Friday, September 27, 2013
7 must-dos at the State Fair of Texas
For those who need a refresher.
We might have said that the biggest moment at this year's State Fair of Texas was the unveiling of Big Tex 2.0, but you've likely already seen him by now. Which means: It's time for corny dogs and beer.
If you need some new flair for the fair, here are 7 events you shouldn't miss:
Heavy petting: So you're too old for the petting zoo. Not at the State Fair of Texas, where grown ass people saunter in there to feed the giraffe and try not to get pecked by the ostrich. Put away your pride for a sec and you'll find it hard not to give the little goats a hug as they try to steal your food. If you really like the animals and aren't afraid to show it, spend 30 minutes watching the pig races around the corner in the Pan American Arena. You'll be cheering on your favorite porker before the show's over.
Find fried food: We'll be first in line to try some of the odd fried foods at this year's State Fair, like the fried Nutella and fried Thanksgiving dinner. Or are fried King Ranch casserole and fried meatloaf at the top of the list? Heck, we'll try them all. Some of the old favorites will still be for sale, like Fletcher's corny dogs and those messy funnel cakes. A few other new foods this year that didn't get quite as much press include fried spaghetti and meatballs, fried shrimp and grits and fried elote. If you're serious about trying all the frieds (and you're not alone), print this map to walk to the 8 fried food finalists.
Toast to Texas/OU weekend: Every year, the Red River Rivalry takes place during the State Fair of Texas. And to Dallas partiers, this is a gift. The game on October 12 is bound to be one of the rowdiest Saturdays all year, and certainly the rowdiest football Saturday. Stubhub says seats range from $112 to more than $1,400 per seat, and if you can afford a ticket, the atmosphere is always electric. If you can't, there's just as much smack-talking and corny dog eating outside the Cotton Bowl on the fairgrounds.
Grab a local beer in an air conditioned pop-up bar: A new bar at the State Fair will serve Four Corners Brewing Company beer in an air-conditioned space. It's located inside the Texas Discovery Gardens and costs $4 to get in, though once you're in there, beer drinkers will also find bites from Bolsa and The Tamale Company, including vegan and gluten-free options.
Sample the wine: The Wine Garden is open every day near the Creative Arts and Food and Fiber buildings, and it offers a relaxing little oasis to people-watch and try samples. Wine tastings occur all day and start at 2 coupons per taste. You can also buy by the glass. Serious wine drinkers might recognize the name Cupcake Vineyards, which makes a special stop at the fair's Nimitz Terrace Sept. 27-29, Oct. 11-13 and Oct. 18-20. Look for the Cupcake truck.
Can't believe it's butter: Butter sculpture connoisseur or not, you'll be dairy glad you checked out the one at the State Fair of Texas, which will be sculpted in the shape of the new and improved Big Tex. Sculptor Sharon BuMann puts Butter Tex goes on display in a refrigerated area through the end of the fair.
Jam with a band: With the price of State Fair admission, concerts are free. Free! Artists include Kelly Rowland (R&B singer originally in Destiny's Child); Cory Morrow (Texas country artist); Emblem3 (boy band put together by Simon Cowell); and Kacey Musgraves (country singer and songwriter). See all performers here. Click on each link above to see when the artists perform, then stake out your spot at the All-New Silverado Main Stage.