North Texas Daily

Head out to the State Fair of Texas this weekend

Head out to the State Fair of Texas this weekend

September 28
14:39 2016

The State Fair of Texas is returning to Dallas this weekend, and this year the fair’s icon, Big Tex, will be wearing a shirt that features a blue ribbon and police badge to honor the fallen officers in the July 7 downtown Dallas shootings.

“After the July 7 incident, we were just trying to think about what we could do to honor and appreciate our police,” spokeswoman Karissa Condoianis said. “We wanted to show our appreciation for all that they do.”

The fair is also honoring the officers and other first responders on Friday, Oct.14, by granting free admission to them and up to three of their family members with a valid ID from their department.

Every year the fair brings more than 6,000 seasonal jobs to the Dallas area, and has more than a $600 million economic impact on the North Texas community, according to fair officials.

The fair traces its origins back to 1886 at the Dallas State Fair and Exposition, but it wasn’t until 1952 that Big Tex, the giant cowboy that has become the mascot of the fair, made his first debut. In 1951, the Fair President and former Mayor of Dallas R.L. Thornton purchased a large Santa Claus figure for $750. He had local artist Jack Bridges commission a giant cowboy out of the Santa Claus. Big Tex’s face remained the same until 2012, when an electrical fire destroyed the icon, on his 60th birthday.

After rebuilding in 2013, the 55-foot-tall cowboy still wears his signature Dickies jeans, western shirt, and a 95-gallon hat.

But more exciting than taking a selfie with Big Tex, is the food. This year the state fair is taking food and drink to a new level with edible cola, bacon margaritas, and of course, a plethora of deep fried foods.

“It’s once a year—you know you have to come out and splurge a little,” Condoianis said. “In addition to the Big Tex choice finalists, we have about 24 new foods. One of the ones that made me tilt my head was the Dallas’ fried bacon tilla.”

The Dallas’ fried bacon tilla is a taco with a shell made of strips of bacon woven together and deep-fried. The taco appeals to not only taco lovers but those who appreciate bacon’s versatility.

The fair will also feature live music that is free to fairgoers. Some of these acts include: Kacey Musgraves, Jazmine Sullivan, and Hip-Hop star Nelly.

The state fair opens at 10 a.m. Friday at Fair Park in Dallas, and ends Sunday, Oct. 23.

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Tiffany Ditto

Tiffany Ditto

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