|Cynthia and Jackson with Big Tex|
Created in 1886, the State Fair of Texas immediately attracted many notable historical figures and celebrities the first few years like John Philip Sousa and Booker T. Washington to Presidents William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson.
The 1950s included the development of an international livestock show, installation of a monorail system, a Cotton Bowl concert by Elvis Presley, a visit from Vice President Richard Nixon and the first appearance of Big Tex, a 52-foot cowboy figure erected in the center of the grounds.
Did you know that in 1962, The Dallas Texans (AFL) and the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) played their first season in the Cotton Bowl? Traditionally, one of the centerpieces of the Fair has been the annual college football game between University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, nicknamed the Red River Shootout and played in the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park.
Recent years have seen the introduction of new unusual deep-fried items, including deep-fried Oreo cookies; deep-fried Twinkies; deep-fried S'Mores; fried cheesecake; deep-fried peanut butter, jelly, and banana sandwiches, a batter-based fried Coke, chicken fried bacon and fried banana splits.
|Fried Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack|
The Fried Bubblegum is a marshmallow like consistency that tastes just like bubblegum. It was...okay. The Fried Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack was a big winner. It had jalapeno flakes in the batter so it had a little kick to it. Great flavor. I definitively recommend this one! We usually end up stopping in the Food Pavilion because it's air-conditioned and you can sit down, relax and there is a wide variety of food choices inside this building.
If you are taking kids, there is no escaping the Midway so plan to go on a Tuesday for half-price rides. Every Tuesday during the 2011 season, bring an empty Dr Pepper can and enter for $4. Most rides (excluding the Thrillway and the Texas Star) are 5 coupons - instead of the usual 10-12 coupons!
My friend, Angela Patterson, wrote a great article over on About.com that gives you all kinds of information about how you can find great discounts and deals to make your visit to the Fair more affordable.
I think the State Fair of Texas is one of our city's best events. I look forward to it every year. Whether you are on a date, going with a group or looking for a fun way to spend some quality family time, the State Fair of Texas is a great way to spend a day!