission — agriculture, education and community involvement. From its beginning, Texas farmers and ranchers used the State Fair to advertise and market their livestock to folks from all over the nation.
Still True Today
It’s still true today. Agriculture in Texas is a big economic driver. A growing population means an increased need for food and crops. “Agriculture is the primary source of food around the world. It also provides a large source of employment whether direct — the farmer — or indirect — the grocery store clerk,” explains MaKayla Cromwell, livestock manager.
Things To Check Out
So when planning your visit to the State Fair of Texas, September 29 through October 22 at Fair Park in Dallas, check out the more than 100 daily attractions in the area of entertainment, art, history and food and especially don’t pass up the livestock barns. This year’s theme, “Celebrating Texans,” is designed to shed light on the various communities that come together during the Fair’s 24-day run. The theme pays tribute to the celebrated traditions that unite the Texas family.
Got’s To Love The Integrity
The agriculture community is such an integral part of the fair that the first new building in Fair Park since 1993 is the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center. Owned by the City of Dallas, during the fair this 55,000-square foot multipurpose showplace will feature exhibits, youth livestock auction and educational youth programs for FFA and 4-H. Once the fair is over, it is available to the public for rental for events, conventions, conferences and meetings. And for approximately 4,000 4H and FFA youth from nearly 800 cities, the many livestock buildings will be home.
Best Part of The State Fair
Not all will be showing animals. Others develop their skills in public speaking, job interviewing or Agrobotics, says Cromwell. Whatever their interest, Texas 4-H and FFA participants have the opportunity through the Fair’s Youth Scholarship Program to receive college scholarships. So, be sure to visit the various livestock buildings to see the pigs, chickens and cows, but also check out these unique competitions that are just plan fun.
Challenge Accepted By National 4-H Participants
The National 4-H Food Challenge on October 3 in the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center brings young people from all over the U.S. who have qualified on the regional and state levels. They are provided a basket of food and must create dishes in front of appreciative foodies. There are rounds and eliminations and presentations of the dishes before a winner is left standing.
Mini Zebus Steal The Spotlight
The Mini Zebu Contest on October 6 in the Judging Pavilion. Mini Zebus are small Brahman cattle that originated in south India. They can range from 300 to 600 pounds full grown. Costumed exhibitors — generally youth — compete to see which Zebu will take the prize.
The Haltered Longhorn Shows on October 7-8 are part of the Pan Am Shows which means they are not part of the State Fair of Texas auction. It features exhibitors of all ages showing off their majestic Longhorn and you can watch up close. Some have been personally raised, other exhibitors are just proud of their purchase. You can also see the Longhorns in the barns.
Mechanics and Tractor Restoration Competitions
Ag Mechanics and Tractor Restoration Competition on October 17 in the Judging Pavilion. Not your average classic car show, talented ag mechanics show off everything from a firepit to a flatbed trailer made out of tractor parts to completely restored vintage tractors. There is a tractor division specifically for models 1950 and older.
Crow Your Heart Out
Rooster Crowing Contest is back by demand. Halted in the 90’s, it was restored three years ago and is once again a hit. The winner is decided on who can make their rooster crow the most amount of times in a certain length of time — and they can’t touch their bird. There is always something going on in the livestock area. The ISpy interactive exhibit in the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center enables visitors to take a road trip through Texas and all its regions describing the local agriculture and its importance along the way.
Ready For Your Close Up?
For an up-close and personal interaction with the animals, there are livestock in the barns most days. Visit the livestock 101 demo displays and learn about the different animals in the barns. And who can resist the hands-on experience of the children’s barnyard petting zoo.
Another nod to the Fair’s agricultural roots is “Agriculture in Texas,” a new exhibit in the Science Place building. One section of the exhibit highlights innovations in urban agriculture, featuring a portion of the planters from Big Tex Urban Farms — an urban gardening system first introduced in 2016 in the heart of Fair Park. It serves as an outdoor learning space while providing fresh, organic produce to the surrounding communities. It is composed of mobile planting beds. A small-scale version of the hydroponic system that’s in the McKoy Greenhouse on the Midway is also part of the Science Place exhibit. Also in the exhibit, see “Evie,” a trailer-turned mobile greenhouse, a collaboration with engineering students from the Hunt Institute at Southern Methodist University.
Find State Fair Attractions Here
“The Fair brings people from all walks of life together for the same purpose — to experience and celebrate our evolving Texan culture,” says Mitchell Glieber, State Fair of Texas president. “There is a unique sense of community that fairgoers develop during their visit. People acknowledge their difference while appreciating the value they have in our everyday lives. At the same time, fairgoers also come to discover more about their similarities,” he adds. “The Fair itself is an event that draws people not only from across the state, but from all over the country, and we’re extremely proud to be a vehicle for that unity.”