State Fair of Texas Guide: Oct. 11-Oct. 20

"Howdy folks! In a bizarre twist, I've managed to look a little bit like Jesus on the cross. The sun halo helps." Photo by Kyle Pennington.
“Howdy folks! In a bizarre twist, I’ve managed to look a little bit like Jesus on the cross here. The sun halo helps.” Photo by Kyle Pennington.

This is the last week to fill up on fried goodies and carnival rides. It’s also the last week to find out if any pyromaniacs are down with Zac’s proposed Big Tex burning ritual. It’s been fun. Peace and funnel cakes be with you.




Bacon and Egg Contest. There better be a breakfast taco in here somewhere. 10:30 a.m., Contest Kitchen.

Gypsy Horses. Equine experts demonstrate communication and training methods. Basically, The Horse Whisperer. 1, 2, 3, 5 p.m., Ranch Arena. 

Kacey Musgraves. 8:30 p.m., Silverado Main Stage.

You're just lurking around the auto building for the air conditioning. Via the Mavs Dancers' Facebook Page.
Mavs Dancers. Via the Mavs Dancers’ Facebook Page.


Dallas Mavs Dancers. 1 p.m., Ford Truck Zone. 

Cultural Dancers: Bulgarian Folk Ensemble, 10, 12:10 p.m.; Authentic Belly Dancing Entertainment, 10:30, 11:40 p.m.; Tribal Evolution, 10:50, 12:50 p.m.; Chilean Folklife, 11:10 p.m., 1:40 p.m.; Johara Dance Ensemble, 1230, 3:10 p.m.; Csardas Hungarian Dancers, 1:10, 3:50 p.m.; Raices de Arte Espanol, 2:10, 3:30 p.m.; Wild Rose, 2:30, 5:30 p.m.; United Dance Academy, 2:50, 5:10 p.m.; Cadence Cloggers of San Antonio, 4:20, 6:10 p.m.; Murphy Highland Dance, 5:50, 6:50 p.m.


Celeb Kitchen. Catch Matt Balke, chef of the newly-opened Rustic in Uptown, and Patrick Stark from Sundown at the Granada. 1 a.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. 

Corny dog role model.
Corny dog role model.

The Lion King. Last chance to see this excellent touring production. 1:30 p.m., Music Hall at Fair Park. 

Lone Star Corvettes. 10 a.m. until close, Classic Car Corral. 

One Last Fletchers Corny Dog. Because you can. Everywhere.


The Life and Times of Big Tex. An exhibition that follows the history of the gentle giant. Daily, 10 a.m. to close, Hall of State.

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 on the wine garden stage from Fingerprints at 4 p.m.  10 a.m until close, across from the Creative Arts building.

Children’s Medical Center Barnyard. It’s tough to see exotic animals such as zebras, kangaroos, and giraffes stuffed into pens alongside domestic farm animals, no matter how cute the baby goats are. Also, the camel is mean. You can buy little cups of feed if you so desire. Free, daily.

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.

Mapapa African Acrobats. A group of street artists contort their bodies into all sorts of insane positions. Noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m, and 4 p.m., Music Hall Plaza near First Ave.

Chinese Lantern Festival. This traditional festival of lights was a huge hit at last year’s State Fair. Don’t miss the 300-foot Imperial Dragon Boat and the Porcelain Pagoda, made out of hand-tied porcelain dishes. There will also be assorted other glowing artworks depicting animals, buildings, and stories. See it by day, or all lit up at night. The attraction costs $14 for adults and $9 for children, payable in food & ride coupons only, but you can re-enter as many times during that day as you wish. Daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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

Ostrich Races. New this year, these goofy-looking long-legged creatures make strides. 6 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. weekdays, with an additional race at 7:45 Saturdays and Sundays.

Pig Races. Three times a night, visitors can bet on their favorite pig as they trundle down the pike. 3, 4, 5 p.m. Pan Am Arena.

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.

Starlight Parade. We love a parade, particularly one with lighted floats, and giant puppets.7:15 p.m. Throughout the fairgrounds.

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. Catch this guy in action every weekend of the State Fair, though you can admire his creations daily. 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.


Compiled with help from web editorial intern Paulina Lopez and interactive designer Renee Blostein. 



Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...









View All

View All