DFW News

State Fair of Texas Announces New Attractions, Entertainment Lineup, and Weekend Rodeos for 2024 Fair

By GLF Editors

The State Fair of Texas has announced the free entertainment lineup, with hundreds of activities spread throughout the fairgrounds during all 24 days of the State Fair, free with your admission ticket. Celebrating all things Texan is central to the State Fair’s nonprofit mission and providing entertainment that appeals to its diverse mix of fairgoers – for the music lovers singing their hearts out at every concert, the auto enthusiasts browsing the latest and greatest models at the Texas Auto Show, the families looking for educational exhibits infused with Fair fun, and everyone in between. 

The 2024 State Fair of Texas will kick off on Friday, September 27 and run through Sunday, October 20, 2024.

Here are the highlights for “24 Days of Fun” at the Most Texan Place on Earth!

What’s New and Not to Miss 

Known for featuring body-bending acrobats, humorous strongman acts, and more, the Fringe Stage is stacked with all-new performances for this year’s Fair. Prepare to be dazzled and delighted at the Billy Kidd Show, as she weaves her close-up magic, leaving audiences spellbound with every sleight of hand and mind-bending trick. With her charismatic charm and infectious energy, she’ll have you believing in the impossible and craving more. Don’t miss this captivating performance that will have you wondering, “how did she do that?” Billy Kidd joins the lineup on the Fringe Stage along with returning fan-favorites Mighty Mike, Sara Twister, and Street Circus

Cirque du Soleil and Universal Music Group Nashville are excited to present Songblazers.Two-step into the mesmerizing world of Cirque du Soleil’s newest US touring show in collaboration with Universal Music Group Nashville: An acrobatic and live musical performance showcasing the captivating artistry of Cirque du Soleil with the soul-stirring melodies of beloved country legends and contemporary stars. 

Delivering the perfect harmony of guitar grooves & breathtakin’ moves, y’all will be heel kickin’ your way through an unforgettable night of heartfelt stories, toe-tapping rhythms, and awe-inspiring aerial performances capturing the heart & soul of country music. Songblazers will be presented in partnership with Broadway Dallas and the State Fair of Texas at the Music Hall at Fair Park for 33 performances only from September 25 to October 20, 2024. EACH TICKET TO SONGBLAZERS WILL INCLUDE FREE ADMISSION TO THE FAIR. Visit www.broadwaydallas.org to purchase tickets and for more information.  

The Hall of State is one of the most celebrated focal points of Fair Park in Dallas. In the company of the Alamo and the state capital, the Hall of State is one of the most historic buildings in the entire state of Texas. During the 2024 State Fair of Texas, step into the Hall of State and witness a jaw-dropping spectacle as Guinness World Record-Holder Bryan Berg demonstrates his incredible card-stacking skills! Watch in awe as Bryan Berg the Card Stacker meticulously balances and builds towering Texas icons using only a deck of cards, defying gravity with every delicate placement. In addition, the Texana Collection: Selections from Pre-Colonial Spanish Texas through the Revolution (1720-1836) will on display inside the North Wing. The South Wing will showcase the Alamo diorama, which is the largest depiction of its kind at 336 square feet. The East Wing will showcase professionally framed and mounted flags from the Republic era of Texas (1836-1846) in the Vexillology of the Republic exhibit. 

In addition to the shows and exhibits, the State Fair’s live music lineup features more than 100 acts across three stages, playing all 24 days of the Fair. The Chevrolet Main Stage will host headlining performances from Jo Dee Messina, Bowling for Soup, Dasha, Jesse & Joy, the Commodores, and more. In addition, the Fair is entering its sixth year of partnership with State Fair Records, the East Dallas-based label that programs and produces the Bud Light Stage and Yuengling Flight Stage. With strong ties to local, regional, and statewide music scenes, State Fair Records continues to bring the very best the Lone Star State has to offer to the State Fair of Texas. The Yuengling Flight 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. 

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 of the State Fair, 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. Returning for a third year, the State Fair of Texas is proud to welcome back the Year-End Finale of the United Professional Rodeo Association (UPRA) to the Fair Park Coliseum this fall as part of the Fair’s rodeo lineup. In addition, the State Fair of Texas is proud to partner with the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) for the all-new ProRodeo Rough Stock Kickoff. See below for the entire rodeo lineup. 

