DALLAS, Texas — After more than a year and a half of anticipation for the most Texan event on Earth, the time has finally come. The State Fair of Texas is gearing up to celebrate 135 years of all things Texan with one heck of a safe and festive shindig. It will be the return of your favorite Fair time traditions and family fun. Themed “Howdy, Folks!,” the iconic 55-foot cowboy, Big Tex himself, can’t wait to welcome everyone back to historic Fair Park, starting Friday, September 24. With safety at the forefront of every decision, the State Fair of Texas has reimagined fairgoer’s favorite attractions and entertainment to provide a fun and safe experience for all. Planning for the big event is fully underway and the State Fair team has curated the perfect lineup of attractions and entertainment – bringing back so many fan favorites and adding some brand-new, can’t-miss things to do. With more than 80 free attractions included with your admission, 70 Midway rides, and endless entertainment across the fairgrounds, the State Fair is excited to announce several new attractions for the 2021 event.
This isn’t our first rodeo, per say, but it is all-new for the 2021 Fair! Home of the 1959 Original National Finals Rodeo, we are proud to bring a rodeo back to the historic Fair Park Coliseum this year – and each rodeo is FREE with your admission ticket to the Fair. From high-energy bull riding to wild cow milking, you won’t want to miss the Rodeo on your visit to the Fair this year. Presented by United Ag & Turf, the State Fair of Texas Rodeo will take place each weekend of the Fair during the evening. For more information on the 2021 Rodeo, visit //BigTex.com/Rodeo.
|State Fair of Texas Rodeo||Dates|
|Cowboys of Color Rodeo||9/24-9/25|
|Mexican Rodeo Celebration||9/26|
|State Fair of Texas Youth Rodeo||9/29|
|United Professional Rodeo Association Texas Finals||9/30-10/2|
|Bull Buckin’ Weekend||10/8-10/9|
|State Fair of Texas Ranch Rodeo||10/15-10/16|
From the makers of ¡Fiestas de Marionetas! you won’t want to miss the all-new Country Roundup on the re-designed Dr Pepper Midway Stage. Created exclusively for the State Fair of Texas, Country Roundup features animatronic and manual puppetry, and a vintage carousel-style stage to captivate its audience. Bring the whole family! This attraction is sure to entertain fairgoers of all ages.
Just when you thought we’d carved it all – joining the lineup for the 2021 State Fair is the Vegetable Carver. Think chainsaw carver meets giant pumpkin carver. Working his magic on fruits and vegetables, he travels around the country, teaching the culinary art of fruit and vegetable carvings and leaving spectators and culinary professionals spellbound. Trust us, you’ll want to see this for yourself. Find the Vegetable Carver daily at the GoTexan Pavilion.
Get the party started with the Showstoppers! Giant inflatable characters entertain guests of all ages with their wild antics. Saddle up for a front row seat, and you might get roped into being a part of the show. Find them at the Hall of State steps, daily.
Midway lovers can add a brand-new ride to their list for the 2021 State Fair of Texas: Moonraker is guaranteed to satisfy thrill-seekers, while still being fun for the whole family.
You’ve seen him before, but he’s back with a surprise for fairgoers! Catch Little Big Tex as he strolls about the grounds and you just might be one of the first to see his new act – it’s sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
This year the Hall of State will host, “Our State Fair: 135 years of the State Fair of Texas,” a comprehensive exhibit celebrating the Fair’s 135-year history in Fair Park. The exhibit will include an extensive display of artifacts from the State Fair’s archives and other notable elements. In addition, the Junior League of Dallas (JLD) and Dallas Historical Society have partnered to produce an interactive exhibit to celebrate the Junior League of Dallas Centennial. The exhibit will focus on the history of the the League and its impact on the city of Dallas. The JLD is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. It is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in Dallas, with nearly 5,000 volunteer members. The third exhibit you will find at the Hall of State, The Tom & Alicia Landry Family Collection, tells the story of the man behind the legend, featuring more than 60 mementos from Landry’s life, some of which have never been seen by the public. These relics – from Landry’s childhood to Cowboys coach and after – will have a permanent home with the Dallas Historical Society. Stop by to learn more about the history of each nonprofit organization and their missions, daily, at the Hall of State this fall.
