FAQs

Activities at the State Fair of Texas

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How much are coupons?

State Fair of Texas coupons are sold for $0.50 each at coupon booths located throughout the Fair. One coupon sheet with 20 coupons is sold for $10. You can purchase coupons with cash or credit card (American Express, Visa, Discover, and MasterCard). You can also purchase coupons online. State Fair coupons are used for food, drinks, and rides.

Can I use coupons that I bought at last year’s Fair?

Yes. Food and ride coupons do not expire and can be used for future Fairs.

Are there ATM machines at the Fair?

ATMs are located throughout the grounds. Pick up a Visitor’s Guide as you enter the fair or from any of our many information booths. Personal checks cannot be cashed on the fairgrounds.

What food and drinks can I buy at the Fair?

Small businesses from across the state sell State Fair food like corny dogs, turkey legs, cotton candy, Frito Pies, Sausage-on-a-Stick, and much more! Every year, these loyal food vendors create new Fair foods by putting a spin on gourmet, regional, national and even international dishes. Check out our New Foods page to see this year’s lineup, learn more about each dish, and where you can find them on the fairgrounds. We also sell a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. Be sure to purchase your coupons once you get inside the gate or order them online to purchase food and drinks.

What rides and games are available at the Fair?

Rides
The State Fair Midway features more than 70 rides including the iconic 212 ft. Texas Star® Ferris wheel, the Kidway, the 500 ft. Top o’ Texas Tower and the 1914 Dentzel Carousel. The Kidway area features rides suitable for children 2 years of age and older. State Fair Food & Ride coupons are used to pay for all Midway rides. Coupons can be purchased online in advance or at booths inside the Fair.
Learn more about the Midway.

Games
The State Fair Midway also has a variety of fun games for you to play! In order to play games, you must purchase a Big Tex Game Card. These cards can be purchased at booths and kiosks adjacent to the gaming areas.

Why are prices for similar items different throughout the Fairgrounds?

The State Fair of Texas is a collection of small businesses. The prices for concessions and rides are determined by the operators and concessionaires without input from the State Fair. Only the prices for parking and admission are set by the Fair.

What is the Chevrolet Main Stage?

The Chevrolet Main Stage hosts a variety of musical concerts across all genres during the State Fair of Texas. All concerts on the Chevrolet Main Stage are presented FREE to State Fair visitors. It is standing room only, so come early for a chance to be up-front and close to your favorite stars. See the complete schedule for this year’s Fair.

The Chevrolet Main Stage is located at the end of Lone Star Boulevard (Grand Avenue) near the Hans Mueller Tent. Concerts are designed for “standing” only. A designated area for persons with disabilities is located at the left front stage area.

How do I pay for Food, Drinks, and Rides?

Food, beverages, and rides are paid for using coupons. Coupons can be purchased at the numerous coupon booths around the groups.

Amenities & Accessibility

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Baby Care Centers

Baby Care Centers are available for the convenience of guests. Over the past four years, three brand new Baby Care Centers have been installed – one next to the Children’s Aquarium, one in the new Guest Relations Building on the Midway, and one near the Swine Barn and Backyard Steak-Out & Pizzeria. Please see map for exact location. Changing stations are located in all of the women’s restrooms and in the men’s restrooms located in Cattle Barn #1, both sides of the Coliseum, Embarcadero, the Midway, the Perot Museum, east of the Aquarium, 1st & MLK, and MLK & Coliseum. An area is also available in the Oak Farms Children’s Activity Center. Electrical outlets are available in the Baby Care Centers.

ATM Machines

ATMs are located throughout the grounds. Pick up a Visitor’s Guide as you enter the fair or from any of our many information booths. Personal checks cannot be cashed on the fairgrounds.

Bike Racks

Bicycle racks are located inside Gates 5, 6, and 11. They are a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. Bicycles are not allowed past the pedestrian gates or on the fairgrounds.

