I've made the now nostalgic journey to visit Big Tex
and the State Fair of Texas
every year since I was in kindergarten. Our school district gave us a "Fair Day" and a free ticket to miss a day of school and enjoy the fair. Suffice it to say, this four week spectacle is a big deal in Texas. I would say (but don't quote me on this) that it is one of the oldest Texas traditions that continues to uphold the handmade movement. From the homemade pies to the cable knit sweaters, the fair oozes good ol' southern craftsmanship. The fair may not be as hip and trendy as Etsy Dallas or We Are 1976, but seeing that it has been around for over 100 years, they must be doing something right.
My family took advantage of the long weekend and decided to see what we could see on the fair grounds Tuesday afternoon. Our first find was a stand giving out free mini ice cream cones. Not a bad start to the day. Then we just ogled the food for a little while, preparing our growling stomachs for our glorious, one and only corny dog of the year. I don't even like corny dogs, but this one is the ultimate exception...
Ah, Fletcher's Corny Dogs
....where it all began. Believe it or not, this is where the original corny dog was invented in 1942. The stand is still operated by the same family to this day! Talk about a handmade tradition. The fair wouldn't be the fair without these corny dogs. It's just a fact.
Now aside from the corny dogs, I'm not much into the fair's famous fried food. I think it gets a little over the top. I mean, just look at some of the new items
on the menu this year. Fried Pineapple Upside Down Cake? Fried Bubble Gum?!? Oh, say it isn't so. I gladly avoided future heart problems and chose to indulge in a belgian waffle covered, chocolate dipped strawberry. It's just a strawberry so it's good for me right?? Haha. I had to try.
Then we went to the Creative Arts building to see all of the prize winning crafts on display. The incredible detail put into each piece is always impressive. These people work so hard every year to win the blue ribbon. The Creative Arts
contests include food, quilts, scale modeling and everything in between. There is just so much talent to see in one room! I love it!
As always, I had the best time at the fair. Its sticky benches, sweet smells, and unfortunately steamy October temperatures never cease to bring back the days of my childhood.
The fair is only open until October 23, so make sure you don't miss your chance to visit!
Does your town have a fair like this one? What are some of the traditions you love to take part in every year?