As the lights and sounds of the Midway come to an end for the 2022 State Fair of Texas, the memories made on the grounds during the Fair this year continue to echo throughout Fair Park. This year’s Fair was filled with exciting new attractions, educational opportunities ranging from a livestock birthing barn to museum exhibits exploring different cultures, live music across three stages, gathering members of the community together through events, and endless amounts of fair food, rides, and family fun. The 2022 State Fair of Texas welcomed nearly 2.5 million people through the gates during its 24-day run.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Fair aims to support the community, both locally and statewide. The proceeds from the Fair are used to preserve and improve Fair Park; underwrite community initiatives, support scholarship programs for students throughout the Lone Star State pursuing higher education, and Fair Park’s museums; and help improve State Fair operations. The annual State Fair of Texas serves as the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year – a successful 24-day run for the Fair means more support for Fair Park and the surrounding community.
“At its core, the State Fair of Texas is about community,” said State Fair of Texas President, Mitchell Glieber. “There is nothing more fulfilling for our team than seeing folks from all walks of life gather together and mutually share and enjoy the Fair. Thanks to our fairgoers visiting, we are able to fulfill our nonprofit mission of supporting agriculture, education, and community involvement year-round.”
Serving as our largest fundraiser of the year, the 2022 State Fair of Texas proved to make a difference in more ways than we can count. Below are just a few of the noteworthy successes from this year’s exhibition:
- The State Fair of Texas welcomed nearly 2.5 million fairgoers through the gates.
- The all-new Kroger® Starlight Parade featured brand-new floats which illuminated the fairgrounds each night, with more than 1,000 riders adorning the floats during 25 processions.
- More than 58,000 people enjoyed the return of 13 performances of the State Fair of Texas Rodeo presented by United Ag & Turf in the historic Fair Park Coliseum – the home of the Original National Finals Rodeo.
- Nearly 450 folks volunteered to support the Feed the Need promotion raising 280,000 pounds of canned food items at the State Fair gates, which equates to 336,000 meals for the North Texas Food Bank to serve the community this fall. This equates to roughly 80,000 more pounds of food donated from last year.
- More than 20,000 first responders and their families visited the Fair over 24 days, utilizing the special discount offer in gratitude for their service.
- More than 55,000 members of the military and their families visited the Fair over 24 days, utilizing the special discount offer in gratitude for their service.
- Big Tex celebrated his 70th birthday on Monday, October 4. The day was filled with celebrations throughout the fairgrounds, including a 9-foot by 4-foot birthday cake from Kroger shared with fairgoers in Big Tex Circle, Dr Pepper® and Blue Bell® Ice Cream Floats, a celebrity chef cooking demonstration, a singalong with Coffey Anderson, and a cookie happy hour with Chevrolet®.
- More than 550,000 Visitor’s Guides were handed out, informing fairgoers of all the Fair fun they can enjoy during their visit.
- The State Fair welcomed 35 new shopping booths this year.
- Approximately 583,000 Fletcher’s Corny Dogs were sold during the 24-day run of the State Fair of Texas.
- More than 1.9 million free admission tickets were given to students throughout North Texas. In addition, more than 280,000 teachers received a voucher for free admission.
- Community members got crafty with 9,823 entries in the Fair’s Creative Arts competitions. More than 3,800 ribbons were awarded to folks celebrating their creativity this year.
- The State Fair’s cooking contests featured 2,166 participants from across the state.
- During the third year of the Lone Star Music Series, more than 70 Texas music artists performed throughout the grounds.
- More than 900 admission tickets were donated to local nonprofit organizations for the community to enjoy the Fair.
- Mundo Latino’s ‘Día de los Muertos’ exhibit featured a total of 25 altars, honoring the memory of loved ones.
- The Fair’s livestock and agricultural events hosted a total of more than 16,000 livestock entries.
- Fair animals consumed more than 24,000 pounds of hay during the run of the Fair’s livestock shows and events.
