Fair time in Texas is about as big as it gets when it comes to celebrating regional fairs and festivals. From hundreds of county fairs, the Central Texas State Fair in Belton, the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont, the annual East Texas State Fair in Tyler and, of course, the granddaddy of them all, the Official State Fair of Texas in Dallas, fair time in Texas is a time to celebrate all things Texas past and present, and with the official opening of the Texas State Fair Friday, Sept. 28, all eyes were on the famous Texas State Fair Grounds where millions will flock to celebrate Texas agriculture and culture.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples kicked off the Fair Friday morning during special ceremonies at the 40-year anniversary of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Food and Fiber Pavilion. The Pavilion is located in the heart of Fair Park andis expected to attract large crowds once again as a showcase for the state’s agricultural products.
“The State Fair of Texas is the world’s greatest showcase for all things Texan,” Commissioner Staples said during the opening. “Visit the Food and Fiber Pavilion and discover the many outstanding products offered by our GO TEXAN vendors who work hard to share the best of the Lone Star State with Texas and the world.”
The Food and Fiber Pavilion, sponsored this year by Southwest Dairy, is a 25,000-square-foot facility showcasing hundreds of GO TEXAN products. GO TEXAN promotes the products, culture and communities of the Lone Star State. Research shows that Texans, when given a choice, prefer locally produced items over those produced elsewhere.
“Texas agriculture contributes more than $100 billion to our state’s economy each year,” Commissioner Staples said. “Texas farmers and ranchers take pride in producing the products that improve the daily lives of people around the world. From the food on our tables to the clothes on our backs, the products of agriculture touch our lives in countless everyday ways.”
While the many local, state and regional fairs and festivals across Texas have been called our last great connection to Texas past, they are also known as a “bridge for future generations” to connect to modern and post modern Texas. In addition to enjoying the products produced by Texas agriculture, the State Fair grounds is a central place to find new technology equipment and trends that support agriculture.
“Farmers and ranchers love to attend the State Fair each year to review some of the newest and most advanced agriculture systems coming down the pike,” Josh Templeton told reporters following the opening ceremony at vendor’s row. Templeton works with the fair to attract industry exhibits and special demonstrations for the thousands of farming families who make the State Fair a regular stop on their annual schedule.
Variety of events
“Just like your county fair, fair goers will get to taste homemade recipes, catch a ride on a hay wagon or eat at a chuck wagon. They’ll also get to test drive a tractor, see the latest in irrigation technology, learn to build a cistern tank and watch demonstrations on everything from raising barns to truck shows that test the pulling power of the latest models,” he adds.
Unique to the State Fair of Texas are events like the Reliant Starlight Parade thatglides through Fair Park as the USMC Drum & Bugle Corps leads off the parade each evening at 7:15 p.m.
On Oct. 6, college football takes the center stage when the Southwest Airlines State Fair Classictakes place at the Cotton Bowlfeaturing Grambling State vs. Prairie View A&M. (6 p.m. kickoff).
And what Texan doesn’t like a good truck? Texans love them, in fact, and the TRUCK ZONE is where to find them at the Fair. Fairgoers will enjoy entertainment and new offerings from Chevy, Ford, Toyota, and GMC, as well as a few surprises. Fair goers can also enjoy weekend music stages at the Toyota and Chevy pavilions. The Truck Zone is located adjacent to the Automobile Building and along First Avenue near the Music Hall.
Once again, part of the Fair will be the Mobile Tours rolling into the State Fair throughout its 24-day run, featuring energy issues, health info, games, giveaways, and new technology. The sponsored, mobile displays are located throughout the grounds throughout the fair schedule.
From the famous Midway to special livestock and animal events to a pig stampede for the kids to featuring all the products of Texas agriculture, the State Fair of Texas offers a little of everything for every member of the family. The fair runs Sept. 28 through Oct. 21 in Dallas.