FAQs

General Information

How long is the State Fair? What time does the State Fair of Texas open and close?

The 2018 State Fair of Texas will run September 28 – October 21, 2018. Gates will open Friday, September 28, 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.

Where is the State Fair of Texas? 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 State Fair 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 $39.95 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.

How much is it to park at the State Fair? Where can I park? Can I ride my bicycle?

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.

Are wheelchairs, scooters, strollers or wagons available for rent at the State Fair of Texas?

 

The State Fair of Texas offers wheelchairs, electric carts, 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 fair grounds). Fairground Map.

Rental Prices:

  • •Scooters$55 per day (8am-10pm) Evening Scooter Rentals (after 6pm) $40 (walk- up ONLY)
  • •Wheelchairs$20 per day
  • •Single Strollers $12 per day
  • •Double Stroller $15 per day
  • •Wagons $15 per day
  • •Personal Storage Cubical $5

Sign interpretation is available for the select shows.

What hotels and lodging options are near the State Fair of Texas?

The State Fair of Texas has partnered with Dallas-area hotels offering exclusive pricing for our out-of-town visitors. Our lodging partners include Sheraton Dallas, Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel, and Courtyard Dallas Richardson at Spring Valley.

What items are allowed in the State Fair of Texas?

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 items are NOT allowed in the State Fair of Texas?

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 and Air Horns
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 signs 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 and Other Camera Equipment
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
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 skateboards, scooters, roller skates and 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.

Activities at the State Fair of Texas

How much are State Fair of Texas 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 food and ride coupons purchased at last year's State Fair of Texas during this year's Fair?

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

Does the State Fair of Texas have 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.

What food and drinks are sold at the State Fair of Texas?

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/or games are available at the State Fair of Texas?

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.

Football

What football games are played at the Cotton Bowl Stadium during the State Fair of Texas?

There are three college football games scheduled on Saturdays during the 2018 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 prohibited inside the 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

Commercial Exhibitors

How are Commercial Exhibitors selected?

Prior-year exhibitors in good standing are usually given first right of refusal for the following year. New applicants are selected based on availability of space, uniqueness of product or service, appearance of display, and references from other shows.

When will I know if I've been selected for Exhibitor Space?

All new applications are placed on a waiting list. As space becomes available, we review waiting list applications to find the most unique product with a professional, eye-catching display. You could be offered a space as early as May 1. Most spaces are leased by July 1.

What can I do to increase my chances of being selected for Exhibitor Space?

Have a unique product and eye-catching display. Photos are a must. Without a photo we can not give your application consideration.

If selected to be an exhibitor, when are my rental fees due?

One-half of the rental fee is due approximately three weeks after contract is offered. Balance of rental fee due July 1. Credit card payments are not accepted.

How do I know what is the best Exhibitor location for my company or product?

Locations are determined by Fair management. Every attempt will be made to place vendors in a location most favorable for the products or services sold.

What if I need electricity for my Exhibitor Space?

Generally we provide each booth with one (1) 110 volt 20 amp outlet. No charge for reasonable electrical usage. Additional electrical requirements (i.e. 220 connections) are the responsibility of exhibitor and must be in compliance with the City of Dallas building inspection regulations.

Can I lease tables, chairs and other booth decorations from the State Fair of Texas?

No. However, we can provide you the contact information for decorating companies that provide these services.

Is parking included with the cost of my exhibit space?

There is no complimentary on-grounds parking. Parking spaces are limited to size and type of vehicle.

Parking Rates

Daily: $15 – first come first serve (no in/out privileges).
Prepaid Season Credentials: purchased prior to September 15- $460.06, $378.88, $395.11 (determined by parking area and privileges); purchased September 16 or after – $568.31, $487.13, $460.06. Exhibit parking mapCredentials Order Form.

What are the hours of the State Fair and how long do I need to have my exhibit open?

All exhibits must be open at 10 a.m. each day of the show and remain open until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

What about storage and cargo trailer space?

Our storage and trailer parking is very limited. Arrangements must be made in advance. Use of a local self-storage or company that stores and delivers is advisable. We can provide you with contacts for these services.

Do you have on grounds camping or RV connections?

We do not have on grounds camping. Our RV space is very limited. Advanced reservations are required.

