State Fair of Texas Guide: Oct. 13-Oct. 19

The photo of this extremely annoying, seemingly legless man, who will either accuse you of checking him out or ask you if you're going to make him your screeeeeeeensaaaaaaver, is taken by the wonderful and talented Desiree Espada.

We’re staring down at the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the last full week of the fair. Have you seen the Chinese Lantern Festival yet? Here are five reasons why you should get on that, immediately.

Saturday, October 13

Red River Rivalry Biscuit Contest. This is hilarious. It’s also probably almost as contentious. 9:30 a.m., Contest Kitchen.

Red River Rivalry. Good luck getting tickets to this at this point. And by good luck, I mean, there’s always StubHub. Just watch the weather forecast, and get ready for crowds. Now, I attended neither Texas nor OU, but I have to say, I think I look better in burnt orange. So we’ll go with that. Hook ’em.

Kevin Fowler. After the diehard football fans have headed for the bars, either to celebrate or commiserate, country artist Kevin Fowler takes the Chevy Main Stage. 8:30 p.m.

Balloons ready for popping. Photo by Jason Janik.

Sunday, October 14

Wine Tasting: Calais Winery. Try this Deep Ellum brewery’s wines. 10 a.m., Wine Garden.

Cooking Demo: Tiffany Derry of Private/Social. 6 p.m., Maytag Celebrity Kitchen.

Chuck Liddell. The former mixed martial arts champ/Dancing With the Stars contestant makes an appearance. 2 p.m., Metro PCS Coliseum Drive

Monday, October 15

Pumpkin Painting. These might not turn out as awesome as Farmer Mike’s pumpkin carvings, but as we approach Halloween, it’s a perfect way to leave the fair with more than just a stomachache. 10 a.m., Greenhouse on the Midway.

Cooking Demo: Abraham Salum of Salum. 12:30 p.m., Maytage Celebrity Kitchen.

Patton Sparks Band. Straight out of Austin, Texas. 4 p.m., 5:45, 8:30 p.m., Chevrolet Mainstage.

Tuesday, October  16

Half price rides. Every normal ride is only five (5) tickets instead of 10. The Texas Star remains at 14 tickets.

Cooking Demo: Jill Bates and Dean Fearing of Fearing’s. 2:30 p.m., Maytag Celebrity Kitchen.

Cooking Demo: Ian Tate of Nova. 4:30 p.m., Maytag Celebrity Kitchen.

Clog Dancing with the Klassy Kloggers. 4 p.m., Go Texan Gazebo Stage.

Zydeco Stingrays. 4, 5:45, 8:30 p.m. Chevrolet Main Stage.

Smoochin'. Photo by Jason Janik.

Wednesay, October 17

All About Chocolate Contest. Need I say more? 10:30 a.m., Contest Kitchen.

Cooking Demo: Mico Rodriguez at Mr. Mesero. 4:30 p.m., Maytag Celebrity Kitchen.

The Rankin Twins. Texas country duo, so wear your best boots for scootin’. 4 p.m., 5:45, 8:30 p.m., Chevrolet Main Stage.

Thursday, October 18

Ice Cream Crank Contest. Ice cream for breakfast? Oh well, if you insist. 9:30 a.m., Contest Kitchen.

Cooking Demo: David McMillan of Meddlesome Moth. This one could be interesting. If you’ll recall, McMillan just closed the Screen Door in the Arts District, and now he’s looking to revamp things at Meddlesome. 11 a.m., Maytag Celebrity Kitchen.

Ron Lawrence and Sazerac Jazz. 4, 5:45, 8:30 p.m., Chevrolet Main Stage.

Friday, October 19

Cooking With Honey. I know at least one person in our office obsessed with bees, and the delicious substance they make. Learn all of honey’s uses in the kitchen with this handy demo. 4 p.m., Go Texan Gazebo Stage.

JR Byrd and Justin Cash. 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Chevrolet Main Stage.

Breaking Southwest. 7:30 p.m., Chevrolet Main Stage.

Kellie Pickler. 8:30 p.m., Chevrolet Main Stage.


Milking Parlor Demos. Watch cows from local farms demonstrate modern milking procedures. 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30 p.m. Pan Am Barn.

State Fair of Texas Wine Garden. Enjoy wine by the glass and snacks daily, plus live music from The Violin Guy on the weekends. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays through Mondays, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays.

The Texas Skyway. Can’t decide where to eat, what to ride, or whom to see onstage? This 1,800-foot aerial track is a great way to scope out the fairgrounds.

Amazing Chinese Acrobats. A group of Chinese acrobats perform amazing aerial stunts and contort their bodies into all sorts of insane positions. Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.; additional performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Gateway Plaza.

Chinese Lantern Festival. The lagoon is transformed with lights to celebrate the last day of the lunar New Year celebration. Admission is separate from State Fair admission, and the display lasts through Oct. 21. More information here.

BMX Bike Star Show. Big Time 720 Action Sports team performs gravity-defying feats. 2, 4, 6 p.m. The Thrillway.

The swings could use some more riders. I iPhoned this.

Pig Races. Three times a night, visitors can bet on their favorite bovines as they trundle down the pike. 6, 6:45, 7:45 p.m. Pan Am Arena.

United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corp. Catch these guys, who came all the way from Washington, D.C., every afternoon at 4 p.m. from Sept. 28 to Oct. 14 at Marine Corps Square, as well as each night during the evening parade (excluding Wednesdays).

Illumination Sensation. This nightly show–likely to leave the kids (and some of their parents) with mouths agape–features lights, water, music, and fireworks. 8 p.m. Esplanade reflecting pool.

Reliant Starlight Parade. We love a parade, particularly one with lighted floats, drum and bugle players from the U.S. Marine Corps, and giant puppets. 7:15 p.m.

Chevrolet Town Square. Test drive new cars and power up your mobile phone– a super handy feature if you’re having too much fun with Instagram. Activities for kids include a car they can actually test drive themselves. East Park Plaza near gate II.

Jump! Ultimate Dog Show. Dog lovers will want to check out this show demonstrating canine skills and agility at least once. 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m. Pan Am Arena.

Farmer Mike Pumpkin Carver. Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. — 6 p.m.; Sundays 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. Greenhouse on the Midway.

Kroger Birds of the World Showcase. 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. every day. The Band Shell.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Exhibit. I was a Girl Scout. I still like Girl Scout cookies, which you will find (for free, and also, fried) if you wander into this interactive exhibit celebrating the organization’s 100th anniversary. Here’s more information.