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Old 09-07-2013, 04:08 PM
 
709 posts, read 664,796 times
Reputation: 448
Default Texas State Fair Tips?

Hi all,

I relocated to Dallas a few months ago for a great job offer, and originally from Minnesota. In Minnesota, the State Fair is a massive event spanning 12 days up to Labor Day. Sadly, I missed our Minnesota State Fair as I just didn't have the time (i.e. work vacation days). Usual attendance those 12 days is around 1.6 million visitors. There is even a story that some school districts in the state wanted to move first day to before Labor Day and so many people threw a fit the Legislature had to step in (that may be rumor, but I bet the sentiment is true...)

Anyway...since I didn't get all my normal Minnesota State Fair food and activities I want to visit the Texas State Fair, which I hear is also a pretty massive event.

I'm looking to find out two things from native Texans: 1) In Minnesota you can find discount coupons and/or coupon books for some of the events at gas stations, etc. Does that exist at all here? and 2) what are must-sees and/or Texas food I simply HAVE to try while at the Fair?

Thanks for your tips. I'm sure I'll enjoy the Fair, and hopefully won't make me too nostalgic for the Minnesota State Fair...

 
Old 09-07-2013, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
2,500 posts, read 2,397,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBCommenter View Post
2) what are must-sees and/or Texas food I simply HAVE to try while at the Fair?
Corn dogs were "invented" at the Texas State Fair in the 1930s - a disputed fact.

 
Old 09-07-2013, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
4,627 posts, read 3,705,920 times
Reputation: 1330
There are many things to do at State Fair of Texas, Imma try my best to tell you as much as I can. It's not easy covering the 277 acres that is Fair Park, expect to be there all day. There's a car show, petting zoo, Broadway plays, museums, football games (depending on what day you decide to go), livestock show, home show, concerts etc. that's not including the rides or food.

There are many lots around Fair Park (some unpaved) that you can park for a small fee, but make sure you park in a area that has a permit, your car will be towed if you don't. If you don't wanna take that risk, park in the fairgrounds for $15 dollars. If you want to avoid all of the parking issues, you could always ride the DART train. The station takes you right to the main gate.

Be prepared to wait in long lines for the bigger rides like the Ferris wheel. I have waited in line many times to ride the Ferris Wheel, but I just didn't have the patients to wait any longer. For that reason, I still haven't ridden the Ferris Wheel.

If you can AVOID going on the Student Days and (there's two for DISD, which is on October 11th and 18th) River River Rivalry (October 12th), it will be EXTREMELY crowded. An additional 90,000+ thousand people will be there just for the game. I would go on a weekday or a day other than the days I listed above.

The Fair isn't cheap, so be prepared! Overall, the Fair is fun for the whole family. I hope you enjoy it.
 
Old 09-07-2013, 05:58 PM
 
31 posts, read 14,580 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBCommenter View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking to find out two things from native Texans: 1) In Minnesota you can find discount coupons and/or coupon books for some of the events at gas stations, etc. Does that exist at all here? and 2) what are must-sees and/or Texas food I simply HAVE to try while at the Fair?

Thanks for your tips. I'm sure I'll enjoy the Fair, and hopefully won't make me too nostalgic for the Minnesota State Fair...
Tip #1 Save your money

Tip #2 They fry everything at the so-called State Fair (which is really a property of the City of Dallas) So if you must attend and partake in the fry fest, consult a physician shortly afterwards for a prescription of Lipitor...You will thank me later......
 
Old 09-07-2013, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
6,580 posts, read 10,464,280 times
Reputation: 3648
You can buy discounted admission tickets at Kroger stores. There is no such thing as discounted food coupons.
Ride the DART rail green line, and it will drop you off right at the front gate.
State Fair Of Texas - Fair Park in Dallas - Sept 27 - Oct 20, 2013
 
Old 09-07-2013, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Austin, near 4 Points
1,865 posts, read 2,225,166 times
Reputation: 1191
Quote:
Originally Posted by joqua View Post
Corn dogs were "invented" at the Texas State Fair in the 1930s - a disputed fact.

