Plan your visit to the State Fair of Texas

Everything you need to know to get ready for the fair, which runs Sept. 29-Oct. 22.

By Norma Cavazos, The Dallas Morning NewsSeptember 29, 2023 10:45 am, ,

From KERA News:

Here’s what you need to know to plan your trip to the 2023 State Fair of Texas, as well as highlights from this week’s schedule. For more on the fair, visit Go See DFW.

DATES Sept. 29-Oct. 22.

HOURS Parking gates and ticket booths open daily at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. on Sept. 29). 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 A one-day ticket to the fair on Mondays through Thursdays costs $15 for general admission (ages 13-59) and $10 for kids (3-12) and seniors (60 and up). The price goes up to $20 for general admission and $15 for kids and seniors on Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays, tickets top out at $25 for general admission and $18 for kids and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at or at the gate. Group rates are available for parties of 25 or more. Discounts are available every day of the week.

COUPONS Food, games and rides inside the fairgrounds must be paid for with coupons. You can get them online at (sold in $50 packages to be picked up in person at the fair) or at kiosks inside the fairgrounds. Coupons are $1 each. They do not expire. Midway game cards with funds from 2022 or earlier can be exchanged at either of the fair’s guest relations locations (on the midway near the Top o’ Texas tower and in the Centennial Building) for food and midway coupons.


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 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 (Saturday-Sunday) at Haskell and Parry avenues.

RIDING DART Take the Green Line to Fair Park Station or MLK Jr. Learn more about taking DART to the State Fair here.

USING UBER, LYFT OR TAXIS The recommended rideshare drop-off and pickup area is off Haskell at 4206 Gurley Ave. The taxi stand is at the intersection of Pacific and Gurley avenues, just outside Gate 1.

Happening this week

OPENING DAY PARADE A parade through the fairgrounds steps off Sept. 29 at noon with marching groups and decorated floats. The official opening day ceremony takes place at 7 p.m. in front of the Hall of State.

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 Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Cotton Bowl. Game day concerts by CeeLo Green at 4 p.m. and Chrisette Michele at 8:30 p.m. take place on the Chevrolet Main Stage. Both concerts are free with the price of admission.

CELEBRITY CHEF KITCHEN Watch as top chefs from the Dallas area create dishes in the demo kitchen inside the Creative Arts building. Chefs appearing during the first week include Janice Provost of Parigi (Sept. 29 at 12:30 p.m.), Uno Immanivong of Red Stix Asian Street Food (Sept. 29 at 4:30 p.m.), Tim McLaughlin of Crossbuck BBQ and Smokehouse (Sept. 30 at 2:30 p.m.), Austin Davis of Grace (Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m.), Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate (Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m.), Mike Newton of Newton’s Saddlerack (Oct. 1 at 2:30 p.m.), David Peña of Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House (Oct. 2 at 11 a.m.), Aaron Staudenmaier of District (Oct. 2 at 4:30 p.m.), Carina Vazquez of Lubellas Patisserie (Oct. 3 at 2:30 p.m.), Larry Matson of Tyler Junior College (Oct. 3 at 4:30 p.m.), Luis Olvera of Trompo (Oct. 4 at 12:30 p.m.), Ray Skradzinski of Onesan (Oct. 4 at 4:30 p.m.), Darlene Walton of Rocking Texas Real Ranch (Oct. 5 at 12:30 p.m.), Mallorey Atkins of Cowgirl Chef (Oct. 5 at 2:30 p.m.) and Luke Rogers of Beckley 1115 (Oct. 5 at 4:30 p.m.).

RODEO Free rodeo action in Fair Park Coliseum takes place each weekend of the fair. On Sept. 29-30, catch the Big Tex Rodeo Series Championship at 6:30 p.m., and on Oct. 1, it’s a Mexican Rodeo Fiesta at 2 p.m.

STARLIGHT PARADE Lighted floats, costumed characters and life-size puppets wind through the fairgrounds every night at 7:15.

ILLUMINATION SENSATION Find a spot along the Esplanade and enjoy a display of dancing waters synchronized to high-energy music, pyrotechnics and special effects. The nightly show starts at 8.

The Go See DFW calendar is a partnership between KERA and The Dallas Morning News.

Norma Cavazos writes about fun things to do in Dallas-Fort Worth for The Dallas Morning News.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and KERA. Thanks for donating today.