The 2023 State Fair of Texas’ commemorative theme art invites you to “Explore the Midway”!

Theme Inspiration: MIDWAY THRILLS

It’s beloved, legendary, and unmistakably unique – The Midway at the State Fair of Texas has remained a playground for folks of all ages for over 137 years. It’s a place where fairgoers can choose their own adventure and create yearly memories as they enjoy thrilling rides, challenging games, and mouthwatering Fair food. 


Only on the Midway do history, neon lights, and surprising food come together to create an area of the fairgrounds that’s both exhilarating and timeless. From the towering Texas Star Ferris Wheel to the countless rows of plush prizes waiting to be won, there is no shortage of inspiration to draw from. As we imagined this year’s theme, one thing was clear – our theme art had to focus on the brilliant neon color pallet our Midway is known for.  

Capturing the Movement

Working together with the Matchbox Studio, a design agency in Dallas, an initial sketch that focused on typography and a visual “explosion” of lights and activity was created by Texan illustrator Lauren Dickens. The legendary, welcoming Midway sign took center stage, and from there, other Midway icons joined in on the fun.


Adding additional elements to the emerging art was not difficult. The bombastic Midway Barker, the ridiculously fun Flip-a-Chick game, and the Top O’ Texas Tower were all key elements in early drafts of the artwork. Of course, we couldn’t forget about Big Tex himself. He rides a carousel ride in the theme art – a nod to the Fair’s one-of-a-kind Dentzel Carousel, which turns 100 years old this year!  


Set against a black background, the vibrant colors and streaks of brilliance are emblematic of the Fair’s Midway at night. There is fun to be had at all hours of the day in the Midway, but there is something magical about the evening hours when its lights and sounds can be heard for miles. For this reason, we tweaked colors and background elements in order to achieve a piece that was both striking and joyful. 

The 2023 Commemorative Art

The Midway radiates youthful energy which is why we want this year’s theme to inspire all fairgoers to “Explore the Midway” in their own way. There are surprises around every corner, fun to be had all around, and memories to create with every new experience.


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