A FAIR-ly Amazing Day

I’m going to warn you right up front, this post is bursting with images. I was able to narrow down the 527 pictures I took to about 50. Give or take. Given the fact Fair Park is 277 acres, I think I did pretty well.

We have been planning our trip to the Texas State Fair for a couple weeks. We knew it wouldn’t be a cheap day, hence all of our recent freebie day trips. Fair Park is on the east side of Dallas and has been home to the Texas State Fair since 1886. You can read about all the history here.

We arrived just after the gates opened and scored a parking spot near the gate (all the empty spaces you see are reserved for the handicapped)…

Texas State Fair-2852

We bought our tickets online, part of a package which included admission and 100 ride/food coupons. We first ran into using coupons at Grapefest. I’m not really a fan of the system, I’d rather pay for my food using cold hard cash.  I think it is easier to plan using money than coupons, but I digress. Anyhow, our first stop was the cattle barn and judging arena…

Texas State Fair-2854

Texas State Fair-2858

Most of the cows were lazing around waiting their turn…

Texas State Fair-2857

Others were being led to grooming stations…

Texas State Fair-2863

Where shampooing and combing awaited them…

Texas State Fair-2859

I’ve never seen a setup quite like this. Now, I’ve been to my share of fairs and always visit the livestock exhibits, but this really takes it to the next level! I was a bit disappointed there weren’t any longhorn cattle in the cow barn, afterall, this is Texas and longhorn are cattle. I wasn’t disappointed for very long! We stepped out of the building, on our way to the swine barn, and found this monster in a pen all his own…

Texas State Fair-2916

Texas State Fair-2910

Yes, you read the sign correctly, someone was brave enough to get a measurement of this behemoths horn width. He was even more magnificent when he stood up…

Texas State Fair-3379

I absolutely loved his coloring.  On to the swine. I love piggies, always have. Of course I love piglets even more…

Texas State Fair-3006

Mama almost looks like she’s smiling. Cattle weren’t the only critters getting groomed for their showings…

Texas State Fair-2879

Texas State Fair-2878

And people were getting in some last minute runway practice…

Texas State Fair-2890

Every time I look at this picture quickly, I think those pink spots on his snout are tusks. But if I wanted to see real tusks, I need not look any further than Borris…

Texas State Fair-2889

Texas State Fair-2883

Our next stop was the horse barn. All of the horses were in bar lined stalls and you couldn’t really get close enough to take any pictures, but I was able to sneak a picture of probably the largest horse I’ve ever seen. This is saying something because I’ve been up close and personal with the Budweiser Clydesdales!  Meet Rossina, she is a Friesian. She is over 17 hands tall…

Texas State Fair-3024

I thought we were through with livestock viewing until we came to the Children’s Health Barnyard. The squeals of delight could be heard long before we entered the building. Kids of all ages were having a grand time. It was more like a petting zoo than a barnyard, with animals from around the world…

Texas State Fair-2962

Texas State Fair-2987

Texas State Fair-2949

Texas State Fair-2998

This zebu was far more interested in getting her neck scratched than eating some handouts…

Texas State Fair-2968

Just outside the exhibit was the little red barn I’ve been hoping to find. Barns here are the same as barns in the northeast. Most of the are pole barns, but this is the type of barn I love…

Texas State Fair-2934

It was getting on towards lunch and the choices were so numerous I couldn’t decide. One thing I learned is Texans will deep-fry ANYTHING…

Texas State Fair-2933

Texas State Fair-2936

Or wrap it in bacon…

Texas State Fair-3009

 

As we were walking past one of the many coupon booths, the reflection in the puddle caught my eye…

Texas State Fair-2931

We still hadn’t decided on lunch, so we walked into the food court. Overwhelmed is an understatement!

Texas State Fair-3373

Unfortunately, we stuck with something simple (but still expensive). We should have…

State Fair

And how do you top off lunch? With an adult beverage of course…

Texas State Fair-3033

So, I’ve covered livestock, cute animals and food. What else could there be? How about the art…

Texas State Fair-3027

Texas State Fair-3043

Texas State Fair-3055

Texas State Fair-3062

And the history…

Texas State Fair-3281

Texas State Fair-3063

Then…there are the shows! As we were walking along the esplanade, we happened to catch the Zu Zu African Acrobats. Their skill, flexibility and agility were astounding…

Texas State Fair-3121

Texas State Fair-3160

Texas State Fair-3215

I kind of covered statues when I mentioned art, but there is one statue that literally can’t be missed…Big Tex himself…

Texas State Fair-3287

If the size of the Wednesday crowds leave you feeling a bit on edge, not to worry! The Dallas PD has you covered…

Texas State Fair-3289

Our final adventure of the day was a ride on the sky wheel…

Texas State Fair-3305

There are 44 car on the wheel. I don’t know how tall it is but the views were stunning!

Texas State Fair-3325

Texas State Fair-3335

I haven’t come close to showing you all the things to do at the fair. We skipped the aquarium and the botanical gardens because, well, let’s face it, I’m not a kid anymore! It isn’t that I wouldn’t have enjoyed them, I’d have loved them, but I was pooped!!!!

We still had about an hour and a half drive back to Waldo and it was time to call it quits. The day had one more surprise in store for us…

img_4040-1

A beautiful sunset to round out our trip.

What is your favorite thing to do at the fair?