10 Things to do at the State Fair of Texas

10 Things to do at the State Fair of Texas

10 things to do at the State Fair of Texas!

10 things to do at the State Fair of Texas! Tanya Foster

10 things to do at the State Fair of Texas! Cotton Candy

10 things to do at the State Fair of Texas! tickets and coupons

EEK! We’re just days away from the opening of the 2021 State Fair of Texas! I don’t know about you but I certainly missed Big Tex in 2020. Yet one more thing that was a victim of the pandemic… Today, I’m going to share with you 10 things to know about the State Fair of Texas. I LOVE to go to the state fair each year and look forward to the food, exhibitions, animals and variety of entertainment. We’ve been going for 30 years! The 2021 fair theme is “HOWDY FOLKS!”, which is the perfect theme to welcome back visitors. Tickets can be purchased HERE. Over the years I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to easily navigate the State Fair of Texas so I thought I would share them today. Plus, I am going to highlight what’s new this year!

TANYA’S TIP: My biggest piece of advice is to attend the State Fair of Texas on opening day. The fair starts on Friday, September 24 and will run for three weeks ending on Sunday, October 17. Why opening day? The food is fresh, the vendors are excited about opening day and everything is a bit cleaner, in my opinion. The gates will open at 10:00 AM! Here are some important tidbits about this years State Fair of Texas that will help you navigate your experience. This is of course in addition to all the amazing stuff we already know about such as the Texas Auto Show, the Midway, livestock exhibitions, college football games, arts & crafts and the petting zoo.

Laura, Audrie and I will be at the State Fair of Texas bright and early on Friday morning to shoot and have our own Fair Day. Of you see us, please say ‘Hello’! Pete and I head to the state fair several times during its 3 week run. We’ve even been know to just pop in for a corny dog dinner. 🙂

10 Things to know about the 2021 State Fair of Texas!

NEW!  Rodeo

  • Included with your entry ticket this year is the ability to attend the rodeo! Located in the Fair Park Coliseum.
  • Various days and weekends from 6 – 7:30 PM

NEW! Budweiser Clydesdales Horses

  • The hitch team will make appearances nightly at 7:15 PM during the Kroger Starlight Parade
  • You can also visit the horses in the horse stables

State Fair Wine Garden

  • Texas has a lot of great wine, which is why the State Fair Wine Garden is giving you three ways to try the different varieties. Throughout all 24 days of the Fair, wines are sold by the taste, glass, and bottle.
  • There is also a stage that features shows daily during the run of the Fair. Details here.

Junior League of Dallas Centennial Exhibit

  • “Junior League of Dallas Centennial” will be housed inside the Hall of State. Sponsored by Sewell Automotive Companies. The exhibit will include historical documents, memorabilia and photos to showcase 100 years of JLD’s “Legacy of Leadership, Devotion to Dallas” and the women who made so much happen. Guests can visit the exhibit from September 24 through October 17, 2021. Can’t wait to see these pictures!

FREE concerts at the Chevrolet Main State

  • The State Fair of Texas always has a great line-up of musical talent for the free concert series. Click HERE to see who will performing.
  • Clay Walker is performing on Opening Day at 8:30 PM

2021 Big Tex Choice Award Winners

  • Since 2005, the Big Tex Choice Awards contest has solidified the State Fair of Texas as the top Fair for great food creations. Each year, State Fair concessionaires fry up tasty and unique foods for a chance to become a finalist in the annual Big Tex Choice Awards competition. Everything from Fried Beer to Fried Peaches and Cream has made the cut to become a part of the exclusive club of fried food creations. There is also a list of new food items here.
  • This year’s winners are:
  • Best Taste – Savory: Deep Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls
  • Best Taste – Sweet: The Armadillo 
  • Most Creative: Deep Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls (YES, they won twice!)
  • Click HERE for a full list of foods at the State Fair of Texas. There’s lots of NEW food!

How to get every discount possible

  • Culture Map does such a great job of gathering discount hacks. Click HERE to read their article.
  • Thrifty Thursdays offers discount food pricing. September 30, October 7 & 14. Details HERE.

Texas Auto Show

  • Want to see every new make and model car? Head to the Automobile Building, the Centennial Building and the Truck Zone
  • Tip: It’s a great way to cool off in an air conditioned building!

Opening Day Ceremony

  • The State Fair of Texas has announced that it is tweaking its Opening Day Ceremony, which is Friday, September 24. It will be held at 7 PM in from of the Hall of State inside the fair grounds. Yes, the Kilgore Rangerettes are back for this annual performance tradition.


  • NEW this year are a limited amount of PREMIUM TICKETS. They are one-day admission tickets that give your date flexibility. They can only be purchased online HERE. Don’t worry – there are still regular daily admission tickets and season passes too. Click HERE for all ticket information.
  • Coupons are still needed for all rides and food inside the State Fair of Texas. They can be purchased in $50 packets.
  • Did you know that coupons from past State Fair of Texas are always valid? Yep, just bring them with you and use them up!


WOW! That seems like a lot of information but I really do hope it helps you plan your visit. And if you are like me, you will go several times during the three week run because well all need more than one Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dog! Am I right?

xoxo – Tanya

P.S. Did you know that the State Fair of Texas coupons never expire? If you have some from last year be sure to bring them with you. The vendors will take them for food and rides.

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photo: Audrie Dollins

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10 Things to know about the 2021 State Fair of Texas!

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