arts entertainmentState Fair

What you need to know about the 2022 State Fair of Texas

Here are the essentials to keep in mind as you head to Fair Park starting Sept. 30.

DATES Sept. 30-Oct. 23.

HOURS Parking gates and ticket booths open daily at 9 a.m. Exhibit buildings, food concessions and outdoor exhibits open daily at 10 a.m. They close Sundays through Thursdays at 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 10 p.m. Museum and midway hours vary.

LOCATION In the 277-acre Fair Park, just off Interstate 30, southeast of downtown Dallas. Using your GPS? Put in this address: 3809 Grand Ave., Dallas.

ADMISSION AND DISCOUNTS

COUPONS Most of the food and rides inside the fairgrounds must be paid for with coupons. You can get them online at tickets.bigtex.com (sold in $50 packages) or at stands inside the fair. Coupons, previously two for $1, are $1 each. They do not expire. Midway games require a Big Tex Game Card, which can be purchased at booths and kiosks near the game areas.

INFORMATION AND DAILY SCHEDULES 214-565-9931; bigtex.com.

GETTING THERE

PARKING Self-parking in State Fair lots (look for “Official State Fair Parking” signs) is $20 per space. Parking spaces for people with disabilities are available on a first-come, first-served basis in the official lots (parking fees apply); note that there’s extra demand on Senior Days (Thursdays) and on weekends. No valet service is offered, but premium parking is available for $40. To access the close-in parking, enter Gate 5 at Robert B. Cullum Boulevard and Grand Avenue/Al Lipscomb Way, or Gate 2 at Haskell and Parry avenues.

RIDING DART Take the Green Line to Fair Park Station or MLK Jr. Station. dart.org/statefair.

USING UBER, LYFT OR TAXIS A rideshare drop-off and pickup area is located at Gate 5. The taxi stand is at the intersection of Pacific and Gurley, just outside Gate 1.

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State Fair of Texas 2022

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK

OPENING DAY PARADE A parade inside the fairgrounds celebrates the opening of the State Fair. It steps off off Sept. 30 at noon from First Avenue near Texas Discovery Gardens. The parade route winds through the fairgrounds and ends just past the coliseum.

CELEBRITY CHEF KITCHEN Watch as top chefs create dishes in the demo kitchen inside the Creative Arts Building. Among the chefs appearing in the fair’s first week are Uno Immanivong of Red Stix (Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m.), James McGee of O.G. Vegan (Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m.), Aaron Staudenmaeir of District (Oct. 2 at 12:30 p.m), Julia Dunaway, aka Chef Julia (Oct. 2 at 2:30 p.m.), Amanda Tucker and Carolyn Miller of Linq and Titan (Oct. 3 at 11 a.m.), Joshua Bonee of 42 BBQ Smokehouse and LimeHoney (Oct. 3 at 4:30 p.m.), Elvis Bencamo of Shinsei (Oct. 4 at 12:30 p.m.), Ross Marquette of Smoke & Bone (Oct. 5 at 12:30 p.m.), Tina Miller of Proper Baking Co. (Oct. 6 at 11 a.m.), John Tesar of Knife (Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m.) and Nikky Phinyawatana of Asian Mint (Oct. 6 at 4:30 p.m.).

RODEO Rodeo action returns to the State Fair each weekend and on various weekdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the coliseum. Rodeos are free with State Fair admission. During the first week of the fair: Cowboys of Color (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) and Mexican Rodeo Fiesta (Oct. 2).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL The State Fair Classic between Grambling State University and Prairie View A&M offers one of the best halftime “battle of the marching bands” shows in the country. The game is on Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Cotton Bowl. A pre-game concert by Ashanti Douglas starts at 4 p.m. and the New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band will perform after the game. Both concerts take place on the Chevrolet Main Stage.

STARLIGHT PARADE The nightly parade gets a refresh this year with new lighted floats, life-size puppets and costumed characters making their way through the fairgrounds nightly from 7:15 to 7:45.

ILLUMINATION SENSATION Find a spot along the Esplanade to watch the dancing waters and synchronized fireworks. The show begins nightly at 8.

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