Wheelchairs, Electric Scooters

The State Fair of Texas offers wheelchairs and electric scooters for rent through Home Town Mobility. Reservations can be made for wheelchairs and scooters at www.htmia.com or by calling 1-877-928-5388 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends during the State Fair. A valid driver’s license or state ID is required for all rentals.

Reservations need to be made 24 hours in advance and cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance to receive a full refund, less a $5 cancellation fee per rental unit. Rental locations are at the Front Gate (Parry Ave.), Grand Ave. (Gate 5), and Pennsylvania Pedestrian Entrance (Gate 11), and Pan Am Gate (North side of the fairgrounds). Fairground Map.

Rental Prices:

  • Scooters $55 per day (8am-10pm) Evening Scooter Rentals (after 6pm) $40 (walk- up ONLY)
  • Wheelchairs $20 per day
  • Personal Storage Cubical $5

ASL Interpretation

Sign interpretation is available for the select shows.

Wagons and Strollers

The State Fair of Texas offers strollers and wagons for rent through Home Town Mobility. Reservations can be made for wheelchairs and scooters at www.htmia.com or by calling 1-877-928-5388 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends during the State Fair. A valid driver’s license or state ID is required for all rentals.

Reservations need to be made 24 hours in advance and cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance to receive a full refund, less a $5 cancellation fee per rental unit. Rental locations are at the Front Gate (Parry Ave.), Grand Ave. (Gate 5), and Pennsylvania Pedestrian Entrance (Gate 11), and Pan Am Gate (North side of the fairgrounds). Fairground Map.

  • Single Strollers $12 per day
  • Double Stroller $15 per day
  • Wagons $15 per day

Football

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What football games are played at the Cotton Bowl during the Fair?

There are three college football games scheduled on Saturdays during the 2020 State Fair of Texas. A game ticket includes fair admission game day. Visit the college football page for details about the games or call (214)-565-9931 and press “0” for additional assistance.

Is the AT&T Red River Showdown (TX/OU) at the Fair every year?

Yes, the annual Texas vs. OU football game has been a State Fair of Texas tradition since 1929, and a weekend that people on both sides of the Red River enjoy and look forward to each year. The current agreement between the State Fair of Texas, the City of Dallas, the University of Texas, and the University of Oklahoma runs through 2025.

Is the State Fair Classic (Grambling/Prairie View) at the Fair every year?

Yes, the annual State Fair Classic has been a State Fair of Texas tradition since 1925, and a weekend that people enjoy and look forward to each year. The current agreement between the State Fair of Texas, the City of Dallas, Grambling State University, and the Prairie View A&M University runs through 2025.

What is the State Fair Showdown?

During the 2018 and 2019 State Fair’s, the State Fair Showdown will be played in the historic Cotton Bowl. The matchup will be between Texas Southern University and Southern University.

What items are not allowed inside Cotton Bowl Stadium?

  • All Bags, including backpacks
  • Purses that exceed 10” x 10”
  • Medical Bags will be inspected upon entry
  • All weapons of any sort
  • Alcoholic beverages of any kind
  • Artificial Noisemakers (bells, horns, kazoos, whistles, etc.)
  • Banners, flags, flag poles, signs, umbrellas, etc.
  • Cameras with detachable lenses greater than 10”. Video cameras and tripods
  • Coolers
  • Any explosive or flammable items
  • Food & Beverages
  • Any items deemed a safety hazard or annoyance (balls, balloons, firearms, fireworks, Frisbees, glass, hard plastic or metal water bottles, laser pointers, etc.)
  • Pets (service dogs permitted)
  • Strollers
  • Tobacco products of any kind, including e-­cigarettes
  • Any type of seat cushions or chair backs
  • Baby seats

General Information

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What are the Fair’s hours?

The 2018 State Fair of Texas will run September 25 – October 18, 2020. Gates will open Friday, September 25, at 10 a.m.

