Big tex says, “howdy y’all, and welcome back! ”

The State Far of Texas is back with a big “HOWDY“, y’all!

From September 24 through Sunday, October 17, 2021, you get to experience a festive piece of our great state’s history.

After nearly two years without this staple of Texan culture, we are ready for it all at the Texas Fair: to wave back at Big Tex as we re-enter the fairgrounds, to breathe in the omnipresent scent of Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, to brave the line and ride the Ferris Wheel, to see what else they manage to deep fry… you get it.

The Texas Fair’s 2021 theme “HOWDY, FOLKS!” christens this year’s 24-day exposition after cancelling its festivities due to COVID-19 last year.

Last year, the State Fair of Texas had to cancel its festivities at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Front Burner restaurants made a valiant effort to make up for the absence of the Texas Fair’s iconic food by running fair-inspired curbside kits in lieu of the event itself.

This year, to make sure the show goes on even with rising concerns over current variants of COVID-19, the State Fair of Texas is enforcing health measures — including offering vaccines at the fair with $20 incentive, courtesy of Dallas County.

With the year behind us and caution in place, the State Fair of Texas is rarin’ to go… and so are its waiting attendees.

Since it’s been just that long, we figured we’d put together a handy guide to get you re-oriented with our beloved Texas fair!

Our beloved texas fair is back. Here's your quick guide to the state fair of texas, 2021. 8

Texas Fair Guide: The Tickets

There are so many ways you can enjoy the State Fair of Texas this year! Let’s help pick the best ticket for you.

(Psst! We’re hosting a GIVEAWAY of FREE one-day tickets to the State Fair of Texas on our social media! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to enter!)

Regular ticket deals

  • 2021 Season Pass – Enjoy all 24 days of the State Fair! — $50
    • 24-day admission to the 2021 State Fair of Texas.
    • One FREE single-day bring-a-friend ticket (valid Monday-Friday only).
    • Access to all FREE headlining concerts on the Chevrolet Main Stage and 24 days of live music throughout the grounds.
    • One FREE Flip-a-Chick game on the Midway.
    • One 10% OFF coupon on State Fair gear at official merchandise stores located on the fairgrounds.
    • $5 off coupon when you purchase both a 2020 State Fair Cookbook and Best of Show Cookbook.
    • Available for purchase online at BigTex.com or at the gate.
  • Premium One-day Admission – Valid any day of the State Fair, choose the day you want to attend! ​— $24
    • One-day admission for any date of your choosing.
    • Available for purchase exclusively online at BigTex.com.
    • Two and Four pack combos for premium tickets and food and ride coupons are also available, starting at less than $100.
  • Monday through Thursday special – Enjoy all the fun of the Fair at a discounted price on weekdays! — $10-15
    • Adult daily one-day admission tickets are available for $15.
    • Senior and child daily one-day admission tickets are available for $10.
    • Tickets may be purchased online or at the gate.
    • Tickets are only valid for pre-selected date.

Special days with special admission

  • Opening Day – Friday, September 24
    • Bring two jars of peanut butter to donate to the North Texas Food Bank for a special promotion and receive $10 admission at the gate.
  • Dr Pepper Value Days – Every Tuesday and Thursday of the Fair
    • Purchase your admission ticket online for a reduced price of $10 on Dr Pepper Value Days. Fairgoers must be a Big Tex Insider to receive the promotion code, sign up now at BigTex.com/Insider.
  • North Texas Food Bank, Feed the Need – Every Wednesday of the Fair
    • By bringing five canned food items, fairgoers will receive admission for only $5. All canned donations go to the North Texas Food Bank, which helps feed members of the community.
  • Senior Day – Every Thursday of the Fair
    • Every Thursday, Senior citizens 65 years and older receive half price admission to the Fair, for only $5.

Deals to expect every day of the Texas Fair

The Texas Fair offers $10-$18 daily one-day admission for kids and seniors, with free admission for children ages two and younger. 

But after 5 p.m., every night of the week, visitors receive reduced general admission. Everyone is a kid at night at the Fair! No matter your age, all guests pay the child price after 5 p.m.

Discount coupons are available at participating McDonald’s locations throughout North Texas on tray liners and inside their meal bags. With this coupon, any fairgoer can save $5 off on weekdays and $7 off on weekends.

On Military Appreciation Day, all active military, retired military, and veterans save $5 off on weekdays and $7 off on weekends when they present valid documentation of military service at the gate or online. Spouses of service men and women with a valid Military Spouse ID and accompanying children under the age of 18 also receive discounted admission.

The State Fair would like to thank our country’s first responders with a day honoring various active and retired public law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency services agencies. All first responders can save $5 off on weekdays and $7 off on weekends when they present a valid badge or ID card from their department or organization at the gate or online, plus up to three discounted admission tickets for their family members.

And don’t forget about parking! Parking prices at the Texas Fair start at $20. 

The armadillo cookie butter ice cream sandwich by james barrera for the big tex choice awards! | courtesy of the state fair of texas

Texas Fair Guide: The Food

There is certainly a penchant for food vendors deep frying everything at the State Fair of Texas (and purists wouldn’t change that for the world).

However, it’s not all Corny Dogs and turkey legs. You can also find gourmet and international dishes at the Texas fair. Plus, the the entrants of this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards have gotten pretty creative with the unexpected year off!

  • Big Tex Choice Awards – This yearly competition pits the most creative dishes that State Fair concessionaires come up with, in sweet and savory categories. Sadly, this year’s competition will be closed to the public due to health and safety measures. But the Texas fair will be announcing its winners online!
  • Thrifty Thursdays – We love a deal! Guests can save while snacking during Thrifty Thursdays, where participating food vendors offer one of their signature menu items at a reduced price, ranging from certain regular-sized food to miniature versions of the fair’s classic treats.
  • State Fair Wine Garden – A gem for the adults, for sure! For every day of the fair, Texas’ best wines are gathered for all to taste; whether red or white, it’s all true to Texas. The Texas Monthly Stage is nestled in the center, with a performance schedule of local talent you can’t beat.
  • Celebrity Chef Kitchen – This is where some of the most beloved chefs in Texas gather for a show of kitchen tips, stellar dish prep and (the best part) free samples for lucky audience members. Official schedule forthcoming!
The texas star® ferris wheel… a texas fair staple! | wikimedia commons

Texas Fair Guide: The Rides

Located at The State Fair Midway, fairgoers will find endless games and more than 70 rides, including the iconic Texas Star® Ferris wheel, the 500-ft. Top o’ Texas Tower, and the 1914 Dentzel Carousel.

A few things to know before you head to the State Fair of Texas Midway:

  • You need State Fair Food & Ride Coupons to pay for Midway rides. These can be purchased at booths throughout the fairgrounds, or online.
  • The Kidway area features rides suitable for smaller children (think 2 years old and up).
  • You will need to purchase a Big Tex Game Card at a booth or kiosk in the area to play any of the games.

Also note: admission discounts extend to the Midway for Thrilling Tuesdays, with most rides offered at a reduced price on Tuesdays!


Head over to the State Fair of Texas website to find more information and purchase tickets! See y’all at the fair!

Jordan Jarrett

Jordan is the digital manager at Local Profile. She creates digital, print and social content. Her passion is profiling people and their experiences, connecting community through authentic narrative.