After more than a year and a half of isolation, Texans are invited to reunite as the State Fair makes its triumphant in-person return. Fair organizers announced the decision in early June, and plans remain in place for the fair to kick off on Friday, September 24th for its annual three-week run.
In a press release, State Fair president Mitchell Glieber spoke enthusiastically of the fair’s return, emphasizing the themes of togetherness that will feature prominently throughout the course of the event.
“This year’s commemorative theme art encompasses the foundation of what the Fair is all about: being together. None of us could have predicted all that the COVID-19 pandemic would bring with it, but we feel so grateful to carry on the State Fair’s 135-year history and welcome everyone back with a warm ‘Howdy, Folks!’ this year.”
“We’re excited to make up for lost time and help families and friends from all walks of life reconnect again,” Glieber concluded.
Originally chartered on January 30th of 1886 as the Dallas State Fair & Exposition, the State Fair of Texas has grown exponentially throughout its storied history. Its mission statement is to celebrate “All things Texan, by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment.”
Weary from the stressors of the ongoing pandemic, community and entertainment are sure to be welcomed by visitors throughout the state. While the fair is set to make the most of its return to in-person operations, organizers warn that things may “look slightly different from every other year, to ensure a safe environment.” In a news release, organizers elaborated on the possibility of such changes, stating:
“As we welcome back everyone, [the] health and safety of all fairgoers, vendors and team members remains our top priority. The Fair will adhere to all applicable CDC guidelines in place during the time the Fair takes place, as well as any local, state, or federal guidelines.”
The announcement of a full-scale, in-person return has been warmly received by fair vendors as well, some of whom described the news as if it were “Christmas in June.” Last year’s cancellation dealt a devastating financial blow to many, who depend on the three-week event for a sizable piece of their income each year.
“It takes such a huge chunk out of my income,” explained Abel Gonzales, a Fair vendor known for sweet treats such as fried cookie dough and fried PB&J. “My entire business really revolves around the Fair and so not having that, we went through some rough times and we’re just starting to come out of that.”
Season passes are currently available online, with prices starting at just $50, or $15 for a daily admission ticket. Events such as the Cowboys of Color Rodeo and the State Fair of Texas Youth Rodeo are among the many programs included with the price of general admission. To learn more about scheduled fair programming, safety guidelines, admission rates and more, visit the official State Fair website at https://bigtex.com/.