There are many things that stand out about the State Fair of Texas. For instance, that giant statue of a cowboy better known by the name of Big Tex. But aside from that beast of a statue, what else is there to this state fair? What is it that makes it so grand, so extraordinary and so Texas?
The first year of the State Fair of Texas was 1886, and the traditions remain true to this day. Opening Day is celebrated with a parade unlike any other, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by delighted eyes everywhere you look. But what is it that makes the fair so beloved to so many, and when did these various traditions come into play? Hold your corny dogs steady; we’re about to get real Texan, real fast.
1. The Location is OG
That’s right: The fair grounds have yet to move locations since the very first Opening Day. We think it’s safe to say this will likely never change.
2. The Grounds Were an Army Encampment
During World War I in 1918, the fairgrounds were closed to serve as a temporary encampment for the United States Army. How’s that for history?
3. Big Tex Burned Down
On one of the saddest days in history, Big Tex erupted into flames and came tumbling down. The good news?
When he was rebuilt, they made him a whopping five feet taller than the original. How’s that for ‘Everything’s bigger in Texas’?
4. The Fair is a Non-Profit
Not only are you having the time of your life, you’re helping to ensure the quality of life of the park and others in the community.
All things such as agriculture and education are promoted throughout the fair’s run.
5. It’s The Longest Running Fair in the Nation
Since beginning, the State Fair of Texas has provided a ground for family-friendly fun, highlighting events that delight both adults, kids, and all of the kids-at-heart among us.
6. 1929 Was a Huge Year
This was a year unlike any other for football fans in the Lone Star State.
In the fall of 1929, The Texas Longhorns went head-to-head with the Oklahoma Sooners for their first showcase in what’s now known as the Red River Rivalry.
7. They Once Sold Non-Alcoholic Beer
Throughout Prohibition, vendors were left with one choice and one choice only: Sell the non-alcoholic version of the real deal in hopes to maintain profitability.
8. 1942 Was the Year of the Corny Dog
Those gigantic Fletcher’s Corny Dogs you see plastered on Instagram during fair season came to existence at the fair in 1942, and would—unbeknownst to them—become a longstanding legend in the ways of the State Fair of Texas.