- On Friday, October 7, the 74th Annual Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction raised a record-breaking $1.9 million for youth livestock exhibitors.
- The Grand Champion Market Steer of the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction was sold to the Big Tex Champion Club for $130,000.
- The Big Tex BBQ & Chili Challenge made its triumphant return to Fair Park, featuring 84 chili cooks.
- More than 166,000 rides were taken on the iconic Texas Star Ferris wheel.
- Ag Awareness Day gathered 166 chapters of 4-H, FFA, and FCCLA to participate in the canned food drive, donating more than 28,500 pounds of food to the North Texas Food Bank.
- Seven concessionaires joined the Tex Team community this year, bringing our total number of food and beverage concessionaires to 88.
- More than 240 people were involved in several community events sponsored by the community affairs team of the State Fair of Texas, which were held throughout the 24-day run.
- More than 90,000 pounds of pure cane sugar was used to make State Fair Cotton Candy during the Fair.
- Fairgoers joined 100 celebrity chefs who brought their culinary creations to the Celebrity Chef Demo Kitchen.
- The Big Tex Contact Center answered more than 13,000 calls from fairgoers during the run of the Fair.
- More than 430,000 plush prizes, valued at over $1.47 million, were won on the State Fair Midway.
- The Fair hosted the Fifth Annual Juanita Craft Humanitarian Awards, honoring six individuals following in Mrs. Craft’s footsteps, making a positive impact in their community and in civil rights efforts.
- So far in 2022, Big Tex Urban Farms has donated more than 13,500 pounds of fresh produce. This equates to 147,395 servings of fresh produce donated to the South Dallas/Fair Park community. Since inception in 2016, the Farms has donated more than 99,000 pounds – equal to more than 1,076,000 servings.
- One Guinness World Record was broken: resident strongman Mighty Mike juggled three 10-pound bowling balls for 20 seconds, breaking the world record.
- The Livestock Birthing Barn celebrated 60 animal births throughout the run of the Fair.
- More than 146,000 fans were in attendance for the State Fair Classic and the AT&T Red River Showdown, at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium during the Fair.
- More than 1,000 flags were placed on the memorial’s panels at the Texas Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial to honor those Texas veterans who sacrificed their lives during the Vietnam War.
- Free concerts were once again held on the Chevrolet Main Stage, with Ashanti, La Fiera de Ojinaga, Trace Adkins, Night Ranger, and La Mafia drawing the largest crowds.
- More than 12.7 million kernels of popcorn were popped in 24 days at the Pioneer Kettle Korn stand.
- More than 11,000 pieces of pyrotechnics were used during the nightly Mattress Firm Illumination Sensation fireworks show.
- More than 131,000 people visited the Hall of State to enjoy two exhibits, Mavs Vault and 100 Years, 100 Stories: 100th Anniversary of the Dallas Historical Society.
- Forty-seven events were hosted at the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center throughout the Fair’s 24-day run.
- With approximately 90% of fairgoers visiting the Auto Show, the 2022 Texas Auto Show attracted more than 2.16 million fairgoers throughout the 24-day run.
- Eleven electric vehicles were on display during this year’s Texas Auto Show, which featured all-new models from 13 various auto manufacturers.
- More than forty dogs found their forever homes through the DFW Rescue Me booth.
- In 2022, the Fair awarded more than $1.2 million in new college scholarships to more than 200 students throughout the Lone Star State.
- With college applications right around the corner, the Fair encourages eligible high school seniors and seasonal employees to go online to BigTex.com/Scholarship and apply now for a 2023 Big Tex college scholarship.
While the above facts and figures provide an overview of what could be summarized from the 2022 State Fair of Texas, what is not quantified is the number of lifelong memories fairgoers and their families, our vendors, and our staff made throughout the 24-day run. The State Fair of Texas is honored to be an integral part of the year for so many families, and we hope y’all will join us again next year for the 2023 State Fair of Texas, running in historic Fair Park from Friday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.