Hours of Operation
Sundays – Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fridays – Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Parking Gates & Ticket Booths
Open daily at 7 a.m.

State Fair of Texas Midway and Fair Park Museum hours vary.

How do I get there?

Enter Fair Park or State Fair of Texas into your navigation. The physical address of the State Fair of Texas administration building is: 3921 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Dallas, TX 75210.

Directions by car:
From Sherman-Plano-Richardson
Take U.S. 75 (North Central Expressway) South toward downtown Dallas. Take exit 284A to connect to Interstate 30 East (toward Texarkana), then take exit 48B and follow directions to Fair Park.

From Austin-Waco
Take Interstate 35E North to downtown Dallas. Take exit 428B to connect to Interstate 30 East (toward Texarkana), then take exit 48B and follow directions to Fair Park.

From Fort Worth-Abilene-Weatherford
Take Interstate 30 East to Dallas. Follow signs for Interstate 30 East toward Texarkana. After passing downtown Dallas, take exit 48B and follow directions to Fair Park.

From Denton-Lewisville-Gainesville
Take Interstate 35E South to downtown Dallas and exit 427E. Immediately after taking the exit, move to one of the left two lanes and enter Interstate 30, Eastbound. Follow signs for Interstate 30 East toward Texarkana. After passing Downtown Dallas, take exit 48B and follow directions to Fair Park.

From Houston-Huntsville-Corsicana
Take Interstate 45 North to exit 284A. Move to the right lane and follow signs for Interstate 30 East. Take exit 48B and follow directions to Fair Park.

From Texarkana-Greenville-Rockwall
Take Interstate 30 West toward downtown Dallas. Take exit 49B and follow directions to Fair Park.

Directions by train:
Using the DART Rail Green Line, visitors can arrive at the State Fair of Texas from two stations – Fair Park Station, located on Parry Avenue at the entrance of the fairgrounds or MLK, Jr. Station, located south of R.B. Cullum Blvd. and convenient to the MLK fairground entrance (Gate 6).

How much are tickets?

General admission: $18
Child (under 48″ in height): $14
Child two and younger: FREE
Senior (ages 60 and older): $14
Seniors FREE every Thursday (October 4, 11, & 18, 2018)

Beginning August 1, you can purchase advance discounted tickets online. Beginning September 1, you can purchase them at any North Texas Kroger Food Store.

State Fair Season Pass & Packages
The State Fair Season Pass is only $45 and allows you attend the State Fair every day of the season. It also includes FREE State Fair gear, discounts, a bring-a-friend ticket, and much more! We also offer a variety of State Fair Combo packages. For more information check out our tickets page.

Group Discount
If you are attending the Fair with a group of more than 20 people, advance group discount tickets are available. You can save up to 39% on tickets with your group!

For additional discounts offered during the State Fair, visit our discounts page.

Where can I park and how much is it?

Parking is $15 per space used at the official State Fair of Texas lots. Parking spaces for the disabled require a designated license plate or hang tag. More information on parking lot locations can be found on our State Fair Parking Map.
Bicycle racks are located inside Gates 5, 6, and 11. They are a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. Bicycles are not allowed past the pedestrian gates or on the fairgrounds.

Where can I stay nearby?

The State Fair of Texas has partnered with Dallas-area hotels offering exclusive pricing for our out-of-town visitors. For more information on these hotels and special rates click here.

What items are not allowed into the Fair?

Pets
Pets are NOT allowed. However, a service animal is permitted for individuals with a disability. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. All service animals must remain on a leash or harness and may not be left unattended. Service animal behavior is the responsibility of the owner and you will be asked to leave the Fair if their behavior becomes a threat to the safety of another guest or employee. We do not have accommodations for pets at the fairgrounds.

For more information about service animals and the ADA, please visit their website.

