By Jessica Crabtree
When you hear State Fair of Texas what do you think? Maybe midway rides, Cotton Bowl game, Big Tex? You would be
right! But the State Fair of Texas is actually much more with a long-stemming history that dates back to the late 1800s.
The private corporation was established originally as the Dallas State Fair and Rodeo on Jan. 30, 1886. The brain child of a
group of Dallas businessmen, the State Fair was born after differences arose over location and sides were taken.
The Texas State Fair was to open Oct. 25, one day prior to the Dallas State Fair. Both shows proceeded, building facilities and
a race track. That fall, both attracted sizable crowds for their first show; however, revenue from the events failed to meet
expenses. The two rivals reunited in 1887 and voted to expand, purchasing 37 acres adjacent to the East Dallas site. Despite an
outstanding debt, the fair became known as the Texas State Fair & Dallas Exposition. To read more pick up the October 2015 issue of NTFR.