Although the Fair gates are closing on another run of Texas-sized fun, the memories made during the 2017 State Fair of Texas will remain. As an annual celebration of all things Texan, the tradition continued with the Fair’s 2017 theme, “Celebrating Texans.” This year, the Fair welcomed approximately 2.2 million people through the gates, as of the time of this release. The 2017 event brought big crowds and an even bigger community impact. With the majority of funds going to participating vendors, the Fair generated approximately $54.5 million in gross coupon sales for food, beverages and rides – a second best in the Fair’s 131-year history.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization the Fair aims to support the community, both locally and statewide. The net proceeds from the Fair are reinvested in Fair Park, in the form of capital improvements; given as scholarships to deserving youth throughout the state of Texas; used to support Fair Park museum facilities and community outreach programs; and used to improve the State Fair’s operation. A successful 24-day run for the Fair means more support for Fair Park and the surrounding community.
“We are grateful to have once again brought friends and family from across the state and around the world to Fair Park in Dallas to celebrate all things Texan,” says Mitchell Glieber, State Fair of Texas president. “With another Fair season under our belt, we look forward to reinvesting its success back into Fair Park and the very community who makes this event possible.
Below is only a glimpse of the achievements during the 2017 State Fair of Texas, but the measurement of success goes far beyond these numbers.
- At the time of this release, the Fair welcomed approximately 2.2 million fairgoers through the gates
- Approximately $54.5 million was generated in gross coupon sales for food, beverages, and rides
- Military Appreciation Day provided free admission for more than 11,300 members of the military and their families
- More than 7,400 first responders visited the Fair for free on First Responder’s Day
- The Fair’s single-day gross coupon sales record was broken on October 14, 2017 – the Red River Showdown – with $5.1 million generated
- The Fair’s livestock and agricultural events hosted a record total of almost 13,000 livestock entries, with 8,100 students competing
- On Friday, October 6, 2017 the annual Youth Livestock Auction raised a record of more than $1.18 million for youth livestock exhibitors
- The Grand Champion Market Steer of the Youth Livestock Auction was sold to Superior Trailers and the Big Tex Champion Club for a record high of $141,000
- Ag Awareness Day gathered more than 8,400 students and leaders representing 179 chapters of 4-H, FFA, and FCCLA to participate in the canned food drive, donating more than 28,000 pounds of food to the North Texas Food Bank
- Through discount day programs like Kroger’s “It’s a Fair Deal” and Coca-Cola Thursdays, the State Fair helped raise more than 221,577 pounds of food equating to 184,647 meals, all donated to the North Texas Food Bank
- Several community events were held throughout the 24-day run, the largest being a Community Engagement Day luncheon with 273 in attendance
- Community members got crafty with a record of 9,569 entries in the Fair’s Creative Arts competitions
- The Hall of State welcomed 150,000 fairgoers through the doors to showcase its featured exhibits including Texas in the First World War
- 60 dogs found forever homes at the Fair thanks to “Bark at the Park,” the dog adoption booth run by DFW Rescue Me
- Fletcher’s celebrated their 75th anniversary by selling more than 615,000 Corny Dogs across their seven concession stands
- The Big Tex Urban Farms donated more than 220 pounds of fresh produce, including 108 lettuce heads and 72 live basil plants from the farm’s new hydroponic grow tank
- In 2017, the Fair awarded more than $1.3 million in college scholarship to 217 graduating seniors throughout the Lone Star State
- Free concerts were once again held on the Chevrolet Main Stage, with FLO RIDA, For King and Country, La Mafia, and The Charlie Daniels Band drawing the largest crowds
- The Fair hosted 53 events at the brand-new Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center during its 24-day run
- More than 128,000 dots were used on the VisitDallas map along Lone Star Boulevard for people to show us where they are from. The dots represented locations from all throughout the world.
- A new scholarship opportunity was made available to seasonal employees who’ve worked for the Fair for a minimum of 3 years. Eligible recipients include seasonal staff directly employed by the State Fair of Texas or the dependent of a seasonal staff member
With college applications right around the corner, the Fair encourages eligible high school seniors to go online to BigTex.com/scholarship and apply now for a 2018 scholarship. As one of its new initiatives, the State Fair of Texas has partnered with Goodwill Industries of Dallas, Inc. to host the 2nd Annual Big Tex Job Fair on Friday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Fair Park Coliseum. More than 60 local companies will be taking applications and interviewing for employment positions across a broad range of skill sets. A list of participating organizations and additional details can be found at BigTex.com/JobFair.