The State Fair of Texas may be canceled, but 55 feet of fun is still making an appearance as Big Tex took his usual post on the fairgrounds, for the 68th year.
He returned to his spot around 10 a.m. Wednesday, complete with a seven foot wide face mask.
In addition to drive-through offerings, the usual craft competitions (with some pandemic-related twists), and more, the State Fair has a few more tricks up its sleeve.
For instance, a special version of the Big Tex Choice Awards for 2020 – Fair Food Madness: Big Tex Choice Awards Championship. Exclusive to this year, the competition will take place entirely online. With the first of five voting rounds opening this week on BigTex.com/Madness, Fair fanatics will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite previous Big Tex Choice Awards winners as they face off in randomized bracket matchups.
Since 2005, the Big Tex Choice Awards contest has solidified the State Fair of Texas as the top Fair for great food creations. Each year, State Fair concessionaires dream up tasty and unique foods, then bring them to life for a chance to become a finalist in the annual Big Tex Choice Awards food competition. The 2020 Big Tex Choice Awards will be a showdown of the previous 32 winners – bringing together some of the best tasting and most creative concoctions we’ve seen in this contest’s 15-year history. Although they have each won awards for best taste or most creative – only one will be crowned the champion.
The winner of the Fair Food Madness: Big Tex Choice Awards Championship will be announced October 13 on the State Fair Facebook page.
The State Fair of Texas is also offering the fair experience from home.
State Fair of Texas from Home is a curated collection of fun-filled virtual events celebrating Texas, downloadable Fair activities for Little Lone Stars, and all-new digital and video content, allowing you and your family to celebrate all your favorite traditions at the Fair – and create new ones – from your home.
The State Fair of Texas from Home includes:
- Big Tex Cooking School: Learn how to make some of your favorite fried delicacies at home from the experts themselves – with the items already in your pantry! This weekly video series will feature a new State Fair of Texas concessionaire each week, walking you through how to make your fried food fix from home. Episodes will be released weekly, starting Monday, September 21.
- Blue Ribbon Selection Tasting Series: The Fair has teamed up with Texas wine experts to curate a mixed case of wines that showcase the variety, quality, and value of Texas wines. Join the weekly virtual discussions and tastings with wine makers to learn about the Texas wine industry. The virtual tastings are free, and you do not have to purchase the wine to participate. Registration for the virtual tastings will open on Monday, September 21.
- Texas Cheese Tasting with Scardello Artisan Cheese: The Fair has teamed up with Scardello Artisan Cheese to explore Texas cheeses through a series of virtual tastings. Participants can sign up for the class, pick up the selected cheese and accompaniments the day of the class at Scardello’s location in Dallas, and tune in at 6 p.m. on Facebook. Classes are $30 per person and will be held on October 8 and October 15.
- Online Texas Auto Show: Celebrate the highest attended auto show in the nation – virtually. See all the new cars manufacturers have to offer. Coming soon to TexasAutoShow.BigTex.com.
- Online Shopping Guide: Shop all your favorite exhibitors with our online shopping guide and get deals from the comfort of your couch!
- Discover the Errol McKoy Greenhouse and Big Tex Urban Farms: Big Tex Urban Farms is a mobile agriculture system in the heart of Fair Park that provides fresh produce to the surrounding South Dallas community, which is known as a food desert. In this virtual tour, you’ll learn about hydroponic farming and mobile agriculture – all within the Errol McKoy Greenhouse, located on the Midway.
- Explore Creative Arts: See the crafty winners of the 2020 arts and crafts contests! This tour will be revealed on BigTex.com and the State Fair of Texas’ YouTube channel following the announcement of the winners on Friday, September 25.
- Ride the Texas Star: Take a virtual ride on the iconic Texas Star Ferris wheel. Bonus points: you can take a ride, even if you’re scared of heights!
- Ride the Top o’ Texas Tower: Explore the Dallas Skyline from 500 feet in the air with this virtual ride. Fun fact: did you know the Top o’ Texas Tower is the Guinness World Record holder for “Most Slender Tower”?
- Create-your-own Fair Kits: These kits include everything you need to host your own creative arts and livestock contests, and even have a bit of Midway fun!
- Little Lone Stars Activity Packets: The inaugural year of the Big Tex Little Lone Stars Club kicked off earlier this summer, and you can relive all your favorite Fair-related activities, coloring sheets, and fun facts about the Lone Star State and Big Tex himself!
- State Fair Digital Puzzles: You can piece together some Fair fun with these digital puzzles! The Fair used the theme artwork from the years 2015 through 2020 for the puzzles, which makes for a perfect trip down Fair memory lane.