Texas State Fair – 14-15 OCT 2011

It has been my desire to visit the Texas State Fair, ever since I saw Ann-Margret and Pat Boone in the movie “State Fair” (1962). Rob joined me and TW in Dallas and we DID the Fair. First stop Big Tex.
He’s 52 feet tall, wears a size 70 boot, 75 gallon hat and 284W x 185L pants.
He was originally a Santa Claus in Kerens, Texas when he was created in 1949. In 1951 he was sold to The State Fair of Texas and the conversion was completed in 1952, but it took another year before he talked.
Year around this 277 acre park is home to the Music Hall, the Cotton Bowl and several museums.
Fair Park is a National Historic Landmark and boasts the largest collection of art deco exposition buildings in the U.S.
They were built in 1936, as part of the World’s Fair celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Texas Republic.
It is the only intact and unaltered pre-1950 world fair site remaining in the U.S.
The beautiful calf below, a future milking cow, belongs to a Garland FFA High School student who does not come from a farm family and was introduced to farming at school where they have a boarding program for city kids to house their animals.
Boris The Champion Big Boar: 1196 pounds, 6 yrs old 
Signage: “Acrobatic Tricks: Smile and wave (with his ears) at passing fair goers, Wag his tail with excitement, Lie Down, Sleep for long periods of time, Eat 20 pounds of feed per day, Oink whenever he feels like it.”
Second Day
They also had displays of cats, dogs and rabbits. Going to the Children’s Barnyard to pet the baby animals, this is what we found:
Kangaroo with Joey (not pet-able)
Sicilian Donkey (Sicily)
Zebra (Africa)
African Spur-Thigh Desert Tortoise (did not pet)
This tortoise can live as long as 200 years.
Dromedary - Arabian one humped camel
They have been domesticated as beasts of burden longer than any other mammals. They can live as long as 28 years.
Bactrian Camels - Asian two humped camel 
Some Bactrian Camels still roam wild in the Gobi Desert. Also used as beasts of burden; they eat hay and grain.
Jacob 4-Horned Sheep
Rob greets an Alpaca (South America)
Llama (South America)
Ostrich (Africa) (did not pet)
Emu (Australia) (did not pet)
Scottish Highland Cattle
He was so cute and soft. This breed was established as far back as the 12th century.
African Crested Porcupine (not pet-able)
Eland (Africa)
This is the largest antelope, up to 6 feet tall and can weigh almost a ton.
Bison (American)
Miniature Zebu (Africian cattle)
Longhorn Cattle (North America)
Nilgal (India)
Patagonian Cavy (South America) (did not pet)
Oryx (South America)
After petting domestic and exotic animals, we were floating on a natural high. I touched a zebra and a bison!
John Deere display…the toy store had more equipment.
Everyone said we had to have a Fletcher Corny dog. They were invented for the Fair, in 1942, that’s 3 years before Springfields’ Cozy dogs. (http://travelswithauntiem.blogspot.com/2011/06/cozy-dog-drive-in-25-may-2011.html) 
This Fair has everything fried. The deep fried things we didn’t try: Alligator, Bacon, Butter, Beer Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Salsa, Autumn Pie, Hans’ Kraut Ball, Bubblegum. The deep fried things we did try: Fletcher Corny Dog, Guacamole, Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Fritters.
The first Texas State Fair was held here in 1886.
There was lots of free entertainment; we saw: Billy Roy’s One Man Band, Kildares (a Celtic rock band), World on a String  (above), and Cirque Shanghai (below). 
Drive4COPD Monument
Lots of Police stands and foot patrols, kept the peace.
Reliant Starlight Parade
Butter Sculpture
Origami out of dollar bills
Besides having a full size Auto Show, they had a Classic Coral...where these beauties were behind an actual coral type fence.
After dark, we took two rides, the Texas Star Ferris Wheel and the Skyway. 
At 212 feet, the Texas Star is the tallest amusement ride in the Western Hemisphere. It has 44 gondolas which can seat 6 passengers each. 
The couple who shared our ride just got engaged…it was the third year anniversary of their first date, which was at the Fair.
View from the Skyway
The Skyway is an aerial track that stretches 1,800 feet between the Midway and Big Tex.
When these gentlemen got into our gondola, I said something that made everyone laugh and we were cracking jokes and laughing all the way to the end, where I asked them to pose with TW. They said it was the best ride they ever had.
There was a large pond with duck-shaped paddle-boats and off to the side were several turtles sunning themselves. We saw some wonderful art in the many museums we visited and  then had to lay down for a rest and just enjoyed the trees.
Steve Martin's free-flight Birds of the World show was very impressive:
The birds flew out across the audience.
The parrot on the left could sing Old McDonald Had a Farm.
Immature Bald Eagle
This one is about two years old; they get their white heads around age five.
At the end of the show you could have one of two birds take your donation and put it in the box.
One of the museums had a butterfly statuary:
Small Postman
Zebra Longwing
Queen
Owl Butterfly
As we were leaving the fair, we stopped to check out the pig races…where piglets run snout-to-snout, once around a small track. The do it three times, each with a different team of cleverly named contestants such as Arnold Swinenegger the Haminator, Ashton Porkner, Van Hamstel, Tom Shanks, Lindsay Loham, Kermit the Hog, Miss Piggy…fun way to end our two day adventure!