To experience the State Fair of Texas ’s sacred trinity you’ll need to 1) eat a corny dog while 2) watching the University of Texas vs. University of Oklahoma football game in the shadow of 3) Big Tex. Throw in some fried Twinkies and the country’s tallest Ferris wheel, and you have a cultural legacy befitting of the Lone Star State.
This venerable autumn event—usually held the first three weeks of October—has been a Texas tradition since 1886, and during that time, it has experienced as many ups and downs as the old Comet roller coaster.
One of the highest peaks was in 1936, when Fair Park  served as the site of Texas’s mammoth state centennial celebration, featuring science exhibits with items made from a crazy new product called “plastic.” The event’s edible fare is another custom, with bizarre fried items like cookies, candy bars, and even ice cream drawing people to brazenly sample the newest concoction.
For many, Big Tex is the ultimate representative of the State Fair of Texas . Brought on board in 1952, the big fella is a 52-foot-tall mechanical cowboy figure at the entrance of Fair Park  who welcomes visitors with a huge “Howdy, folks!” Big Tex was originally a Santa Claus in Kerens, Texas, and was purchased for $750. After outfitting him with size 70 boots and a 75-gallon hat, Big Tex was transformed into the beloved Texas-sized ambassador for the State Fair of Texas.