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The State Fair Of Texas Is On! Here Are 5 Tips To Have Fun

Another State Fair spectacle: the Texas Star is the tallest ferris wheel in the U.S.

In Dallas, it’s not officially fall until opening day of the State Fair of Texas. 

And the weather this time around’s actually behaving like it. We’re getting a break from this month’s unusual bout of rain for a sunny day in the 80s, according the latest forecast.

The gates of Fair Park open at 10 a.m. Before you make your way over, here are five things you should know.

Get those discounts

Bring a full 20 oz. bottle of Dasani water, or any 20 oz. Coca-Cola product, to donate to the North Texas Food Bank today. You’ll get into the fair for $9. Or, if you’re a veteran or an active or retired member of the military, you, your spouse and kids under 18 get in free with ID today. 

If you don't want to get those discounts at the gate, buy tickets online. It saves time and money, $1.50 per ticket to be exact. 

Here’s a handy guide for ways to save money at the fair during its run.

Try the new food

The real reason most of us go to the fair is try out the food. This year’s Big Tex Choice Awards winners are the Cotton Candy Taco, Fernie’s Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce and Arroz con Leche. But there’s more where that came from. You can try all of the Big Tex finalists and a plateful of semifinalists, too.

Find the locations of the new foods on this map or visit an information booth on the fairgrounds.

Say "howdy" to Big Tex

Big Tex isn’t hard to find. You’ll spot him while waiting for the first of many Fletcher’s corny dogs. He’s got an interesting history that explains why Texans love him so much. (Spoiler: He used to be Santa.)

Choose your own adventure

There are so many things to do at the fair. You could stroll down the Midway or hit the Texas Auto Show, check out this year’s butter sculpture or witness the miracle of life in the birthing barn, sign up for a wine tasting or peruse a landmark exhibition about Sally Hemings. If you’re a planner, here’s the daily schedule.

Know where you're going

Last but certainly not least, here’s a map of the fairgrounds to download and information on how to get there and where to park. Find answers to any of your remaining FAQs here

The fair runs through Oct. 21.