What insurance is needed?

We have a mandatory charge for Commercial General Liability. This is in excess of any CGL coverage you may already have.

Proof of either Workers Compensation (WC) or Occupational Accident Insurance (OAI)coverage is required. NO EXCEPTIONS. If you do not carry either WC or OAI, you can contact the agent of your choice or we will provide you contact information for a company that will sell you coverage for the dates of our show.

What permits are required?

If you are offered a contract, a Sales Tax permit may be obtained from the State Comptroller. All vendors sampling foods must provide all permits and certifications required by the Health Department. Tents 20′ x 20′ or larger required Dallas Fire and Rescue permits. Some electrical and building permits are required by City of Dallas Building Inspection. The City of Dallas Permit and Inspection Guide for Fair Park Events may be found here.

I only want to exhibit on the weekend. Is that possible?

Short-term activation or exhibit space is a benefit of sponsorship at the State Fair of Texas. Exhibits are required to lease for 24 days with the exception of some 12 day leases in a few outdoor locations. Find out more information about sponsorship.

I only want space on Texas v. OU weekend. Is that possible?

Short-term activation or exhibit space is a benefit of sponsorship at the State Fair of Texas. Exhibits are required to lease for 24 days with the exception of some 12 day leases in a few outdoor locations. Space on this weekend is limited and contracted on a first come, first server basis. Find out more information about sponsorship.

Concessionaires

Can I enter the Big Tex Choice Awards?

Only concessionaires who have participated in more than one State Fair of Texas are eligible to enter the Big Tex Choice Awards contest.

How do I get an application to be a concessionaire at the State Fair of Texas?

Applications can be downloaded from the link above or requested by emailing concessions@bigtex.com. Deadline for submission is Friday, March 3, 2017. There are no exceptions.

How much does it cost to be a concessionaire at the State Fair of Texas?

Concession stand purchase prices vary. Read the 2017 application process document above for more information.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is Friday, March 3, 2017. The State Fair does not accept late applications under any circumstances.

How are concessionaires selected?

New concessionaires are chosen based on a number of variables, including, but not limited to: the uniqueness of the food product, the availability of space, past experience, and the needs of the fair.

What type of concession space is available?

Most food and beverage concessionaires operate inside specially constructed canvas covered structures which are purchased from the State Fair of Texas. Some typical approximate sizes are: 14’x16′, 16’x18′, 18’x20′, 20’x20′. Samples of concession stands can be found in the above gallery.

What comes with concession space?

Most locations have water, sewer, electrical, and telephone connections; with some having natural gas connections. Concessionaires are responsible for obtaining a licensed plumber and a licensed electrician to hook up the utilities. They are required to obtain permits and inspections through the City of Dallas. Propane and butane are not allowed.

What types of permits or insurance are required to be a concessionaire?

If selected to be a concessionaire, a health permit and food item approval is required through the City of Dallas. The restaurant and bar inspection phone number is (214) 670-8083. Restaurant and Bar Inspection regulations must be met. This includes, but are not limited to: hot and cold running water, three compartment sink, separate hand washing sink, necessary cooking and refrigeration equipment, and current food handling procedures and certifications.

Commercial general liability insurance is provided through a master policy provided by Ace American Insurance. The premium for this policy is included with the deposit upon issuance of a contract. This policy meets the minimum standards as set forth by the State Fair of Texas.

Workers’ compensation insurance – statutory limits including employer’s liability with minimum aggregate limits of $500,000.

A Texas alcoholic beverage permit purchased and issued through the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, if alcoholic beverages are sold. TABC permit must be in the name of the contracted concessionaire. All servers must be currently certified through a TABC approved servers course and have proof of successful completion of the course.

All insurance policies must be received in the State Fair of Texas food service office 60 days prior to the opening of the fair or the date listed in the agreement, whichever is earlier.

Note: Do not spend any money on insurance or permits until you have a signed agreement with the fair. Do not assume selection. An application does not mean selection.

Is parking included with the cost of a concession stand?

A: No. Parking passes are purchased from the State Fair of Texas credentials department. Employees and owners will need credentials to park on-grounds or must pay daily parking rates. A limited number of participant passes (does not include parking) will be available for concessionaire’s employees to enter the grounds.