This past weekend, my friend and I went to the State Fair of Texas as part of the Cultural Exploration Trip hosted by the Department of Multicultural Services (DMS). It was my second time to be at this event and I highly recommend you to check it out if you haven’t, especially for you folks who are not from Texas. This year, the fair will run through the rest of October, and the fair ground is right outside of downtown Dallas to the southeast side. Here are some highlights you don’t want to miss:
Food is a huge thing at the State Fair. Like many other carnivals, you would expect to see portable food (everything on a stick so you can carry them around with one hand), giant soda, and all kinds of dessert. Here at Texas State Fair, everything is (of course) in bigger portion, and the most famous are the many variety of deep fry food: fried chicken, fried fruit, fried cheese stick, fried anything…. And because it’s the Oktoberfest season and it’s in Texas, you will find a ton of German food at the Fair.
You will also learn many things about the agricultural and food industries in Texas. At the Go Texan Pavilion on the north side of fair ground, you can shop different locally sourced products (meat jerky, diary products, sauce, spice, candle, soap bar, etc.), and talk to professionals who run farms, take care of forest land, and work in food industry. The Hall of State (the art deco building on the western side of fair ground) has exhibits on Texan history and culture. This year the special exhibit is about films in Texas (filmed here or with Texan themes), including those more recent ones that we are familiar with: Dallas Buyers Club and Alita Battle Angel.
Many people go to the State Fair to enjoy games and rides. They are located to the east side of the fair ground (an area called Midway). Many of them are kids and family friendly so you can bring your little ones together. Those who are interested in the Halloween theme, there is even a haunted house. Keep in mind that you will need to buy coupons first, and then use them to buy food and tickets for games and rides. So plan ahead with your time and energy, because it is a huge place with many different things to check out!
The best thing to go with the DMS is that you don’t have to drive to and from Dallas in the same day. The Cultural Exploration Trip ticket include the State Fair entrance ticket, round-trip bus ride, breakfast and afternoon snacks, and you can also listen to a faculty member from Texas A&M who will give a talk on the African American Museum inside of the fair ground. It’s a great experience and a perfect one-day getaway for the season!
Mingqian Liu is a doctoral student in the Department of Architecture