Three million visitors flock to Fair Park every year to take in the sights and sounds of the legendary State Fair of Texas. Kicking off the last Friday in September and lasting for 24 days, the fair, which has been a Texas tradition since 1886, features such wonders as an auto show, a gondola called the Texas Skyway, the largest Ferris wheel in North America, pig races, a petting zoo, livestock competitions, and most important, a helluva lot of fried food. Fletcher’s famous corn dogs are a mainstay, but every year brings new creations. Some are tasty, like fried jambalaya and fried butter, and some are horrifying, like fried bubblegum. All are guaranteed to send some more business your cardiologist's way. 2012 will be remembered as the year Big Tex, the 52-foot-tall mascot of the fair, went up in flames (Dickies and all) after an electric fire sparked in his right cowboy boot.