Last year’s Fair wrapped up with a pledge from Fair officials that Big Tex would be restored and back in his boots for the 2013 season. They kept their promise, and with the help of SRO Associates (in Boerne, Texas) and Texas Scenic (located in San Antonio) Big Tex was hoisted into place with just 36 hours to spare.
By the close of business, Fair officials predict that fairgoers will spend approximately $37 million on food and amusement rides. This amount, which represents revenue from coupon sales (State Fair currency for food and rides) will come close to 2010’s all-time high of $37.3 million.
Many Fair highlights are to be noted. At the annual Youth Livestock Auction of Champions, animals raised by young Texans sold for $1,190,088.32. III Forks bought the grand champion steer for a record $110,000 and a group of State Fair concessionaires paid $25,000 for the reserve grand champion. Tom Thumb Food & Pharmacy purchased the top market swine for $10,000.
The Chinese Lantern Festival hosted tens of thousands to its exhibit, which featured brilliant displays in and around Fair Park’s lagoon.
The Dallas Historical Society welcomed almost 125,000 visitors to the “Life & Times of Big Tex” exhibit at the Hall of State, celebrating all things Big Tex.
Generous donations made by Fair patrons to the North Texas Food Bank translate to 162,303 meals. A grand total of 194,763 pounds of canned foods were collected.
Continuing with the topic of food, the Fair’s fried food war rages on. During the Labor Day competition, judges awarded the trophy for most creative new food to Justin and Rudy Martinez for their Deep Fried Thanksgiving Dinner and best taste was reserved for Deep-Fried Cuban Roll. By Fair’s end, more than 50,000 patrons will have consumed the feast usually reserved for the late November holiday, and 72,000 Fried Cuban Rolls will have been served.
The black top was hopping during free outdoor concerts at the All-New Silverado Main Stage with Casting Crowns, Duelo, and Kelly Rowland as the top attractions. Main Stage concerts have been booked and produced by Glenn Smith Presents, Inc., for 25 consecutive years.
More than 42,000 auto enthusiasts zoomed to Chevrolet’s Ride & Drive attraction, driving some of the hottest wheels in the 2014 lineup.
Next year’s State Fair dates are September 26 through October 19, 2014.