Explore the State Fair of Texas

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – J.R.R. Tolkein

The fall season tends to bring about a lot of fun festivals, events, and road trips. Many people enjoy reconnecting with friends and family and there are a variety of ways to do that all over America. We’re even having a Fall Photo Contest throughout the whole month of October that gives you the ability to share your fall festivities with us for the chance to win some prizes! Just show us where you’re traveling this fall by uploading a picture to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and be sure to include the hashtag #ExploreAmerica.

Show us where you're going this Fall! Click here to enter.

Show us where you’re going this Fall! Click here to enter.

Now, while the weather might not be quite as cool as we would like it, it is still fall in Texas! Do you know what that means? One of the biggest Texas events is now taking place! It’s time for the State Fair of Texas and I’m thrilled to say that I finally went for the first time 🙂

My State Fair Experience

The State Fair of Texas  has been going on in Dallas, Texas for a pretty long time and it’s a huge event that many people like to be a part of. I’ve lived in Dallas for about four years and never had the opportunity to go to the fair, until this past week! Let’s just say, the experience was fantastic! After hearing people in the DFW area rave so enthusiastically about the fair, I was glad for the chance to go! I walked around Fair Park and discovered a lot of things that interested me, I ate some delicious fried food, and I rode some pretty cool rides.

Discoveries

While walking around the fair, I came across a number of both expected and unexpected things that caught my eye. Check out some of my discoveries:

Expected:

  • The new Big Tex – Unfortunately, last year’s fair ended with Big Tex in flames. However, this year he is back and standing at 55 feet tall! As people prepared for the opening day of the fair, the debut of Big Tex was one of the first things on everyone’s mind. Also, as a newbie to the State Fair of Texas, I knew I would have to check him out. Check out “Big Tex makes big debut at Texas State Fair” for more info!
  • The Auto Show – I knew the car show was supposed to be a big deal, but I had no idea it would be so cool. “The State Fair of Texas has presented new vehicles since 1904, but today’s show developed after World War II. Since 1989, the Auto Show’s skyrocketed from 84,000 s.f. to 300,000 s.f., including two buildings and an outdoor truck area offering vehicles, activities and entertainment.” There were a lot of great new cars there, plus I came across some cars that would be considered material for the Hertz Adrenaline Collection. See State Fair of Texas Auto Show for more information.

Unexpected:

  • While I was checking out the car show, I came across interesting discoveries in both buildings that were hosting the vehicles.
  1. The first building was home to the “Man of Steel” and Superman 75th Anniversary Costume Tour! How random but cool is that?? Learn more about the costume tour by visiting Superman Homepage.
  2. The second building had something that I thought was really great..a vending machine for Chevy! I drive a Chevy and the vending machine was giving out free stuff, so it seemed perfect! All you had to do was “Tweet for CHEVY Gear” and then you could collect a prize.
  • I also came across some interesting history while I was walking around Fair Park. The Daughters of American Revolution House was showing an exhibit and there were some really neat artifacts in there!

Take a look at some of the pictures that I captured of my discoveries!

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The Food

Before making my way to the fair, all of my friends and coworkers told me about the unique fried food that they normally have! I was set on trying some! However, since I was new to this type of delight, I didn’t experiment too much.

Check out some of the new foods at the fair:

Deep Fried Chocolate Chip Burrito – Chocolate chip cookie dough fried in a flour tortilla. Served with chocolate or strawberry drizzle and whipped cream. Located on the Midway (M-23F0 and Nimitz Drive (N-17F).
Deep Fried Shrimp and Grits – Homemade grits are made with a blend of fresh herbs, cheese, and Cajun shrimp, coated in a secret batter, and deep fried. Located in the Tower Building (TB-9F).
Deep Fried Spaghetti and Meatball – Pasta, Roma tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella are deep fried in a red lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit. Located in the Tower Building ( TB-9F) and near Gate G on MLK Jr., Blvd. (MLK-28F).
Deep Fried Elote – A bite sized and crunchy mix of corn, queso fresco, and salsa valentina. Served drizzled with a spicy cream sauce. Located in the Tower Building (TB-14F).
Pig Toes on a Stick – 6-8 tator tots paired with a slice of jalapeno, wrapped in smoked bacon, and then fried to a golden brown. Served plain or with a chili cheese dipping sauce. Located in Cotton Bowl Plaza (CBP-16F) and on MLK Jr., Blvd. ( MLK-26F).
Loaded Avocado Crispy Fries – A tray of fresh avocado slices, breaded, and fried crispy. Served covered with layers of Monterey Jack cheese, queso, bacon crumbles, fresh cilantro, and jalapeno slices. Located on the Funway (FW-46F) and in Cotton Bowl Plaza (CBP-19F).
The Beast Burrito – 14 inch flour tortilla folded and deep fried with Angus burger meat, beans, rice, chopped onions, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, and jalapenos. Served with chili, chipotle, or green sauce. Located on Coliseum Drive (C3-F).
Spicy Spam Empanadas – Shredded spam, potatoes, bacon, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, onions, red and green peppers, jalapeno and chipotle peppers, and spices are stuffed inside a light empanada pastry shell and then deep fried golden brown. Located near the Front Gate (FG-4F).
Deep Fried Creole Boulette – A creole boulette is a sauteed tilapia fish ball seasoned with a secret blackened mixture, dipped in an egg wash, and then a seasoned fish fry batter, and deep fried. Topped with a mild green onion aioli sauce. Located on Grand Avenue (G-4F).
Fried Shrimp & Cheese Jalapeno – Deep Fried Jalapeno Pepper stuffed with shrimp and cream cheese, battered and deep fried. Located on Coliseum Drive (C-2F).
Deep  Fried BBQ Wontons – Hickory smoked pulled pork or chopped brisket stuffed in a wonton wrapper and deep fried until golden brown. Served with a side of BBQ Sweet and Sour Sauce. Located in Cotton Bowl Plaza (CBP-15F) and on the Funway (FW-37F).

 Now, are you ready to know what I chose to try for my first foods at the fair? I had a Fried Biscuit with Gravy for my dinner and a classic Fried Twinkie for dessert. Yumm!

Fried Biscuit with Gravy

Fried Biscuit with Gravy

Fried Twinkie!

Fried Twinkie! Katie’s Cafe was the only place I could find them by the way!

For more information about what food you should try at the fair, see: 2013 Big Tex Choice Awards Winners and Finalists.

Fun All Around

Going to the State Fair of Texas was definitely an all around, great experience! Everything that people told me would be a good thing to check out while I was there, was indeed good! However, one of the best things at the fair, was the Ferris Wheel! Riding the Ferris Wheel was a relaxing way to really enjoy the city that I live in. The views that it gives you of both Fair Park and the city in general, are amazing. Plus, there are some other great rides and attractions at the fair as well!

Along with riding the Ferris Wheel, I rode a few roller coasters (tip, don’t ride them after you eat fried food!), went through a haunted house, and played a few games. There are also concerts, performances, and shows that I didn’t even get a chance to see yet!

Check out the State Fair of Texas Attractions to find out more! There is a lot of entertainment provided at the fair for all ages to enjoy!

Watch this slideshow for a glimpse of what I got to experience!

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Finally, check out the views from the Ferris Wheel 🙂


Don’t forget to use download code TXSF in your Hertz NeverLost device and download the My Explore Hertz NeverLost Mobile Companion to help you guide your way around DFW and the State Fair of Texas! Most importantly, enjoy this event! It started on September 27, 2013 and will last until October 20, 2013. Use your time wisely!

-Melissa Woodring 🙂

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