They're corny dogs.

& yes, Fletcher's invented them.




 
Old 09-07-2013, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Dallas area, Texas
1,420 posts, read 992,497 times
Reputation: 2213
I haven't seen this year's discounts, but there always are some. This link shows last year's discounts and deals, but this year's should be similar.
State Fair of Texas Discounts and Deals - State Fair of Texas Discounts - Sept 28 Oct 21 2012 - Dr Pepper Discounts Promotions

As to what you should eat, try the Big Tex Choice Award winners ~ Fried Thanksgiving Dinner won for most creative and Deep Fried Cuban Roll won for best tasting. State Fair Of Texas will tell you about this year's finalists and winners. Can't go wrong with any of them. And, like others have said, gotta have a corny dog, with mustard.

Visit State Fair Of Texas - Fair Park in Dallas - Sept 27 - Oct 20, 2013 for a schedule of concerts and events. Some of the headliners are Asleep at the Wheel, Blondie, and Kelly Rowland. Pig Races are always fun. Love the Killdares (daily Celtic rock music). Car show is a must.

Have Fun!
 
Old 09-07-2013, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Dallas
493 posts, read 598,470 times
Reputation: 547
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBCommenter View Post
Hi all,

I relocated to Dallas a few months ago for a great job offer, and originally from Minnesota. In Minnesota, the State Fair is a massive event spanning 12 days up to Labor Day. Sadly, I missed our Minnesota State Fair as I just didn't have the time (i.e. work vacation days). Usual attendance those 12 days is around 1.6 million visitors. There is even a story that some school districts in the state wanted to move first day to before Labor Day and so many people threw a fit the Legislature had to step in (that may be rumor, but I bet the sentiment is true...)

Anyway...since I didn't get all my normal Minnesota State Fair food and activities I want to visit the Texas State Fair, which I hear is also a pretty massive event.

I'm looking to find out two things from native Texans: 1) In Minnesota you can find discount coupons and/or coupon books for some of the events at gas stations, etc. Does that exist at all here? and 2) what are must-sees and/or Texas food I simply HAVE to try while at the Fair?

Thanks for your tips. I'm sure I'll enjoy the Fair, and hopefully won't make me too nostalgic for the Minnesota State Fair...
Hello GBCommenter!

Welcome to Dallas! I have heard many great things about the Minnesota State Fair. I would LOVE to do both fairs! Both fairs seem to be very similar in size and popularity. According to the fair's website, attendance topped 2,000,000 for the first time in 1949 and exceeded 3,000,000 for the first time in 1968. I think it has fluctuated between 2-3 million ever since. First, DO NOT even bother with parking. Save the hassle and your MONEY...you're going to need that cash. LOL . Use DART Rail and take the Green Line to Fair Park Station or MLK Jr. Station. Second, there are a number of opportunities to gain discounted admittance. You can save by purchasing, from Kroger, a State Fair/DART Pass combo ticket. There are SOME days where you can get in for cheap or even free with the aid of the fair's sponsors. Examples would be: Dr. Pepper can gets you in for $5 and $8 depending on the day, Cinemark Thursdays you can bring a movie ticket stub and get in FREE, on Dickies Day wear a Dickies clothing item and get a voucher for FREE entry. Here is a link for the 2012 list of discounts (watch out for the VALID 2013 list in the next few weeks):State Fair of Texas Discounts and Deals - State Fair of Texas Discounts - Sept 28 Oct 21 2012 - Dr Pepper Discounts Promotions
Finally, you MUST indulge in a Fletcher's Corny Dog or several! I cannot stand corn dogs but Fletcher's are the only ones I will eat. Fried Cheesecake is a must!!! Fried Pickles, Fried Guacamole, Fried Snickers, and Nachos. My parents love the corn-on-the-cob and turkey legs. The shops and shows are great fun! I hope you have a good time and I believe the State Fair of Texas and Minnesota State Fair are similar enough so as to have most of your fair needs met.

