Best in Savory and Most Creative at the 2021 Big Tex Choice Awards: Deep-Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls. State Fair of Texas

State Fair of Texas

How to Burn Money at the State Fair of Texas

VIP Parking. Two bites of food for $25. A $126,000 prize-winning steer on a leash. It’s time for some retail therapy with Big Tex.

Some people complain about the prices at the fair. Some people say everything is ridiculously overpriced and a super waste of money. Some people have not yet accepted the State Fair of Texas as the superfluous outing that it is.

The fair is a place for excess. It’s too much. And you’re ready to throw some money at it.

Maybe you just became a zillionaire because you invented Ranch Water Botox, which is a cocktail infused with Botox, for people who hate shots in the face but love shots of tequila and also want to hide the early signs of aging while getting giggle wasted. Or maybe it’s just another Friday and you’re sitting around being rich again. Who wants to buy a prize-winning steer and bring it home as a pet? You do.

For those of you who have a ton of money burning a hole in your jorts, here’s a solid list of ways you can burn some money at the State Fair of Texas this year.

Premium Parking: $40

This year, getting your helicopter to land on Big Tex’s outstretched hand just seems too, we dunno, extra. Plus, there’s just not enough legroom in that thing once you’re carrying home a bunch of giant plush teddy bears. Save yourself the hassle and have your driver park in premium parking at the lots along Robert B. Cullum Boulevard. $40 for good parking is a steal compared to Jerryworld.

Food, Duh

There are plenty of ways you can overpay for food at The Great State Fair of Texas. Looking to blatantly overspend? Go for the Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls. For a mere $25, you get two fried balls of wonder. One for you, one for a friend, none for your other friends.

Barrel-O-Rita: $22
Location: Pineapple Man on Cotton Bowl Plaza
Yeti tumblers are for suckers. If you’re not drinking booze out of a pineapple, what are you even doing here?

Deep Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls: $25
Location: Gourmet Royale on Nimitz Ave. and Tower Building
As the winner of this year’s Big Tex Choice Award for Best Savory and Most Creative, that pricing is super duper creative, friends. For $25, you’re getting two fried gumbo balls served with fried okra spears, saltine crackers, and Tabasco sauce. Drinking Game Bonus: While you wait, drink every time the concessionaires get asked, “TWO? ONLY TWO?”

Half Rack of Ribs: $35
Location: Smokey John’s BBQ on Nimitz Ave. and Cotton Bowl Plaza
On a beautiful day at the fair, there’s nothing like making your friends sit down and listen to you lick your fingers. $35 gets you a platter of quality ribs served with fries, pickles, and peppers.

Texas-Shaped Pizza: $40
Location: Glo Nite Inc. in the Tower Building and on the Funway
Do you love Texas so much you could eat it? Eat it, then. Also, this pizza isn’t very Texas-shaped, so be angry about that.

Deep Fried Lobster with Champagne Gravy: $60
Location: Vandalay Industries on Nimitz Ave.
Really want to show you have zero ducks to give about extreme couponing at the fair? Get yourself a fried lobster tail served with lemon-butter champagne gravy and watch as onlookers stare. It’s just like being at Nick & Sam’s. On the surface of the sun. Minus the caviar lady. Plus vom-caked concrete.

Wine: Up to $80
Location: Texas Wine Garden on Nimitz Ave.
“It’s a true fact that State Fair of Texas is synonymous with the best wine tastings in the country,” is something your gramma said while burping during a wine flight at the State Fair of Texas. Do your research.

Rides

Soar above everyone else at the fair, screaming, “I’M FANCY AF!”

The Sling Shot: $70 for two riders
Location: The Thrillway
Being flung into the air with a friend for $70 without paying the extra $25 for a video of the launch makes you look dumber than just paying the full $95 for this. Don’t take the “V” out of “VIP.”

Large Plush Toy: $70
Location: Balloon Pop by the Texas Star
Successfully pop 15 balloons in a row and you’ll take home a stuffed animal large enough to be mistaken for a child. Parenting pro-tip: Put a name tag on your kid so you don’t mistake them for the stuffed animal.

Selfies of Yore

Wild West Old Time Photos: $80 for four people
Location: The Midway
Ah, the opportunity to wear a stranger’s cowboy costume on a hot day. Pay 80 whole U.S. dollars to add layers to your outfit in 90-degree heat. Smile while thinking to yourself, Do I smell like Big Tex’s Jock Strap? (Answer: Yes. Also, someone vomited on this.) #memories

Caricatures: $55
Location: Craft Pavilion
Get someone to draw your face super big. It’s important. Everyone needs this.

Souvenirs

Cowboy Hat: $500
Location: Glass case inside the Circle R Ranch Hat Shop on Nimitz Ave.
For $500, this cowboy hat better make you look exactly like Matthew McConaughey.

Silver & Turquoise Jewelry: $99,000
Location: Samsville’s booth #59 in Grand Place
“Where’d you get that gorgeous turquoise statement necklace?”

“The fair.”

“OOOOH, SO FANCY.”

Grand Champion Steer: $126,000
Location: Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction in the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center
For a mere $126,000, you could take home this year’s Grand Champion Steer. Take him for a stroll around the fair, and you’ll just mic-drop everyone holding a giant stuffed animal.

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