State Fair of Texas Wraps Up Its Pandemic Season

How this year's fair looked.EXPAND
How this year's fair looked.
courtesy of the State Fair of Texas
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Hopefully, a year from now, we’ll be publishing a slideshow of the festive hullabaloo that was the State Fair of Texas.

This year, the folks at the fair have wrapped up a season that succumbed to the coronavirus pandemic and pivoted with a drive-thru experience.

For 15 days, fair-goers waited in car lines to get the closest thing to a fair experience that was possible this year.

Nearly 23,000 carloads of people went through, and 32,000 photos were taken with Big Tex wearing his mask.

Instead of the usual process for new creations in fair food, this year the State Fair of Texas went through the 32 winners of the last 15 years, and nearly 65,000 people voted for their favorites. Nick Bert’s Texas Fried Fritos earned the top spot.

The progressive fair food experience had people waiting in lines for hours in some cases, but throughout the season, we saw friends posting pictures of smiling faces soon to be getting their fill of Fletcher’s Original Corny Dogs.

Participants still submitted crafts to be judged, and more than 5,300 projects (more than 2,800 people) went through the process.

Some of our favorites were by East Dallas resident Brooke Brooks, who earned a blue ribbon for her rose cake and an honorable mention for a corn dog cake.

Our favorite part of the fair's press release about attendance may be this item: “Due to the results of the 2019 State Fair, the State Fair of Texas was able to provide $2.5 million in 2020 for Fair Park improvements to the city of Dallas.”

The release announced other good deeds, including donating 21,000 pounds of fresh produce to South Dallas residents, awarding $1.24 million in new college scholarships and awarding movers and shakers as part of the properly named Juanita Craft Humanitarian Awards.

Next year’s dates are already set. We won’t bother sharing everyone else’s shared thoughts about what we hope the world will be like then, but the State Fair of Texas is planned to resume Sept. 24 through Oct. 17, 2021.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.