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What to do at the State Fair of Texas when it opens

For those attending the State Fair of Texas at Fair Park and wondering how to plan their visit, there's ample time to strategize for coupons and events. The fair is scheduled to run from September 29 to October 22. In June, State Fair officials unveiled a lineup of attractions, exhibits, and performances, featuring a mix of familiar favorites and exciting new additions.

What to do at the State Fair of Texas when it opens

This year's theme, "Explore the Midway," promises the lively sounds of midway barkers, accompanied by the beeping and buzzing of games. Don't forget to experience the thrill of classic rides like the Crazy Mouse, the Texas Star, or the Texas Skyway. As you wander the fairgrounds, the tantalizing aroma of corny dogs and other fried delights will permeate the air, making it the perfect year to indulge in Boardwalk Bite's "Better Than the State Fair" offerings: foot-long corn dogs, funnel cakes, chicken basket, loaded fries, kettle corns, and fresh-squeezed lemonades. Check our menu now. Food enthusiasts won't want to miss the butter sculptures and the canned peaches exhibit. To enjoy the various food and rides within the fairgrounds, you can purchase coupons for just $1. The good news is that these coupons don't expire, so you can use any leftovers from previous years. As usual, the Texas Auto Show will showcase new cars for testing and exploration, leaving fingerprints of excitement on attendees. However, there's an important policy change to be aware of: starting at 5 p.m. daily, children aged 17 and younger entering the fairgrounds must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old. Adult chaperones will need to present a valid ID upon entry, but once inside, minors and chaperones are not required to stay together. The only thing left to anticipate is the iconic arrival of Big Tex, who will soon take his place with his newly designed size-96 boots. Here's a quick summary of what fairgoers need to know:

  • Getting There: Information on self-parking and parking for individuals with disabilities.

  • Business Hours: Gates open daily at 9 a.m., while exhibit buildings, food concessions, and outdoor exhibits open daily at 10 a.m. The closing times are 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 9 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays.

  • Tickets and Discounts: Details on general admission, season passes, McDonald's discounts, and evening tickets.

  • Livestock Hours: Check the daily schedule for specific animal showcases.

  • Museums and Cultural Centers: A list of places to explore.

  • Information and Schedules: Contact 214-565-9931 or visit

  • Drop-off and Pick-up Areas: Options include DART, Uber, Lyft, or taxi drop-offs and pick-up locations available at Gate 5.

  • GPS Tracking: Use the address 3809 Grand Ave., Dallas.

For family fun and shows, here are some exciting attractions to look forward to: Soap Bubble Circus: Head to the Oak Farms Theater for Guinness World Record-breaking bubble-ology feats, including a tightrope-walking snowman, an exploding volcano, and more. Dinosaurs at the Lagoon: Explore life-sized Texas dinosaurs, a kids' play area, and educational entertainment at the Leonhardt Lagoon. Acrobuffos: Cool off with an interactive water balloon fight at the Fringe Stage. Starlight Parade: Witness the nightly Kroger Starlight Parade featuring dazzling floats, life-size puppets, ornate costumes, and more. State Fair of Texas Rodeo: Enjoy rodeo events every weekend, including the State Fair of Texas Ranch Rodeo and the Mexican Rodeo Fiesta. This year, the United Professional Rodeo Association Year-End Finale will also be part of the lineup. Mighty Mike Show: Experience the charm and strength of Mighty Mike, a strongman with a humorous performance that includes horseshoe bending and juggling. Key Events to mark on your calendar:

  • Music: Live performances from over 90 artists, including Lonestar, CeeLo Green, and 38 Special.

  • Sports: Don't miss the football games at the Cotton Bowl, featuring the State Fair Classic on September 30 and the Red River Showdown on October 7.

  • Rodeo Schedule: Check out the diverse schedule of rodeo events throughout the fair.

Prepare to explore, enjoy, and make lasting memories at this year's State Fair of Texas!

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