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The massive and iconic ferris wheel at the State Fair of Texas

What to Expect at the 2021 Texas State Fair

Posted at Fri, Jul 30, 2021 12:00 PM

The State Fair of Texas is back after a hiatus in 2020, and it will include thrilling rides, great music, and more. This year's theme is a “Howdy Folks!” from the popular 55-foot cowboy, Big Tex. The 2021 Texas State Fair's commemorative artwork features Big Tex waving to a happy crowd with the Texas Star — the fair's iconic Ferris wheel — in the background. The fair is at historic Fair Park in Dallas, and it starts on September 24. It will be open until October 17. Here's some more information about the fun attractions you can expect at the 2021 Texas State Fair.


For the first time in over 30 years, you can enjoy rodeos every weekend night at the Fair Park Coliseum. Admission is free with your ticket to the Texas State Fair, and you can see bull and bronco riding, livestock shows, and more. Here's the schedule for the 2021 rodeo:

  • September 24 to 25: Cowboys of Color Rodeo.
  • September 26: Mexican Rodeo Celebration.
  • September 29: State Fair of Texas Youth Rodeo.
  • September 30 to October 2: United Professional Rodeo Association Texas Finals.
  • October 8 to 9: Bull Buckin' Weekend.
  • October 15 to 16: State Fair of Texas Ranch Rodeo.

The Ranch Arena

You can also see some fun shows at the Ranch Arena. The Pee Wee Stampede & Rodeo lets kids from 4 to 8 years old participate in a mock rodeo. While the crowd cheers, the kids race on stick horses and bulls and provide an entertaining show.

The Majesty of the Horse showcases the color, size, purpose, and other characteristics of several breeds of horses, and the Dallas Police Department's Mounted Unit will demonstrate training techniques and perform a series of impressive maneuvers with their equine partners. The Mounted Unit stays at Fair Park all year, and officers will be there to meet people and answer questions.

The Hall of State

The Hall of State, originally called the State of Texas Building, was built for the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936. It's one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in Texas, and it's on the National Register of Historic Places. It also became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1981. During this year's fair, the Hall of State will host “Our State Fair: 135 Years of the State Fair of Texas,” an exhibit celebrating the event's history in Fair Park. It will include many artifacts from the State Fair's archives.

You can also see an exhibit about the history of the Junior League of Dallas (JLD) sponsored by the JLD and the Dallas Historical Society. It will celebrate the JLD's 100th anniversary and focus on the history of the League and its impact on Dallas. The JLD promotes volunteering, helps improve the community, and develops the potential of women. It's one of the biggest nonprofit organizations in Dallas, and it has almost 5,000 members. The Hall of State permanently hosts the American Museum of the Miniature Arts and the Hall of Heroes, six bronze statues of Texas heroes.

Great Football

The Cotton Bowl Stadium is in the middle of Fair Park, and the State Fair Classic will be on September 25. The Grambling State Tigers will play against the Prairie View A&M Panthers. On October 9, you can see the AT&T Red River Showdown with the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners.

Art and Cooking Contests

In the Creative Arts building, you can see the latest winners of several contests. View artwork, crafts, culinary creations, and more. The Cutco Celebrity Chef Kitchen hosts cooking demonstrations by some of the best chefs in the state, and you can try free samples. You can also see a butter sculpture that weighs more than 1,000 pounds and depicts the fair's “Howdy Folks!” theme.

At the Oak Farms Theater in the same building, kids up to 8 years old can participate in the Backyard Circus by dressing as performers and taking part in a show. They can also see the World of Magic, a magic show with a floating robot.

The Chevrolet Main Stage

The concerts on the Chevrolet Main Stage are free, and you can enjoy a variety of genres, including country, hip-hop, and rock. Here are the headliners who will perform in 2021:

  • Clay Walker: September 24 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Dru Hill: September 25 at 2 p.m.
  • Black Pumas: September 25 at 8:30 p.m.
  • La Energia Nortena: September 26 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Little Joe & La Familia: September 30 at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Shinyribs: October 1 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Kevin Fowler: October 2 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Grand Funk Railroad: October 3 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Mike and the Moonpies: October 8 at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Jack Ingram: October 9 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Bill Engvall: October 9 at 8:20 p.m. 
  • Sugar Ray: October 10 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Le Freak: October 11 at 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  • Kraig Parker: October 15 at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Charley Crockett: October 16 at 8:30 p.m.
  • The Last Bandoleros: October 17 at 3:00 p.m.

Other Stages

The massive and iconic ferris wheel at the State Fair of Texas

Texas State Fair Ferris Wheel” licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 by chasqui

People can listen to live music at several stages throughout the fair. At the Bud Light Stage in Cotton Bowl Plaza, you can see shows at 2:30, 4:30, and 6:30 p.m. On weekends, there's also a show at 8:30 p.m. The Texas Monthly Stage is at the State Fair Wine Garden, so you can enjoy an extensive selection of wine while you listen. Most shows will be at 2:30, 4:30, 6:30, and 8:30 p.m.

The Texas Auto Show

The Texas Auto Show is the largest show for new cars in the Southwest. In the Automotive Building, you can check out the latest versions of your favorite Fords and other vehicles. It's an ideal place to shop for your next ride. If you're looking for a truck, check out the outdoor Truck Zone. People who enjoy classic cars can explore the Centennial Building. It has everything from Model Ts to Mustangs.

After you check out the new cars at the Texas Auto Show and enjoy the other attractions at the Texas State Fair, head to Planet Ford Dallas for a great deal on your favorite ride. We offer an extensive inventory, and our friendly staff are happy to answer all your questions.

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