by Tricia White
The State Fair of Texas announced that more than one hundred activities are spread throughout the fairgrounds during all 24 days of the Fair, all free with your admission ticket. Celebrating all things Texan is central to the Fair’s mission and providing entertainment for all kinds of Texans – the thrill-seekers watching TX Stunt Jam over at the Xtreme Sports Zone, the crafty and creative Texans taking in the beauty of the hundreds of winners on display at the Creative Arts Building, the families looking for educational exhibits infused with Fair fun, and everyone in between – is integral to the Fair’s planning each year.
Below are the highlights for this year’s lineup, with the full lineup available on our website, BigTex.com/Attractions.
What’s New and Not to Miss
Featuring brand-new, over-the-top, spectacular floats, the Kroger Starlight Parade will light up the Fair Park skyline in all-new ways at this year’s Fair. Created by Kern Studios of New Orleans, this nightly parade wanders through the fairgrounds all 24 nights of the Fair, bringing a colorful assortment of floats, life-size puppets, animated characters in ornate costumes, and more. Don’t leave the Fair without witnessing this bold and bright procession!
Mat Ricardo: The Extraordinary Gentleman joins returning fan-favorite Mighty Mike on the Fringe Stage, located next to the Cotton Bowl and Creative Arts building. A unique one-person show featuring astonishing displays of skill and showmanship not seen since the heyday of vaudeville, Mat Ricardo is traveling across the pond to perform his seemingly impossible, elegantly spectacular, and occasionally death-defying tricks for State Fair of Texas’ guests.
Grab your kids and be ready to be amazed at Alléz-Oops with Rob and Miss Jane! It’s a bombastic bonanza of brilliant balancing and bonafide bravado! Married duo Rob and Miss Jane waltz on wine bottles, skip on stilts, and even tame the terrifying tiger baby. Catch this new and silly show in the Oak Farms Theater.
Pumping up the jams, the brand-new attraction Oontz Kids DJ Dance Party is sure to be a party for the kids while bringing R&R for the rest of the family. Join us at Howdy’s near the Children’s Aquarium for this showcase of kid DJs from DFW’s DJ school, OontzKids. While the kiddos dance and play the day away, parents can enjoy rest, food, and drink under the shade of historic oak trees.
Dust off your boots and join us in the historic Fair Park Coliseum for the return of the State Fair of Texas Rodeo. Every weekend, Friday through Sunday, witness the best of the best in the ring – whether it’s rounding up cattle as part of the State Fair of Texas Ranch Rodeo or celebrating the variety of culture in rodeo as part of the Mexican Rodeo Fiesta. New this year, the State Fair of Texas is proud to welcome the Year-End Finale of the United Professional Rodeo Association (UPRA) to the Fair Park Coliseum this October as part of the Fair’s rodeo lineup. See below for the entire rodeo lineup.
|Name of Event||Date(s)|
|Cowboys of Color||Friday, September 30 – Saturday, October 1|
|Mexican Rodeo Fiesta||Sunday, Oct. 2|
|Bull Riding||Friday, October 7|
|Bull Fighter’s Only||Saturday, October 8|
|State Fair of Texas Ranch Rodeo||Friday, October 14 – Saturday, October 15|
|UPRA Prelims||Tuesday, October 18 – Friday, October 21|
|UPRA Finals||Saturday, October 22|
Following an incredible playoff run, the Dallas Mavericks will host an exhibit at the Hall of State this year, titled “Mavs Vault”. Highlighting the remarkable history of our local NBA team, this exhibit will feature interactive experiences, never-before-seen historical artifacts, and more.
The African American Museum will display Facing the Rising Sun: Freedman’s Cemetery. Containing photographs, found objects, and historical documents that provide an insight into a community called Freedman’s Town and now known as Uptown, the exhibit features interactive video kiosks that allow visitors to see and hear from the people who knew Freedman’s Town first-hand. Also on display, The Souls of Black Folk: Selections from the Billy R. Allen Folk Art Collection and Decorative Arts Collectionfeatures one of the largest collections of African American folk art in the country.
The Continental DAR House is excited to feature “Stars and Stripes Forever” as one of the new exhibits during the 2022 State Fair of Texas. The exhibit will focus on the 245th anniversary of the June 14, 1777 Flag Resolution designating the design of our nation’s flag to be “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union is thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation,” and it will include the history and variations of the flag throughout the years. The exhibit will also recognize the 35th anniversary of the 1987 act of Congress, designating John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” as the official National March.
