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Ennis Daily News

The State Fair of Texas

Picturing a state fair makes me think of food, animals, amusement games like dart throwing and rifle shooting, a Ferris wheel and clowns. After attending my first State Fair of Texas I discovered the Lone Star State has four out of the five typical fair entertainments along with so much more.
Picturing a state fair makes me think of food, animals, amusement games like dart throwing and rifle shooting, a Ferris wheel and clowns. After attending my first State Fair of Texas I discovered the Lone Star State has four out of the five typical fair entertainments along with so much more.
I never went to the state fair as a kid and didn’t really feel as if I was missing out on anything that special. I don’t recall ever hearing on Monday mornings about what a great time my fellow classmates had at the fair the previous weekend. I didn’t pay attention enough to even realize the State Fair was in town until after graduating from college.
Once I was back in Dallas and old enough to realize the State Fair of Texas was kind of a big deal the allure of going to an amusement park was lost on me. I couldn’t tell you why. In every other aspect of life I am a big kid at heart, so why was I not an advocate of amusement parks? Luckily the State Fair of Texas changed that.
In spite of costing a small fortune, the fair is a wonderful menagerie of fun, thrills and edible mystery. The fair grounds offer something for every age group, whether it is a petting zoo for the tots, amusement rides for the teenagers or the “good ole day” atmosphere for grown-ups.
After finding what I thought was a bargain on parking – only $7 for a short walk two blocks away from the entrance to the fair grounds – I began my fair experience with putting down a house payment for tickets in order to ride the rides and eat the food throughout the day, only to find mere seconds after purchasing my tickets that games are on a cash basis only. I felt robbed, that is until I flippantly told myself it was all part of the experience. I won my girlfriend a small stuffed animal – and when I say small I mean smaller than those beanie babies that used to be popular. Luckily she isn’t measuring my manliness by how accurate I am with a dart.
Following the games and exploring the grounds we made our way to the rides, where we spent our time enjoying a roller coaster and the famous Texas Star Ferris Wheel.
The food was hit and miss in regard to taste. One of the bits of kitschy cuisine I enjoyed was fried alligator. However, the fair was able to prove that not everything fried is going to be delicious. This was confirmed by tasting one fried avocado. It starts off great with the crunchy outside but then takes an odd twist as you bite down into the mushy innards. Words cannot describe the features that followed as I forced a swallow of my fried avocado.
The subsequent hours were filled with viewing a dog show and the tiniest horse in the world, caressing several animals including a bison and camel at a petting zoo, strolling through the aquarium, walking what seemed like a marathon from exhibit to exhibit and more amusement rides.
The final ride – taking the remainder of my tickets – consisted of four-seats at each end of a steel beam and the beam rotated around sending the occupants zipping through the air at rapid speeds and rotating in 360-degree circles. It was worth every penny spent.
Although I had a great time at the state fair I don’t expect to see myself going every year. I most likely will make it a once every three or four years kind of event.
A quick search of the Internet showed nearly every state has a state fair but I wonder how they stand up to the great State Fair of Texas.

Matt Cook is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at matt@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Oct 25 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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