Millions of people gather at Fair Park every year to make unforgettable memories with their loved ones at the annual State Fair of Texas and of course, eat lots of Fletcher’s® Corny Dogs! In addition to all the Fair fun and food, however, the State Fair is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. This National Nonprofit Day, the Fair would like to celebrate all the ways that your ticket makes a difference for Texans across the Lone Star State.
THE BIG TEX SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Named after everyone’s favorite cowboy, the Big Tex® Scholarship Program supports Texas students with new college scholarships every year, expanding educational opportunities for thousands of students across the state. In 2022, the Fair was proud to award 202 scholarships, for a total of more than $1.2 million.
Since 1992, the Big Tex Scholarship Program has awarded a total of more than $16.1 million to more than 3,000 Texas students through several different scholarship awards, including the Juanita Craft Scholarship, State Fair of Texas Seasonal Employee Scholarship, Youth Livestock Scholarship, and more. For information about scholarships, this year’s recipients, and how to apply for next year, visit BigTex.com/scholarship. The application for 2023 opens on Opening Day of the State Fair of Texas, September 30, 2022.
THE BIG TEX YOUTH LIVESTOCK AUCTION
Each year, thousands of exhibitors from across the state compete for a coveted spot in the annual Big Tex® Youth Livestock Auction. Hosted in the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center, the auction gives these young exhibitors a chance to show off their animals and compete for the Grand Champion Prize.
Last year, the auction raised more than $1.5 million for Texas youth. All excess proceeds go right back to the community through the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than $30 million in auction awards and scholarships since its inception.
BIG TEX URBAN FARMS
The greenest thumbs at the Fair can be found at the Errol McKoy Greenhouse, located on the Fair’s iconic Midway. This large glass structure houses Big Tex® Urban Farms, an initiative that sprouted in 2016 with the goal of growing fresh, healthy foods right in the heart of the city. As of July 2022, the Farms have donated more than one million servings to organizations in South Dallas, an area affected by food insecurity. That’s a lot of greens! Our community partners include the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center, the Jubilee Park Community Center, and the T.R. Hoover Community Development Center.
For more information about the Farms and how you can help, visit BigTex.com/BTUF.
COMMUNITY GRANTS AND SPONSORSHIPS PROGRAM
With hundreds of nonprofit organizations operating in the Southern Sector of Dallas, there is no shortage of ways to bolster our community. The Fair supports local changemakers with grants focused on four key areas: economic development, capacity building for nonprofits, educational programming, and social and racial justice.
During the first grant cycle of this year, the Fair awarded $148,000 in grants and sponsorships to 23 organizations in South Dallas. To learn how to apply for the upcoming grant cycle, visit BigTex.com/Grants.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION OF FAIR PARK
Covering 277 acres of downtown Dallas, Fair Park is a testament to the rich history and culture of the Lone Star State. It has served as the home of the State Fair for more than a century, giving visitors from all over the world a taste of Texas. Each year, the Fair contributes funds to maintain and improve these historic grounds, so that visitors can enjoy their family traditions for years to come.
Fun fact: Fair Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986—one hundred years after the first Dallas State Fair & Exposition!