Head to Mundo Latino to see their new “Día de los Muertos” experience. It will showcase the unique, beautiful, and culturally significant history and activities surrounding the Day of the Dead.
Fairgoer’s favorite canines are returning to an all-new location! To provide more seating and allow for guest comfort, stop by the Fair Park Coliseum to check out the All-Star Stunt Dog Show. Trust us, these tricks you have to see to believe! These dogs have performed across the country, including appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Oprah Winfrey Show. All the dogs have been rescued from shelters and trained to showcase their unique talents. From jump roping to barrel racing, and even juggling, this show is guaranteed to be dog-gone fun. Join in on the fun any day of the Fair, located in the Coliseum.
Here they come, snout-to-snout, down the stretch, back again! The Fair Park Coliseum is the new home to the most-talked-about track in town, the Pig Races. Dressed in fetching racing silks, the wiggly piglets run the course four times a day. Don’t miss this fan favorite!
This year, the Lone Star Barnyard has moved to the Pan Am Arena, which will allow fairgoers more room to mosey about and get up close and personal with a variety of farm friends, from emus and zebras to pigs and goats. While you’re there, make sure to visit the nursery where sows, ewes, nanny goats, and their young are on display. Fun for the whole family, this petting zoo allows fairgoers to interact with all their furry friends, and even get the chance to feed them!
Step right up! Be witness to Mighty Mike’s incredible feats of strength in the Mighty Mike Show. A bender of horseshoes, juggler of bowling balls and sledgehammers, and all-around charmer, Mighty Mike’s funny performance showcases strongman strength techniques dating back to the 1920’s and, dare we say, questionable dance routines. Audience members will laugh the entire show but also leave motivated and inspired by the culture of the old-time strongman. Catch a glimpse of Mighty Mike and Fair-favorite, Vocal Trash, daily in their all-new location on the Sideshow Stage.
Make your way over to the Sideshow Stage on Nimitz Circle as Vocal Trash delights audiences through their distinctive blend of singing, comedy antics, and high-energy break-dancing. Described as “Glee meets Stomp,” the Urban Broadway group plays with uniquely recycled musical instruments, bringing an eco-friendly twist to each performance.
Back by popular demand, don’t miss the Fair-favorite, World of Birds Show presents: SOAR! Steve Martin and his stunning array of birds from all across the globe have flown out of retirement and nested back into the historic Band Shell for an all-new, high-flying adventure. With a cast of new species, as well as memorable feathered friends, “SOAR!” brings the aviary world up-close to the audience with bird releases from the Texas Star Ferris wheel and flyovers just inches from guests’ heads. “SOAR!” is also filled with a wealth of knowledge regarding bird health, habitat information, and conservation efforts taking place across the world. Experience the spectacular show daily at the Band Shell.
Returning for its second year, the State Fair of Texas exclusive, family-friendly experience presented by McDonald’s, ¡Fiestas de Marionetas! is one of this year’s not-to-miss shows. Surrounded by lights and beautiful landscaping, a small village of more than 85 handmade marionettes come to life to celebrate a fiesta of color, culture, and creativity. Be sure to stick around for the backstage tour and craft activity after the show. Come check it out yourself with daily performances at the McDonald’s Amphitheater on First Avenue.
Presented by Kroger, the Starlight Parade after-dark extravaganza is a time-honored tradition, featuring a colorful assortment of illuminated floats, life-size puppets, stilt-walking performers, and animated characters in ornate costumes. The bold and bright procession glides through the park nightly at 7:15 p.m. Don’t leave the Fair without seeing this amazing spectacle! You can also catch the special daytime parade at noon on Opening Day in Fair Park.
Set along a scenic reflecting pool, Mattress Firm Illumination Sensation combines fireworks and high-energy pop music with engaging performances from dancers and acrobats. This sensational production of synchronized pyrotechnics and special effects begins nightly at 8 p.m. Show up early to stake out the best vantage points along the Esplanade!
The Livestock Birthing Barn is a unique educational experience, exhibiting the incubation and birthing process of various livestock animals. With agriculture and education as the Fair’s foundation, the Livestock Birthing Barn highlights the agricultural importance of breeding livestock and its role in our everyday lives. Stop by the Barn, located at Nimitz and MLK, to learn more about the birthing process.