What’s Back and Better than Ever
Combining agricultural education with real-world demonstrations, the Majesty of the Horse is back with even more examples to showcase equine beauty. Join renowned horseman Jerry Diaz and his family for an intimate presentation displaying the majesty and beauty of the horse. The exhibition includes multiple breeds of horses and showcases their unique color, size, and purpose.
Mundo Latino brings their awe-inspiring exhibit, “Día de Los Muertos,” celebrating the rich history and significance of the Day of the Dead. This experience will entertain fairgoers and explore the cultural significance of the holiday by featuring art installations and live painting.
The lives of the party return with two new characters you might recognize – Showstoppers will take over the Hall of State steps again this year. Giant inflatable characters, now including Little Big Tex and Champ, entertain guests of all ages with their wild antics. Saddle up for a front row, and you might get roped into being a part of the show.
Country Round-up, the puppet show created exclusively for the State Fair of Texas, returns for the second year to the Dr. Pepper Midway Stage with new tricks up its sleeve. Hee-haw meets America’s Got Talent in this animatronic and manual puppet show.
Fan Favorites Return
If you’re ready for some dog-gone fun, you’re in luck! The All-Star Stunt Dog Show returns to Marine Corps Square for this year’s Fair. Offering the world’s first and original “stunt dog show,” audiences of all ages will be captivated by amazing canine tricks you have to see to believe! The All-Star Stunt Dog Show dogs have performed across the country, including appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Oprah Winfrey Show. All the dogs have been rescued from shelters and trained to showcase their unique talents.
Joining the All-Star Stunt Dog Show in Marine Corps Square, the Pig Races make their debut outside this year. Dressed in fetching racing silks, the wiggly piglets run the course four times a day. Don’t miss this fan favorite!
Join us over at the Fringe Stage with strongman Mighty Mike. A bender of horseshoes, juggler of bowling balls and sledgehammers, and all-around charmer, Mighty Mike’s funny performance showcases strongman strength techniques dating back to the 1920s and, dare we say, questionable dance routines. Audience members will laugh the entire show but also leave motivated and inspired by the culture of the old-time strongman.
A family-friendly experience presented by McDonald’s, “¡Fiestas de Marionetas!” is one of this year’s not-to-miss shows. Surrounded by lights and beautiful landscaping, a small village of more than 85 handmade marionettes come to life to celebrate a fiesta of color, culture, and creativity. Be sure to stick around for the backstage tour and craft activity after the show. Come check it out yourself with daily performances at the McDonald’s Amphitheater on First Avenue.
World of Birds presents: SOAR!, an iconic fan favorite, rings the aviary world up-close to the audience with bird releases from the Texas Star Ferris wheel and flyovers just inches from guests’ heads. “SOAR!” is also filled with a wealth of knowledge regarding bird health, habitat information, and conservation efforts worldwide. Experience the spectacular show daily at the Band Shell.
Two iconic football rivalries return to the Cotton Bowl field this year. On Saturday, October 1, Grambling State University and Prairie View A&M University kick-off at 6:00 p.m. for another wild game and intense Battle of the Bands at halftime during the State Fair Classic. The AT&T Red River Showdown between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas returns for the 93rd consecutive neutral ground showdown at the Bowl on Saturday, October 8.
With three live music stages showcasing more than 90 acts, the Fair has a concert for everyone. The Chevrolet Main Stage will host headlining performances from Trace Adkins, Ashanti, Fitz & The Tantrums, Night Ranger, La Mafia, and more. The Bud Light Stage and Yuengling Stage highlight local and regional acts on the rise. The Yuengling Stage will also feature live stand-up as part of Deep Fried Comedy on Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. You can find the complete listing of live music at the Fair at BigTex.com/livemusic.
These are just the highlights of the more than one hundred daily activities you and your family receive free access to at the 2022 State Fair of Texas.
To start planning your visit and see the complete entertainment listing, visit BigTex.com/Plan.
Season passes are now available for purchase at BigTex.com/SeasonPass.
The 2022 State Fair of Texas will kick off on Friday, September 30 and runs through Sunday, October 23, 2022.