TEXAS state fair

As with every year, the state fair did not disappoint. Actually I would be happy to attend any state’s county or state fair; I have never walked out of the gates of one feeling let down. I have some great childhood memories that fuel my interest in going every year, even though those memories are very non-specific. I remember going and having fun, leaving with feet hurting but eyes and tummy bursting from all the eye-candy and fried food beheld within.

So, I have ensured my family gets to relive the experience year after year. This year we had really nice weather and low expectations. Meaning, I didn’t have an agenda of what I wanted to see and do, or how long we should spend there. So the day went by smoothly. We actually took the DART train to get there and back, which was a nice experience. The train system is new and functions very smoothly. By the time we arrived the train was quite full, but we had seats going both directions, which was nice on the way home with those aching feet.

The train station was directly in front of the main gate of the fair. We bought our tickets and entered the fray. Before we made our way very far through the fair, we had to stop for grub. We all made some pretty healthy choices, despite the reputation that there is only a thousand fried foods to choose from. We had pickles (yes, on sticks), a corndog (a must), a bratwurst, tamales, greek salad, sauerkraut, ice cream and LOTS of water. 

We watched Dan the Pumpkin Carver doing his magic in the arboretum.

 That’s one of my favorite places within the fair. I just love the plants and trees and the lush greenery.

Next we made our way through the Midway, where Amy and I played some games. She won a small banana (she was going for the big jamaican banana), and then she rode as many coasters as I would let her. After Joey and I had enough standing around in what little shade we could find while she rode, we walked over to the buildings.

We were distracted on our way over to see the Arts and Crafts and the Food and Fiber Pavillion by the arena. We ended up inside to watch the Amazing Doberman Show. It was pretty good, and allowed us to rest our feet for a bit. Next we were off to the Food and Fiber Pavillion for some free samples!

We ate a bite of hot pickle, a dip of salsa, small cone of ice cream, chunk of ham (we didn’t all eat these things…) and part of a burger. Sipped tea and coffee and checked out the quilt that I quilted last year from the block contest for the fair. Still looked amazing :).

Next to the wine garden, which was right outside the building. We sampled quite a few varieties, my favorite of which was a local white. Llano Chenin = yum. Very fruity but not sweet or dry. Just the way I like it!

We heard something of a parade heading by, and Joe spotted the USMC band passing by, so we followed and watched them perform. AMAZING!

We headed over to see the Arts and Crafts to check out the winning exhibits in the many contests that the state fair hosts every year. I was certain to pay close attention to the winning canned foods so that when I remember to enter next year, I take an easy first place in all my categories! AND we saw an amazing LARGE sculpture from butter!

Lastly, we headed through the marketplaces, checking out all the items for sale at “special fair prices”. You could name anything and it was probably for sale there, which is part of the fun of the fair. As we were walking out we spotted Crystal Bowersox playing on stage.

We waved to Big Tex on the way out, decked out in his new Dickies outfit this year, as we headed back to the train and home. What a great day.

Funny thing is that we missed many shows, the petting zoo, the museum, the animals and the entire cultural building. SO MUCH TO SEE! That THAT is why I love the state fair. It’s always worth going, no matter what you really want to see while you are there.