EVENTS 30 Sept-Oct 23
HOURS Parking and ticket counters open at 9 a.m. daily. Exhibition buildings, grocery stores and outdoor exhibits open daily at 10am. They close at 9pm Sunday through Thursday and at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. Museum and Midway hours vary.
POSITION Located in 277 acre Fair Park just off Interstate 30, southeast of downtown Dallas. Do you use your GPS? Enter this address: 3809 Grand Ave., Dallas.
ADMISSION AND DISCOUNTS
VOUCHERS Most food and rides within the fairgrounds must be paid for with coupons. You can purchase them online at tickets.bigtex.com (sold in $50 packages) or at booths within the show. Coupons, previously two for $1, cost $1 each. They don’t expire. Midway games require a Big Tex Game Card, which can be purchased from booths and kiosks near the play areas.
INFORMATION AND DAILY PLANS 214-565-9931; bigtex.com.
PARK Self-parking in State Fair lots (look for Official State Fair Parking signs) is $20 per space. Parking spaces for people with disabilities are subject to availability in the official car parks (parking fees apply); Note that there is additional demand on senior days (Thursdays) and weekends. Valet parking is not offered, but premium parking is available for $40. To access the nearby parking lot, enter Gate 5 on Robert B. Cullum Blvd. and Grand Ave. / Al Lipscomb Way or Gate 2 at Haskell and Parry Ave.
RIDING DARTS Take the Green Line to Fair Park Station or MLK Jr. Station. dart.org/statefair.
USE CARRIAGE OR TAXI A ridesharing drop off and pick up area is located at Gate 5. The taxi rank is at the intersection of Pacific and Gurley, just outside Gate 1.
HAPPENS THIS WEEK
OPENING DAY PARADE A parade at the fairgrounds celebrates the opening of the State Fair, which departs at 12 noon on September 30 from First Avenue near the Texas Discovery Gardens. The parade route then meanders through the exhibition center and ends just behind the Colosseum.
Celebrity Chef Kitchen Watch top chefs prepare dishes in the demo kitchen in the Creative Arts Building. Among the chefs appearing during the first week of the fair are Uno Immanivong – Red Stix (September 30 at 4:30 p.m.), James McGee – OG Vegan (October 1 at 4:30 p.m.), Aaron Staudenmaeir – District (October 2 at 12:30 p.m.), Julia Dunaway “Chief Julia” (October 2 at 2:30 p.m.), Amanda Tucker and Carolyn Miller – Linq and Titan (October 3 at 11 a.m.), Joshua Bonee – 42 BBQ Smokehouse and LimeHoney (Oct 3 at 4:30 p.m.), Elvis Bencamo – Shinsei (Oct 4 at 12:30 p.m.), Ross Marquette – Smoke & Bone (Oct 5 at 12:30 p.m.), Tina Miller – Proper Baking Co. (Oct 6 at 11am), John Tesar – Knife (Oct 6 at 2:30pm), Nikky Phinyawatana – Asian Mint (Oct 6 at 4:30pm).
RODEO The rodeo action returns to the State Fair every weekend and various days of the week from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Coliseum. Rodeos are free with State Fair admission. During the first week of the fair: Cowboys of Color (Sep 30 – Oct 1) and Mexican Rodeo Fiesta (Oct 2).
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL The State Fair Classic between Grambling State University and Prairie View A&M features one of the best Battle of the Marching Bands halftime shows in the country. The game will take place on October 1st at 6pm at the Cotton Bowl. A pre-game concert by Ashanti Douglas will begin at 4:00 p.m. and the New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band will perform after the game. Both concerts will take place on the Chevrolet Main Stage.
STARLIGHT PARADE The nightly parade gets a refresh this year with new lighted floats, life-size puppets and costumed characters making their way through the fairgrounds each night from 7:15pm to 7:45pm
FEELING OF ENLIGHTENMENT Find a spot along the esplanade to watch the dancing water and synchronized fireworks. The show starts at 8 every night.