The 2017 Texas State Fair

The annual State Fair hit Texas at the end of September, but with seemingly less fanfare this year for the Alapat family. We made our annual fried pilgrimage, but ended up being seduced by the music more than the food.

The Texas State Fair had 2 intriguing traits for us this year: a couple’s coupon package ($79 which included admission and 100 coupons) and The Spazmatics. For those of you who remember Kscope14 (Seattle), you might remember the quirky 80s cover band who played live at the EMP Museum. I’ve been a fan of The Spazmatics for years.

The State Fair attempts to attracts visitors by upping their entertainment game each year. No additional charge is required for the entertainment – it’s part of the admission fee.  This year their headliner was Flo Rida (with Macy Kate). I was tempted to attend Flo Rida’s concert, but since the headliner plays during opening weekend we generally avoid it due to the massive crowds and heat.

Over 2 million people attend the Texas State Fair. Sometimes it feels super crowded, and sometimes it feels only sufficiently crowded. I’m glad we waited for a less busy weekend, as the fall temps haven’t reached Dallas yet. It was 90 degrees outside and sunny.

We started our fair journey right by the main concert stage and caught The Spazmatics. They are consistently entertaining – hilarious and full of 80s music fun. We arrived just in time to be Rick Rolled.

Every year the State Fair showcases and awards new entrants into the Big Tex Choice Awards contest. I was on antibiotics at the time of our visit (due to a random bout of strep throat), so I could not partake in the new cocktail concoctions. However, I was very enthusiastic to try some new fried creations on the finalist and top 10 list.


First foodie stop: the Fat Smooth, which ranked 5th in the top 10 this year.

The Fat Smooth was right up my alley – 3 cream puffs deep fried in beignet batter and then covered in both powdered sugar and super sugary sauces. This was the best new thing I ate this year.

Next foodie stop: Cajun fried deviled eggs. These were interesting. They were balls of a mixture of deviled eggs and not straight up deviled eggs that were then fried. They were just OK.

Continuing the savory side of our journey, we stopped to grab bacon-wrapped mozzarella sticks from Baconation (unfortunately, not good – they were super dry):

I was also dying to try the new deep fried root beer float with “dragon’s breath” (located in the same building) but they were sold out.

We did our lap around the entire fair and I grabbed an older item that I’ve never had before: chicken gizzards. This ended up being a super value meal, as it included more gizzards than I could eat, fries, and bread:

The gizzards were on the thin side, but it was worth the price and a much cheaper dish than most of what we ate.

As our stomachs were winding down, I grabbed another oldie but goodie item: a simple snow cone. I’m a huge fan of sugar covered ice.

Finally, to do a proper send off, I went in search of my two long-time favorite food items. The first one changed booths this year and was hard to find. After some persistence, I found my awesome fried butter.

It’s gotten smaller over the years and has less sugar on it (thankfully), but it still tastes fantabulous.

After additional deep searching, we discovered that my second beloved item “Caramel Apple Wedges” was taken off of the fair menu this year. My “healthy” dish is no more. That’s how it goes though – old items get removed to make room for the new ones.

We rounded out the night by catching the night’s headliner, Wilson Phillips. This is a female band from the 90s that made a significant appearance in the movie Bridesmaids. We didn’t catch their entire show, but stayed long enough to watch a tribute to their famous fathers (from the Beach Boys and The Mamas & the Papas), as well as a cover of Dancing Queen:

So how did we do on costs this year? Unfortunately, the costs are rising every year. 2016’s fair cost us $10 more than 2015’s. This year’s cost us $20 more than last year’s. We saw some insane prices for fried items as well – gourmet funnel cakes for 36 coupons ($18) and some small, crazy lobster item for 60 coupons ($30).

  • Parking – $20 (onsite)
  • Couple’s combo package – $79
  • Total for 2 hungry people: $99

In the end, we were glad we came. We vowed to return for more fried treats in 2018.

Curious about previous Texas State Fair trips?

3 thoughts on “The 2017 Texas State Fair

  1. Danny says:

    Saddened to hear that the fried Deviled Eggs were just okay. I was hoping they were delicious. Just went apple picking today so an apple fritter is in my future. I might need to plan a trip to Texas for the fair! It would like fun.

    Like

  2. Bill Chance says:

    Wow – The Spazmatics… that’s a name I haven’t heard for a while. Sorry I missed them.

    Glad the fair was fun for you – it’s a unique experience, for sure.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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