State Fair of Texas, Dallas Texas

Article by Andrea M. Kincaid
Photography by George Hosek

Nestled on 277 acres in beautiful Dallas, Texas is
a place where friends and family gather to enjoy such things as arts and crafts, amusement rides and a livestock of approximately 8,000 entries. The State Fair of Texas has a lot more to offer than it just being another event.

Fair Park, the place it is held in, is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and is open during the State Fair of Texas, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m..  In 1886, the State Fair held its first celebration in Dallas were it played host to more than 4 million visitors.

Along with its boastful atmosphere and scenic views, the Fair has also generously given back to its people by awarding more than $1.8 million in grants for eligible college students pursuing their degrees.  The Texas Star is the tallest Ferris wheel in North America standing at an amazing 212 ft. 

This wonderful attraction is a sight to see for many tourists.  While others may enjoy the approximately 200 food venues and the legend of the corn dog, which was invented in 1942 by two men named Carl and Neil Fletcher.


To really appreciate all that the State Fair has to offer, one must trace its roots back to January 30, 1886 where it was founded by a group of businessmen, among them was W.H. Gaston. 

Gaston proposed the fairgrounds be placed on 80 acres of land within Fair Park.  While this seemed like a good idea to most, others were opposed, including C.A. Keating, a man who spoke for the agricultural side of the population.

In the end, Keating obtained his own piece of land and thus, began the start of the Texas State Fair and Exposition.  Keating also planned to open his fair a day before the Dallas State Fair.

While both fairs were held almost simultaneously with a vast amount of exhibits, neither one could hold its own, and in 1887 merged.  The Texas State Fair and Dallas Exposition showcased many events for thousands such as, cattle sales, horse races and displays of farm machinery.

But, even with so much success, a streak of bad luck still managed to overcome the owners and their fair.  In 1903, the Texas Legislature banned all gambling on horse races which was, no doubt, the main income for money and attraction at the Fair thus, putting a tight grip on finances.  In order to protect any assets that belonged to the Fair,  the property was sold to the City of Dallas in the year 1904.  In doing so, the Fair was to be held in the Fall of every year. 

2011 Texas State Fair

CIRQUE SHANGHAI An amazing 22 member Chinese acrobatic troupe performs seemingly limitless skills and incredible feats.

The crowd-pleasing ILLUMINATION SENSATION offers lights, music, dancing waters and pyrotechnics along the recently refurbished 700-ft.

Nights sparkle when the illuminated floats and giant puppets in the RELIANT STARLIGHT PARADE glide through Fair Park.

Click here for the official Texas State Fair website.

State Fair of Texas Entertainment Schedule 2011

September 30 @ 8:30 pm- Kraig Parker Tribute to Elvis

October 1 @ 3 pm - Miguel

October 2 @ 5:30 pm  - KC & The Sunshine band

October 7 @ 8:30 pm - JB & The Moonshine band

October 8 @ 8:30 pm - Jack Ingram

October 9 @ 1:00 pm - Katie Armiger

October 9 @ 3:00 pm - Colt Ford

October 9 @ 5:30 pm - Thompson Square

October 10 @ 5:30 pm - Mitchel Musso

October 14 @ 8:30 pm - Finger Eleven

October 15 @ 8:30 pm - Hanson

October 16 @ 5:30 pm - Crystal Bowersox

October 21 @ 8:30 pm - Randy Travis

October 22 @ 8:30 pm - Unknown at this time

October 23 @ 3:00 pm - La Mafia


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