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‘Howdy, Folks!’ State Fair of Texas to return with jello shots and Black Pumas

Big Tex presides over the State Fair of Texas in Dallas' Fair Park. After the pandemic canceled it last year, the fair will take place this fall from Sept. 24 to Oct. 17.

It’s been nearly two years since folks have gathered at Fair Park in Dallas to devour funnel cakes, admire flashy cars and gaze up at the iconic 55-foot tall Big Tex. This fall, they’ll be able to once again — the State Fair of Texas is coming back.

The annual fair, which dates back to 1886, will take place from Sept. 24 through Oct. 17. This year’s theme is “Howdy, Folks!” State Fair of Texas president Mitchell Glieber said in a statement that the theme “encompasses the foundation of what the fair is all about — being together.” 

READ: The country’s favorite fair foods, region by region

“We’re excited to make up for lost time and help families and friends from all walks of life reconnect again, while making new memories to last a lifetime,” Glieber said.

Last year, the in-person fair was cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead of eating fried food at Fair Park, would-be attendees had the option to stream corn dog and funnel cake cooking tutorials from their living rooms. Big Tex still loomed over Fair Park, but for the first time in his 68-year history, he wore a mask

This fall, according to the Dallas Morning News, his mask is coming off. 

Fairgoers can look forward to bull riding, vegetable carving and Día de los Muertos activities. Food offerings will include Cajun crab bombs, deep fried waffles and jalapeño and champagne jello shots, and attendees will hear loads of live music, including performances from Austin’s Black Pumas and Mike and the Moonpies.

In a press release, fair organizers said the “health and safety of all fairgoers, vendors, and team members remains our top priority.” The fair will adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as local, state and federal officials.

Season passes are on sale now. Daily tickets will go on sale Sept. 9.