Bull Horns, Air Horns, Megaphones, or Similar Items
Bull horns, air horns, megaphones, and similar items are NOT allowed. Please leave these items at home or in your vehicle prior to entering the fairgrounds. Use of these items on the fairgrounds is strictly prohibited and will result in the item being confiscated and could result in you being removed from the Fair.

Large Signs, Large Props, or Similar Items
Large signs or props are NOT allowed. Please leave them at home or in your vehicle prior to entering the fairgrounds. Use of these items on the fairgrounds will result in confiscation of related materials and could result in you being removed from the Fair.

Selfie Sticks, Tripods, Monopods, or Other Camera Equipment
Unless credentialed through the State Fair of Texas’ PR office, Selfie sticks, tripods, monopods, and similar items are NOT allowed. We ask that you leave your selfie sticks, tripods, monopods, and/or similar items at home or in your vehicle in the interest of the overall safety of our visitors. Use of these items on the fairgrounds is strictly prohibited and will result in the item being confiscated and could result in you being removed from the Fair. If you are a photographer interested in taking photographs with professional or extensive camera equipment, you must first contact the Fair’s Public Relations department via email at pr@BigTex.com.

Drones/UAVs/UASs
Drones, quad-copters and/or any type of remote controlled craft are NOT allowed on the fairgrounds, with one exception – registered vendors may sell these types of devices on the fairgrounds without their battery packs. The State Fair of Texas prohibits the use of all remote controlled devices of any type, including, but not limited to, aircraft, drones, quad-copters, cars or trucks, on or above property owned, leased or controlled by the Fair. Operation of such remotely controlled aircraft or ground vehicle devices without prior written consent of the State Fair of Texas or proper law enforcement authority will result in the confiscation of all related materials, you being removed from Fair property, and/or prosecution under Texas law.

Bicycle, Skateboard or Roller Skates
In the interest of overall safety for our guests, we ask that you do not bring bicycles, skateboards, scooters, roller skates, and/or other wheeled forms of transportation inside the gates (wagons to transport small children are approved). Bicycle racks are located inside Gates 5, 6, and 11. Bicycles are not allowed through State Fair ticket gates. DART also provides bicycle racks at the two stations servicing Fair Park – Fair Park station on Parry and the Martin Luther King, Jr. station.

No weapons of any kind.
Please help us keep the Fair safe and fun for all! We reserve the right to search all fairgoers and their bags upon entry into the fairgrounds. No weapons of any kind are permitted on the fairgrounds. This includes guns, knives, clubs, tasers, etc. Also, all sharp metal objects, such as pocket knives, scissors, and other sharp implements, are strictly prohibited. Please leave these items at home or in your vehicle. If you usually carry a pocket knife and forget it’s in your pocket when you reach the security checkpoint, you will be asked to return it to your vehicle to secure your knife or be given the option to dispose of it prior to entering the park. If you question whether something is safe to bring in, it probably isn’t – and should be left at home or in the vehicle.

License to Carry a Handgun
A person holding a valid Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC), or a valid concealed handgun license from a reciprocating state, is permitted to enter the Fair with his or her concealed handgun, provided that he or she thereafter fully complies with all applicable laws. LTC holders are responsible for knowing and complying with all applicable Texas laws. For example, under Texas Penal Code Section 46.035 a LTC holder is prohibited from carrying a concealed handgun (1) inside Cotton Bowl Stadium or on any other premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, (2) on the premises of a business that derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, or (3) while intoxicated.

State Fair of Texas prohibits Fair attendees (including LTC holders) from openly carrying handguns while at the Fair. If an individual attempts to enter the Fair with an openly carried handgun, he or she will not be allowed to enter the Fair unless he or she conceals the handgun (if he or she has a valid LTC) or secures the handgun in his or her vehicle or at some offsite location. If an LTC holder enters the Fair with a concealed handgun and then begins to openly carry the handgun, he or she will be asked to either conceal the handgun or to leave the Fair.

