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State Fair of Texas: what to know and what to do

State Fair of Texas: what to know and what to do

Fairgoers pass in front of Big Tex on Oct. 1, 2019, at the State Fair of Texas.

The State Fair of Texas will return to Dallas from Sep. 30 through Oct. 23 for family-friendly fun. Here’s what to expect from the State Fair and a few things to remember on your trip to visit Big Tex.

Operating hours

Gates will open 10 a.m on Friday, Sept. 30. Hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m on Sundays to Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m on Fridays and Saturdays, with the last entry time at 9 p.m.


General admission ranges from $15 to $25 for adults and $10 to $18 for people ages 60 or older and children ages 3 or older with a height below 48 inches. Children under 2 years old can get in for free and seniors pay half price every Thursday. Admission costs vary day to day.


Parking is $20 per space at official State Fair lots, while premium parking is available for $40. Bicycles can be parked at racks located inside Gates 5, 6 and 11, but are not allowed on the fairgrounds.

What to bring

People are allowed to bring wagons, coolers, ice chests and personal food into the State Fair. Alcohol, glass containers and metal knives and forks are prohibited.


The State Fair of Texas offers strollers, wagons, wheelchairs and electric scooters for rent through Home Town Mobility between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations require a valid state ID or driver’s license. Rental locations are at the front gate on Parry Avenue, Gate 5 on Grand Avenue, the Pennsylvania Pedestrian Entrance at Gate 11 and the Pan Am Gate on the north end of the fairgrounds. Prices are $20 for single strollers and wagons, $25 for double strollers and wheelchairs and $65 for scooters per day.

There are multiple daily activities and shows to choose from when visiting the State Fair of Texas. A daily schedule and visitor’s guide can be found online.

Starlight Parade

People can expect to see brand-new, elaborate and vibrant floats at this year’s Kroger Starlight Parade. The parade will include a bold colorful assortment of floats, life-size puppets, animated characters in ornate costumes and more additions. This spirited display will appear each night of the fair at 7:15 p.m.

State Fair of Texas Rodeo

People can visit the historic Fair Park Coliseum for the State Fair of Texas Rodeo’s return. The famous rodeo will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. A new addition to this year’s rodeo will be the Year-End Finale of the United Professional Rodeo Association, which will be at the Fair Park Coliseum as part of the Fair’s rodeo lineup.

Each rodeo is free with a State Fair admission ticket.

The rodeo lineup includes:

Cowboys of Color Rodeo

The Cowboys of Color will be held the opening weekend, Sept. 30, and Oct. 1. The cowboys and cowgirls will kick off the rodeo from various backgrounds of Black, indigenous and Latino riders. The event is intended to promote underrepresented diversity within rodeo sports.

Mexican Rodeo Fiesta

Starting Oct. 2, the Mexican Rodeo Fiesta will open to showcase Charro-style performances.

Bull Riding

Bull riding will make a return for one night only on Oct. 7 to the Fair Park Coliseum. Following this will be the Bull Fighter’s Only on Oct. 8 as bull fighters challenge the horned beasts at the coliseum for a one-night event.

State Fair of Texas Ranch Rodeo

Guests can visit the State Fair of Texas Ranch Rodeo to see in-person ranch-work with cowboys and cowgirls, Oct. 14 and 15, to see firsthand what it takes to work on a ranch. Wild cow milking, maverick branding and bucking horses will be presented.

Beyond cowboys and calf wrangling, The State Fair of Texas offers a variety of events that everyone can enjoy.

Mavs Vault

The Dallas Mavericks will host an exhibit at the Hall of State for this year’s “Mavs Vault,” showcasing the history of the local NBA team. The exhibit will include interactive experiences, never-before-seen historical artifacts and more.

Mundo Latino

The Mundo Latino: “Dia de Los Muertos” exhibit celebrates the rich history of the Day of the Dead in Hispanic culture. The event is intended to entertain fairgoers and show the cultural significance of the holiday through art and live painting.

Mighty Mike Show

The traditional strongman, Mighty Mike, will perform at the Fringe Stage where his strength techniques dating back to the '20s will be put to action.

¡Fiestas De Marionetas!

For puppet lovers, the family-friendly Fiestas de Marionetas at the McDonald’s Amphitheater on First Avenue will showcase lights, landscaping and a small village of more than 85 handmade marionettes that will bring the fiesta of color to life through culture and creativity. Fairgoers will also be able to tour backstage and participate in a craft activity after the show.

All-Star Stunt Dog Show

The All-Star Stunt Dog Show makes its return to the fairgrounds at Marine Corps Square, with their original “stunt dog show.” The shelter-rescued canines have performed across the country and guest starred on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show to showcase their talent.


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