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State Fair of Texas – A Tidbit of History

With exactly 130 days until the gates swing open, the Fair is gearing up for another round of Texas-sized fun. First established in 1886, the State Fair is approaching its 130-year anniversary next fall. In anticipation of the big event, we thought it would be fun to take a look at how the Fair first got its start way back when.

The event now known as the State Fair of Texas can trace its origins back to the Dallas State Fair and Exposition, chartered by a group of local businessmen including W.H. Gaston, John S. Armstrong and Thomas L. Marsalis. In 1887 this group merged with the Texas State Fair and Exposition, run by C.A. Keating. In 1904 the Fair sold its property to the City of Dallas, under an agreement that set aside a period each fall to hold the annual exposition. As part of these new terms, the Fair was reorganized and renamed the State Fair of Texas. In addition, new bylaws were written that established the State Fair as a nonprofit organization. The agreement between the two entities specified that as a nonprofit institution, the Fair would produce an annual event, pay operational expenses for that event and reinvest net revenues from the event into maintaining and improving the park and its surrounding areas. The terms of this agreement have been carried out for more than 100 years now and continue to serve as a reminder of the State Fair’s deep-rooted history and connection to Fair Park and the city of Dallas.

See you in September!

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