The Dallas State Fair in October is one of the biggest events in Texas held every year in the city of Dallas. Today, it is one of the most anticipated events in the state with an attendance of more than 2 million visitors every year. Next year I hope that we can coordinate seeing our Dallas SEO partners and get to the State Fair.
While it revolves around celebrating all things Texan, its origins are a bit more prosaic. After the stunning success of Houston´s State fair in 1870, many in Dallas saw a golden opportunity to attract thousands of people to their small town. Who could blame them? Houston´s Fair was so successful that they were forced to move it to a larger site after only two years to have enough capacity. They even built a streetcar line that went from downtown right to the event´s front gate.
However, like everything in this life, there was a power struggle as business leaders disagreed on where to hold the event. William H. Gaston wanted the event to be held in East Dallas. He bought 80 acres of land to force a decision. However, there was a big push to hold the fair north of town. None of them yielded.
As a result, there were 2 rival State Fairs in 1886. The Texas State Fair and Exposition opened in what is now known as Uptown on October 25. Gaston´s Dallas State Fair opened the day after. They were a cultural success, but a commercial flop.
This forced the two organizations to come to an agreement and settle for one big annual State Fair of Texas.
Since then, the State Fair has been a very reliable reflection of what Texas has to offer. The good and the bad and everything in between.
The Fair has been visited by many personalities and important cultural icons. In 1909, President William Howard Taft was among the attendees, as well as Quanah Parker, the Comanche Chief. It also served as a training ground for young artists such as Elvis Presley. The State Fair had captured the imagination of the public all around the country and in 1962 a film was made to portray its festive spirit and pageantry.
Big Tex Used to be Santa
As part of an advertising ploy, the city of Kerens built a huge Santa Claus made of papier-mache. The plan was to draw attention to the city during the holidays and encourage sales. And it worked. The World’s Largest Santa made it to the news, and it was a city attraction for two seasons.
As it often happens, its luster faded and soon the city was wondering what to do with a giant useless paper boondoggle.
The State Fair organization offered $750 for it and then ordered it to be morphed into a big cowboy. Big Tex´s clothes were donated by H.D. Lee Company, and it was a continued tradition up until a big fire consumed him in 2012. Its next iteration will sport clothes made by Dickie´s.
All Things Fried
Food is one thing the State Fair never runs out of. There are hundreds of options from all over the world for those who love a good meal or snack. However, the fair is known for its love of fried food. Every year since 2005, the Big Tex Choice Awards celebrates the creative and daring minds who can come up with the most delicious, yet unhealthy, fried or sugary (or both) preparations.
Every year their deep-fried talent is put to test, and they never disappoint. We have had fried coke, fried bubblegum, and fried frito pie. I can’t wait to see what they come up with this year.
There Is a Lot To See at The Texas State Fair in Dallas
Well I hope if you can make it to Dallas during the Fair season that you’ll have fun. If you get to Dallas any other time of the year check out what I wrote about things to do downtown Dallas, check out the ATT Stadium, and if you’re inclined to more cultured locations, check out these five museums in Dallas you won’t want to miss. And for education opportunities here’s some colleges and univerisities that call Dallas home.