NOTE: State Fair of Texas does not provide lockers for the storage or checking of weapons for LTC holders, so please plan your visit to the Fair accordingly. For example, if you plan to attend a game or event in the Cotton Bowl Stadium, please secure your weapon at home or in your vehicle prior to entering the fairgrounds.

The State Fair of Texas has received inquiries about its decision not to allow open carry of handguns during the Fair and would like to clear up some of the questions that have been raised. It is important to understand that the State Fair of Texas is—and always has been—a private entity. The Fair leases property from the City of Dallas but is not part of the City or controlled by the City. Also, many of you have read or heard recently about a private organization that may begin operating Fair Park as a whole. That is a different organization that is not related to the Fair.

The State Fair of Texas has long been, and continues to be, a strong supporter of the rights of responsible gun owning Texans. For that reason, the Fair has long allowed Fair attendees with concealed handgun licenses to carry their handguns while at the Fair (except for locations prohibited by law).

With the recently enacted open-carry law, the State Fair of Texas considered whether to allow openly carried handguns during the Fair. After carefully considering the issue, the Fair has decided to prohibit open carry, while continuing to allow concealed carry. This decision is consistent with an August 9, 2016 opinion letter issued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in which the Attorney General confirmed that the law which prohibits the government from banning handguns from most government property (Texas Government Code 411.209) applies only to bans implemented by the government and does not override the rights of a private entity that happens to operate on property leased from the government. In that situation, the private entity is no different than any other business operating on private property.

We know that this is an important issue for many Texans, and that the Fair’s decision may disappoint potential fairgoers who regularly and responsibly practice open carry. However, the Fair strongly believes that allowing concealed carry and prohibiting open carry is a reasonable compromise that best ensures the safety and comfort of all Fair attendees.

What items are allowed into the Fair?

Wagon
Small children may be pulled in a wagon.

Personal Food and Beverages
Tasting “Fair food” is a big reason why people visit the State Fair of Texas, but if you have any dietary restrictions or other reasons for wanting to bring your own food or beverages, please do. Please note: Alcohol, glass containers, and metal knives and forks are prohibited.

Coolers or Ice Chests
Your cooler will be searched as you enter the grounds; please do not bring metal knives, glass containers, or alcoholic beverages.

What should I wear to the Fair?

The State Fair of Texas is a casual, family-friendly environment. We suggest you dress comfortably, wear walking shoes – or cowboy boots if you prefer – and check the local weather report before you leave for the Fair.

Proper attire, including shoes and shirts, must always be worn. Texas themed shirts and hats are acceptable and encouraged.

The State Fair of Texas reserves the right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or could detract from the experience of other guests.

Ensuring the State Fair is family-friendly is an important part of the Fair experience. In that spirit, we ask you to use your discretion and common sense.

Attire that is not appropriate for the Fair — and which may result in refusal of admittance — includes but is not limited to:

  • Clothing with objectionable material, including obscene language or graphics
  • Clothing which, by nature, exposes excessive portions of the skin that may be viewed as inappropriate for a family environment
  • Clothing with multiple layers are subject to search upon entry
  • Offensive tattoos
  • Costumes or masks (unless they are for medical purposes) may not be worn by guests 12 years of age or older
  • Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon
  • Masks may not cover the head and face entirely.  Eyes must be visible

Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry and/or removed from the State Fair of Texas, unless attire can be modified to meet the above standards.

Work with the Fair

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Interested in seasonal employment?

Please visit BigTex.com/jobs or contact hr@bigtex.com

Interested in exhibiting livestock?

Please visit BigTex.com/livestock or contact livestock@bigtex.com.

Interested in being a commercial exhibitor?

Interested in being a vendor?

Interested in being a sponsor?

Please visit BigTex.com/get-involved/corporate-sponsorship or contact Leslie Jefferson at ljefferson@bigtex.com.

Interested in volunteering?

Please contact sbrosin@bigtex.com