Returning in 2021, TX Stunt Jam showcases some of the top BMX, skateboard, and scooter talent in the United States – even Olympic athletes! Enjoy this high-energy stunt show daily at the Xtreme Sports Zone in Chevrolet Park Plaza.
Don’t miss this hoot of a performance – the Midway Barker entertains crowds with his antics and jabs. All in good fun, of course. A funny-bone tickler! Stop by Cotton Bowl Plaza, daily, to see what all the hoopla is about.
Watch the Chainsaw Carver as he takes a blank section of timber and turns it into a work of art using his chainsaw. Owls, eagles, bears, alligators – he can find all these and more inside logs and pieces of wood. This chainsaw carver’s natural talent and quick wit are not to miss. Find him beneath the Texas Star Ferris wheel at MLK and First Avenue.
The state-of-the-art Errol McKoy Greenhouse on the Midway houses the Fair’s Big Tex Urban Farms year-round. Stop by during the Fair to see the Innovations in Agriculture exhibit presented by Bank of America and learn more about the Farms initiatives.
Ready, set, smile! The area around the historic Lagoon will be transformed into a walking selfie stroll called Contain Yourself(ie). Stop and pose by one of ten beautifully painted shipping containers. These shipping containers will feature one-of-a-kind artwork painted by participating Texas artists. Head on over to the lagoon to get the perfect shot during your visit to the Fair.
Stop by Howdy’s to catch a glimpse of Buford Buzzard, a tree-dwelling puppet dishes out some insults to the crowd, but don’t worry, it’s all in good fun. The lovable buzzard entertains children of all ages with his amusing antics and witty banter.
While you’re wandering by the Lagoon, you just might catch Shorty McCoy’s traveling act. This 17-inch cowboy puppet interacts with kiddos, entertaining guests with singing, dancing, and joke-telling.
Saddle up, Little Lone Stars! On the Coliseum Terrace, children can take a pony ride every day of the Fair.
Oak Farms Theatre is home to two family-friendly shows – World of Magic and Backyard Circus. World of Magic Features award winning illusionists and futuristic elements like neon lighting, lasers, and even a floating robot! The Backyard Circus offers little ones the chance to dress up in costumes and take part in a show that features lion tamers, tight-rope walkers, ballerinas and a host of circus favorites. Both shows take place several times daily, check the schedule for more information.
Make your way over to Ranch Arena for several can’t-miss attractions – Pee Wee Stampede & Rodeo, Majesty of the Horse, and Dallas Police Department Demos. The Pee Wee Stampede & Rodeo lets kiddos ages four to eight put on a show and participate in mock rodeo events. While the crowd cheers, the kids race on their stick horses and bulls and provide a fun-filled show for everyone. Majesty of the Horse is an intimate presentation including multiple breeds of horses, showcasing their unique color, size, and purpose. The Dallas Police Department Mounted Unit performs a series of maneuvers with their equine partners. In addition to demonstrating training techniques during the Fair, the Mounted Unit is housed in Fair Park year-round. Officers will also be there to meet and greet fairgoers and answer questions.
Sports fans can prepare for another round of iconic football games inside the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium during the 2021 Fair. Returning on Saturday, September 25, the State Fair Classic brings its annual matchup between Grambling State University and Prairie View A&M University. The rivalry continues Saturday, October 9 when Cotton Bowl Stadium hosts the AT&T Red River Showdown, where the University of Texas Longhorns play the University of Oklahoma Sooners.
It goes without saying, but after a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are more excited than ever to welcome folks back to the State Fair of Texas. Like years past, the State Fair of Texas is proud to offer something for guests of all ages – and this year especially, each show, exhibit, and attraction, has been carefully planned to provide the safest environment possible. For more information on this year’s attractions and entertainment lineup, please visit BigTex.com/Attractions. The attractions and entertainment lineup doesn’t end here – we also have free live music throughout the fairgrounds all 24 days. For more information on what music artists are performing at the State Fair in 2021, head to BigTex.com/Music. We’ll see you at the Fair!
–State Fair of Texas
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