State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas Is Now Taking Applications for New Food Vendors

Got a great food idea that you can replicate in massive amounts for 24 days straight? Sweet!
Got a great food idea that you can replicate in massive amounts for 24 days straight? Sweet! photo courtesy of The State Fair of Texas
The 2022 State Fair of Texas is months and months (and months) away, but it's already working on the menu. Applications for new small businesses and food vendors are now being accepted.

Each year almost 80 concessionaires and more than 200 exhibitors help pull off a calorie-laden fair experience like no other. Now, the fair is looking for new foods to diversify the experience even more.

From a press release on Tuesday, they want vendors who can add something new to the mix. “In addition to being deep-fried culinary geniuses, our concessionaires also make gourmet regional, national, and even international dishes with a Texas twist. We are looking for top-notch vendors who can bring new and unique foods to the State Fair."

They also want vendors who already have big event experience, seeing as they serve more than 2 million people in 24 days. Last year, we spoke to some vendors who don't leave the grounds from the day it opens until the last funnel cake is sold (they sleep in trailers in a nearby lot). And while no one is sharing their books, we hear all the work is worth it.

Newbies are given a lot of guidance their first year; they're buddied up with long-time veteran concessionaires for support and advice. And according to a statement, if you have a good first year, you're invited back the next year:

“After a vendor has successfully completed their first State Fair, they are invited back for the next Fair, and they are also eligible for the highly coveted Big Tex Choice Awards food competition. While new vendors are not eligible for the Big Tex Choice Awards in their inaugural year as a concessionaire, they are eligible to be featured in all the State Fair’s 'new foods' communications.”

If you’re thinking about applying this year, you have through March 31, and you can find all the information you need BigTex.com/ConcessionsApp.
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.