State Fair Success

Courtesy+of+NBC+DFW
Courtesy of NBC DFW

Courtesy of NBC DFW

Courtesy of NBC DFW

Hannah N. '17, Webmaster

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Deep in the heart of Texas, the 2016 State Fair of Texas “celebrates all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment,” according to the online mission statement. This year’s 24-day-long event, held from the end of September to the end of October, made an estimated revenue of $56 million from coupon sales. The State Fair usually does not attempt to track the exact number of attendees, so the Dallas Department of Parks and Recreation estimates about 3 million people came out to see Big Tex, while a study by professors at Baylor University estimate closer to 1.5 million. This year, the park attempted to track a close estimate and numbered 2.4 million people. Either way, the millions in turnout once again make Texas the most popular state fair in the country, and one of the longest state fairs nationally.

The Red River Rivalry, held at the Cotton Bowl situated mid-Fair Park since 1932, has been the event known to attract the biggest crowd. The two football teams, University of Oklahoma in Norman and University of Texas in Austin, finished their 111th meeting ever with a game packed to fill the more than 96,000 available seats. Although the game is held in Texas, Oklahoma was the designated home team for 2016 and the ultimate winner, meaning the Golden Hat (a 10-gallon cowboy hat replica made of gold) will move into the Oklahoma athletic department.
Performers like the rapper Nelly and country singer Kacey Musgraves entertained crowds on the weekends from the Chevrolet Main Stage, and more local artists played at the Dr. Pepper, Bud Light and Coca-Cola stages.
“We saw Ben Rector and it was the best day of my life,” said Mia Estrada ‘18. “And Crazy Mouse [ride]: original but scary. My friend was literally in my lap,” said Molly Donohoe ‘18.

Around 70 rides were located around The Midway and The Funway and the Budweiser Clydesdales returned from their last appearance in 2005. For the first time in America, original size prints of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel were displayed in Women’s Museum Building. At the “Bark at Fair Park” adoption booth 60 dogs found new homes, and this year marked an 18 percent increase in the livestock submitted for contests. Two hundred food options were available as attendees walked around the Park and ate at the Tower Building Food Court and Chef Bridget Varela from the Cake Boss series on TLC was invited into the Celebrity Chef Kitchen this year, which had opened up a Carlos’ Bakery earlier in the year off Northwest Highway.

“I had the fried cookie dough and fried Jello, which were really good,” said Taylor Gibbons ‘17. “There were also fried macaroons, but I didn’t see them, I only heard about them on the radio after I went.”

Before the opening and with the closing of the State Fair, Dallas officials were still attempting to clear a homeless encampment, both the people and remains, under I-30, one block from Fair Park. A large incentive for removing the people was to utilize the space for buses transporting the growing numbers of Red Rivalry attendees. The Dallas Police Department crisis intervention unit has been working on creating space for shelters and housing for the displaced people and enforcing the signs prohibiting trespassers in the area.

While there were some downs, the 2016 Texas State Fair had majority ups in its options of entertainment and food, meaning the Ursuline community was satisfied with what the State Fair board had to offer the Dallas area.

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