Blogtober | State Fair of Texas
It would not be October in Texas without Big Tex and the State Fair! Now that we’re officially Texans, we couldn’t wait to have our very first State Fair of Texas experience. For those who do not know, the State Fair has been taking place at Fair Park in Dallas since 1886 and runs for twenty-four consecutive days. This year, it opened on September 28th and it will run through October 21st.
After seeing tons of pictures and posts about the fair, I knew there were three things Mr. San Diego and I absolutely HAD to try - the cotton candy taco, the funnel cake ale, and the famous corny dog. While the options for crazy fair food are limitless, these three are the ones that really caught our attention.
There is so much that I could cover on this post about the State Fair of Texas, but I’m just going to focus on the three food items I mentioned above. Most of your questions about the fair can be answered at bigtex.com. I do, however, have some tips and suggestions:
Bring cash to pay for parking. Some lots take credit cards but it is chaos trying to park. Beware of unofficial parking areas! Parking at official lots is $15. If you park at one of the farther out lots, try to park close to the shuttle areas so you don’t have to walk as much.
All food and rides are paid for with coupons/tickets. Each coupon represents $0.50 and you can buy a pack of coupons at stations all throughout the park. We purchased 60 tickets for $30 and it got us a cotton candy taco, a corny dog, a beer, a lemonade, and three waters. We had one coupon to spare, which you could technically reuse for any future visit. Vendors will not take cash or card - only coupons.
Adult tickets are $18 at the door, but there are certain days when there are deals to get in.
Bring wet wipes. The foods are messy and you’ll be needing something to wipe down your sticky hands if you can’t get to a sink soon enough.
Turkey legs are 28 coupons. I’m warning you in case you’re trying to budget accordingly and intend on getting your turkey-leg on.
Don’t wear flip flops. They leave to aching, fillllthy feet. This might be common sense but I’m the dumb-dumb that chose fashion over function. It was a bad choice.
Okay, now onto the good stuff - THE FOOD. Enjoy! xoxo
Cotton Candy Taco
Every year, the State Fair of Texas hosts the Big Tex Choice Award and crowns three food entries as winners for Most Creative, Best Taste - Sweet, and Best Taste - Savory categories. This year, the Cotton Candy Taco won the award for the Most Creative! It isn’t hard to see why - this thing is an Instagram dream!
These sweet tacos come in three different flavor options - strawberry cheesecake, s’mores, and chocolate covered strawberry. I went with the s’more option and essentially, they roll the cotton candy around some s’mores crumbs, pop it into a waffle taco, and throw two Pocky-like sticks into them for 14 coupons ($7). Honestly, it is such a fun thing to look at it! We had some difficulty because it was SO HUMID (cotton candy and humidity are not friends), but it was a fun snack none the less.
Funnel Cake Ale
In 2014, Community Beer Co. won the entry for Most Creative at the Big Tex Choice Awards! Now it is a regular staple at the State Fair of Texas and they rim the cups with powdered sugar! It is such a unique concept and we absolutely had to try it. Turns out, it’s not as sweet as you would think! It tastes like a cream ale and a majority of the sweetness comes from the powdered sugar rim. You get enough of the funnel cake idea without being too literal or difficult to drink. For 14 coupons, it isn’t the cheapest beer in the park but it’s a super fun beer to try out!
WOW. I’ve never seen so many people line up for a corn dog before. Turns out, it is bad form to call it a corn dog because it isn’t just any ol’ corn dog. It is a Fletchers Corny Dog and to call it anything else is wrong. We quickly learned that the Corny Dog is King at the fair and has an almost cult-like following. These have been a staple at the State Fair since 1942 and every Corny Dog stand we saw had a crazy line.
We get it, Texas - we understand. A fresh Corny Dog with a dollop of mustard is ABSOLUTELY worth the wait and 12 coupons. Don’t share - make sure everyone gets their own. Also, don’t tread the dark side and add ketchup - unless you’re a child, then maybeeee it is okay. #mustardonly #ketchupnever
I had to include a special little shout out to Big Tex because he’s so impressive. He caught on fire and came back from the dead on his 60th birthday, owns a brand new pair of size 96 Lucchese boots, and has a 95-gallon hat. He talks real slow, moves his hand and jaw, and he is the face of the State Fair of Texas. He’s a cool dude.
What are you most looking forward to trying at the fair? Let me know in the comments below!