Come see Cowboy Trey share his knowledge about the animals in the barns, along with how our food production system works at Farm and Fork University. This daily talk show-style presentation is an educational and enjoyable presentation to show how food in our supermarkets appears, more information on raising livestock, and your role in it all! 

Big Tex Urban Farms operates and donates produce to the local community year-round from the Errol McKoy Greenhouse on the Midway, and this year, we’re featuring more opportunities to hear from the farmers themselves on a variety of topics. Kick off your week with Micro(Green) Mondays – showcasing the growing system that produces thousands of microgreens – play Greenhouse Trivia, catch a live cooking demonstration using ingredients grown at the greenhouse, or watch as our team harvests donations for our local community.  

The Pint-Sized Parade is a must-see for families at the State Fair of Texas! Follow the charming Showstoppers characters along the parade route to the Hall of State steps, where they’ll put on a lively performance. This enchanting procession is packed with music, dance, and fun surprises, perfect for kids and parents alike. 

What’s Back and Better than Ever 

The wonders of the prehistoric era return to Fair Park for this year’s Dinosaurs at the Lagoon. Featuring 10 life-sized dinosaurs found in Texas, a kids’ play area, plenty of seating and dining options, and an expanded play area, the Dinosaurs at the Lagoon exhibit brings together State Fair fun with bilingual (English/Spanish) educational entertainment for the whole family. Be sure to snap your photo with the 57-foot-tall Alamosaurus! 

Mattress Firm’s Illumination Sensation returns with all new songs and attributes for its 25th year on the historic Esplanade! Set along a scenic reflecting pool, Mattress Firm Illumination Sensation combines fireworks and high-energy pop music with engaging performances from dancers and acrobats. This sensational production of synchronized pyrotechnics and special effects begins nightly at 8 p.m. 

Step into the culinary spotlight at the Creative Arts Cooking Demonstrations in the kitchen with Cutco, where our brand-new State Fair resident chef performs live demos daily at the State Fair of Texas. Watch as they craft mouthwatering dishes, share insider tips, and invite the audience to participate in an immersive gourmet experience like no other. From beginners to seasoned cooks, everyone can savor the excitement and take home culinary inspiration!  

Featuring over-the-top spectacular floats, the Kroger Starlight Parade will light up the Fair Park skyline. 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. This year, four new floats will glide through the fairgrounds, including a new coronation wagon. 

Fan Favorites Return 

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. 

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.    The Fringe Stage is bringing back three fan-favorite acts! A bender of horseshoes, juggler of bowling balls and sledgehammers, and all-around charmer, strongman 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. Next, world-renowned street performer Sara Twister brings her contortionist and archery skills to the Lone Star State. Featuring mind– and body-bending archery trick shots and plenty of comedy, this show has something for everyone in the family. Sara Twister will be offering a Spanish-speaking show on Sundays at 2:45 p.m. Last but not least, this husband-and-wife duo bring their acrobatic act to the Fair for the first time this year. Showcasing hand-to-hand acrobatics, hula hoops, handstands, contortion, comedy, and more, you won’t want to miss Street Circus

Two iconic football rivalries return to the Cotton Bowl Stadium field this year. On Saturday, September 28, the Grambling State University Tigers and the Prairie View A&M University Panthers kick off at 6:00 p.m. for another wild game and intense Battle of the Bands at halftime during the annual State Fair Classic

The Allstate Red River Rivalry between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the University of Texas Longhorns returns for the 95th consecutive neutral ground showdown with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff in Cotton Bowl Stadium on Saturday, October 12. However, as of 2024, the two esteemed schools are now housed under the NCAA Southeastern Conference (SEC), making for an even more anticipated matchup. 

These are just the highlights of the more than 100 daily activities you and your family receive free access to with admission to the 2024 State Fair of Texas. 

To start planning your visit and see the complete entertainment listing, visit BigTex.com/Attractions.Season passes are now available for purchase at BigTex.com/SeasonPass.

About the State Fair of Texas

Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with proceeds helping to preserve and improve our home, Fair Park; underwrite museums, community initiatives, and scholarship programs to support students throughout the Lone Star State pursuing higher education; and help improve State Fair operations. The 2024 exposition runs from September 27 through October 20 in Fair Park. Visit BigTex.com for more information.  

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