The 2014 State Fair of Texas

DSC00424This year was my second year going to the State Fair of Texas. Ever. In my life.

I know, I’m a terrible Texan.

In case you’re wondering, the State Fair of Texas is bigger, badder, awesomer (yes, that’s a word today), and – let’s face it – more fattening than any other state’s State Fair. I’m just going off of a gut feeling and not any concrete (or even vaporous) evidence, but I can’t imagine possibly being wrong in this scenario.

The State Fair of Texas is huge. Open from mid-September until mid-October (next weekend is the final weekend it’s open in 2014!), the State Fair of Texas is known for two things at the end of the day: Big Tex (pictured above) and its fried food.

DSC00434 DSC00460As Big Tex is already shown above (and kinda creeps me the hell out… it’s something about his eyes…), let’s jump into the food. Face first, preferably.

The best corn dogs with which you’ll ever stuff your face (as modeled by my friends Kendall and Meredith), fried Thanksgiving dinner, Krispy Kreme burgers, fried butter… heck, fried beer… at the State Fair of Texas, you’ll find it all.

Though I didn’t get to taste this year’s winners of the Big Tex Choice Awards – the Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil and the Original State Fair Brew Funnel Cake Ale (beer counts as food in my book) – I did get to sample the aforementioned corn dogs, the patty melt (a grilled cheese with a hamburger in the middle), the chocolate-covered frozen banana, and the fried PB&J with bananas (pictured, above). Before you ask, when I say “sample”, I really do mean sample: the only one I ate in total was the frozen banana – for all of the others, I simply stole bites from my unsuspecting friends. Half of the fun of going to the fair is tasting literally everything under the sun.

A few new additions to the State Fair that I unfortunately missed this year (and definitely want to try!): the fried pumpkin spice Oreo, the deep-fried Texas bluebonnet, and the fresh kettle corn. Yes, I have a sweet tooth.

Don’t miss the beer and wine garden. Though wines made in Texas are… usually not quite as tasty as the wines made in other states (like, say, California or Oregon), we do have some damn good beer. At the fair, there’s an entire area where you can try various craft brews from around the state of Texas (like one of my favorites, the locally brewed Dallas Blonde). One new addition this year? Ciders! Bishop Cider Co. (newly opened and located in the Bishop Arts district of Oak Cliff in Dallas) has a few ciders on tap this year. My favorite was the Crackberry (aptly named!) – other ciders on tap include the Peach Pecobbler and the Suicider. I am such a fan.

DSC00446 DSC00448Aren’t those the funniest pictures? I was trying to choose just one to put in this post and I just couldn’t. They’re both too funny!

Another big attraction at the State Fair of Texas is Midway – the go-to place for rides and games. It’s seriously just ride after ride after ride after ride. Some of them look terrifying (see: the above… no, I did not follow my friends onto that ride!) while some of them, like the Crazy Mouse, are just a ton of fun (with a side of hysterical nervous laughter). There are rides for all levels of adventurers: from the fraidy-cats (aka me) to the daredevils (like my coworkers, who claim that Starship – a super spinny ride that looks positively terrifying – is a fun time).

All in all, the State Fair of Texas is a truly great time… and it’s ready for the big game this weekend! The Cotton Bowl stadium’s field is trimmed (and looks clean..?), the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma flags are up and flying, lining the paths. For all who are going to the game on Saturday: have fun…

… and – win or lose – make sure that you try the fried PB&J with bananas.