Here is a DART Rail map:http://www.dart.org/maps/pdfmaps/dar...map03dec12.pdf

Last edited by TowerGuy; 09-07-2013 at 10:18 PM..
 
Old 09-07-2013, 11:25 PM
 
2,005 posts, read 2,172,175 times
Reputation: 1073
Quote:
If you can AVOID going on the Student Days and (there's two for DISD, which is on October 11th and 18th) River River Rivalry (October 12th), it will be EXTREMELY crowded. An additional 90,000+ thousand people will be there just for the game. I would go on a weekday or a day other than the days I listed above.
I'd second this!
 
Old 09-08-2013, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Dallas
483 posts, read 635,837 times
Reputation: 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by TowerGuy View Post
Here is a link for the 2012 list of discounts (watch out for the VALID 2013 list in the next few weeks):State Fair of Texas Discounts and Deals - State Fair of Texas Discounts - Sept 28 Oct 21 2012 - Dr Pepper Discounts Promotions
Finally, you MUST indulge in a Fletcher's Corny Dog or several! I cannot stand corn dogs but Fletcher's are the only ones I will eat. Fried Cheesecake is a must!!! Fried Pickles, Fried Guacamole, Fried Snickers, and Nachos. My parents love the corn-on-the-cob and turkey legs. The shops and shows are great fun!
Thank you for this link! Fletcher's Corny Dogs are really good. So are the turkey legs. Last year we tried the fried mashed potatoes...really good! One year my kids wanted to try some of the fried sweets (snickers, oreos, etc.) For me those are just meh...I rather eat a turkey leg and some curly fries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallaz View Post
There are many things to do at State Fair of Texas, Imma try my best to tell you as much as I can. It's not easy covering the 277 acres that is Fair Park, expect to be there all day. There's a car show, petting zoo, Broadway plays, museums, football games (depending on what day you decide to go), livestock show, home show, concerts etc. that's not including the rides or food.

There are many lots around Fair Park (some unpaved) that you can park for a small fee, but make sure you park in a area that has a permit, your car will be towed if you don't. If you don't wanna take that risk, park in the fairgrounds for $15 dollars. If you want to avoid all of the parking issues, you could always ride the DART train. The station takes you right to the main gate.

Be prepared to wait in long lines for the bigger rides like the Ferris wheel. I have waited in line many times to ride the Ferris Wheel, but I just didn't have the patients to wait any longer. For that reason, I still haven't ridden the Ferris Wheel.

If you can AVOID going on the Student Days and (there's two for DISD, which is on October 11th and 18th) River River Rivalry (October 12th), it will be EXTREMELY crowded. An additional 90,000+ thousand people will be there just for the game. I would go on a weekday or a day other than the days I listed above.

The Fair isn't cheap, so be prepared! Overall, the Fair is fun for the whole family. I hope you enjoy it.


Our 2 teenagers are not keen on the rides so we have no experience with the waiting times. But yes a lot of the rides seem to have very long lines so go on a weekday if you can. Last year we went on a Friday. Fridays are VERY busy...seems like people take Friday off to go to the fair.

We rode DART one year and it was great. One year we drove, and although I liked the convenience at the end of the night, you have to deal with traffic getting there and also getting out of the lot...plus it's not cheap.

At the fair our family is all about the shows, the arcade games, and the food. We like to plan our day around the shows we want to watch. One of my favorites is the bird show. The only thing to keep in mind is most of the shows are done by early evening, so if you head to the fair too late you won't catch any.

Lastly...like most everyone has mentioned, it's not cheap to go to the fair. Expect to dish out a lot of $$$. The rides are ridiculously overpriced, so are the drinks, even just plain water.
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