Sep 30, 2022 - Things to Do

State Fair of Texas now open in Dallas

A photo of the ferris wheel at the State Fair of Texas

Can't beat the views from the top. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images

The State Fair of Texas is in full swing until Oct. 23, so get your Fletcher's corny dogs, live shows and Big Tex selfie while you can.

The intrigue: Our fair is the country's longest-running fair, and one of the biggest.

Flashback: The first state fairs were held in the Houston area but folded in the late 1870s because of a yellow fever epidemic and economic downturn, per D Magazine.

  • Dallas leaders sought to bring the fair to Dallas but disagreed on its location, which led to Dallas having two separate fairs in 1886. That year, the Texas State Fair and Exposition and the Dallas State Fair opened one day apart.
  • The two fairs eventually merged, because they couldn't separately cover their costs.

Of note: The new Mavs Vault at Fair Park's Hall of State will showcase the team's history, their first game ball from 1980 and, of course, the 2011 championship trophy.

Cost: Regular admission ranges from $15-25 for adults, depending on the day, but there are several ways to save money.

By the numbers: The first week of the fair is usually the best time to visit the fair, as the crowds get larger toward the end. Day 16 of the fair, a Saturday, was the most popular day last year, with over 200,000 visitors.

  • In 2019, the fair had 2.5 million visitors. When it returned last year after taking a break for COVID, the fair had 2.2 million visitors.

Be smart: If you're planning to go to a football game at Cotton Bowl Stadium during the fair, there is a clear bag policy in place.

Related Axios guide: 4 must-try foods at the State Fair of Texas


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Dallas stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more