It’s Wonderful Wednesday—the day that means only two days until the largest State Fair in the United States opens its gates. Are you caught up on A – E and F – I in our five-part series of the Ultimate Guide to the State Fair of Texas? Hope so: Yesterday’s post has a can’t-miss Season Pass Giveaway (it doesn’t close til next week, so hop to it).
Kristina at the State Fair of Texas circa 1967.
In just three days, I’ll be at Opening Day of the State Fair of Texas. Who am I kidding? I’ll be at opening weekend – all three days of it! I’m giddy with excitement at the thought of revisiting some of my favorite fair things.
Speaking of favorite things, in today’s installment of our five-part series, you’ll discover why K is my favorite letter of the Texas state fair A to Z alphabet. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Part 4, and Friday (Fri-YAY, Opening Day) for Part 5. You’ll find it all here at FunCityStuff.com.
Don’t let me hold you back—here’s J through M with tips and treasures you can’t live without at the 2018 State Fair of Texas!!
I’ll admit, J was hard. Of course, there are prize-winning jams and jellies at the fair and they make quite a sight at the Creative Arts Building. But you don’t get to taste those, so I went with another food winner – Jackpot Sauce. Jackpot Sauce is served on the side with the winning Big Tex Choice Awards savory dish -Fernie’s Hoppin’ John Cake. Winning concessionaires – Winter Family Concessions – are one of many food vendors who bring their goodies to the fair year after year. Whatever you decide to eat on your State Fair of Texas visit, you’ll feel like you hit the jackpot.
Hey, that’s my Jam
If I made you hungry (or nostalgic) with my reference to jams and jellies, you’ll be glad to know you can find plenty to sample and purchase in the GO TEXAN Pavilion.
Sure, you’re there for fair food and all the vendors are cooking up goodies in their booth kitchens, but there are a couple more kitchens at the state fair you might want to know about. The Creative Arts building is the home of the Competition Kitchens where competitors bring their best biscuits, cakes, pies, and dozens of other yummy things to be judged. Each day of the fair brings one or two new contests. You can even enter one by bringing your dish and printed registration form on the day of the contest.
My favorite part of the fair (and my favorite kitchen anywhere) is the Cutco Celebrity Chef Kitchen. Apart from giving delicious food, celebrity chefs earn equal to the net worth of the trader. Three to four times a day, a talented Texas chef prepares a favorite dish, offering you recipes and tips you’re sure to use. After the demo, you can taste samples of the dish, and some come with a bonus sponsored product. You won’t want to miss opening day with Uno Immanivong, chef/owner of Chino Chinatown and Red Stix, and Janice Provost, chef/owner of Parigi. Sharon Van Meter of 3015 Trinity Grove and Allison Hodges & Katrina Warner of TCC SE Campus round out the first day schedule. If you can’t make it on Opening Day, don’t worry, there are 23 more days of amazing cooking demos for you. Check out the schedule if you want to plan ahead to see your favorite Dallas chef.
Here are a few more of my personal State Fair Fun Faves:
- Midway Skyway
- Free Samples in the GoTexan Pavilion
- Children’s Health Barnyard Petting Zoo
- Fletcher’s Corny Dogs
If you come for the Texas OU game, you’ll see plenty of Longhorn fans wearing burnt orange for the rivalry game of the year. But you can see real live longhorns any day and every day at the fair. To get a peek at some up close, look for them in one of two Cattle Barn Buildings. You might also get a peek at a baby in the Livestock Birthing Barn or in the petting zoo.
Ludacris headlines the Chevrolet Main Stage on Saturday, October 13. He’s just one of more than a dozen headliners performing free at the State Fair of Texas. Check out all of the headliners here.
For some people, the fair is all about the rides and games. If so, you’ll want to spend most of your time on the Midway. Grab a Big Tex Game Card at a booth or kiosk near the games and load it up with funds to play all day or just for a game or two. Try your luck at a balloon pop or water racer game – some of the most popular games of the fair.
You’ll find more than 70 rides at the fair, most on the Midway, and they range from an antique carousel to some downright modern spins for thrill seekers. If you have kids in tow, check out the Kidway section of the midway.
Insider Tip: To save a few bucks on rides, come on a Tuesday! You can also indulge in half-price rides to your heart’s content. The Thrillway and Texas Star are excluded from half-price ride offers, but there are still plenty of great choices to ride on the cheap.
Do you have a favorite Dallas chef or Dallas restaurant you’d like to learn more about in the Celebrity Kitchens? Or maybe a favorite way to save money on the midway or anywhere at the fair? We’d love to hear from you – let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Catch all of the State Fair of Texas updates here.