Your Guide to the 2022 State Fair of Texas: Parking, tickets, fried food, more

·6 min read

The 2022 State Fair of Texas is set to start Sept. 30 and run through Oct. 23, marking its 136th year.

The State Fair of Texas is held annually in Dallas at the historic Fair Park, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986 after a century of hosting the fair.

Over 2.2 million people visited the fair in 2021 — nearly reaching its pre-pandemic total in 2019, which was over 2.5 million.

Whether this is your first State Fair of Texas or your annual tradition, here’s what to know for this year’s fair from ticket prices and value days to parking and featured fried food concoctions.

Carr Carothers and Katherine Carothers, 7, of Dallas dance during one of the many performances at the State Fair of Texas on Friday, September 24, 2021.
Carr Carothers and Katherine Carothers, 7, of Dallas dance during one of the many performances at the State Fair of Texas on Friday, September 24, 2021.

When is the State Fair of Texas open?

Gates open Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.

During the 24 days of the State Fair, parking gates and ticket booths will be open daily starting at 9 a.m.

State Fair of Texas hours of operation:

  • Sunday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

  • Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m., last entry time is 9 p.m.

State Fair of Texas tickets

Daily admission into the fair ranges from $15-$25 for adults depending on the day.

From Monday to Thursday tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 3 to 12. Those ages 60 and older are also $10 Monday through Wednesday and $5 on Thursday. Tickets for children ages 2 and under are free.

On Fridays, tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children and seniors. Saturday and Sunday tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for children and seniors.

Season passes are also available for $50, which includes day admission for all 24 days of the fair. A season pass combo includes two season passes along with $50 in food and ride coupons.

Season passes come with additional benefits including a free State Fair reusable bag and one free, single-day, “Bring-a-Friend” ticket which is valid Monday-Friday only.

If you plan to come with a group of 25 or more, purchase group tickets early for a discounted rate. Group ticket prices are $15 each for adults until Sept. 15, which grants a one-day admission for any of the 24 fair days. Group tickets purchased after Sept. 15 to the end of the fair cost $16 per person.

Tickets can be purchased at the State Fair’s ticket booth or online on the fair’s website.

Fair ride lights begin to glow as the sun sets on opening day of the State Fair of Texas on Friday, September 24, 2021.
Fair ride lights begin to glow as the sun sets on opening day of the State Fair of Texas on Friday, September 24, 2021.

State Fair of Texas deals

Any day discounts

One deal available throughout the week could save adults up to $7 depending on the day. Adults who visit the fair after 5 p.m. pay general admission child’s price for that day as part of a deal sponsored by Oncor. This deal is automatically applied at the gate or online.

Kroger customers can get $3 off premium one-day admission if they purchase State Fair tickets at their local store’s check-out counter or service desk.

Some North Texas McDonald’s locations will offer coupons on admission, giving $5 off Monday-Friday tickets and $7 off on Saturday-Sunday. One coupon is allowed per person and they cannot be combined with other discounts. These coupons can be found on tray liners and inside meal bags.

All active military members, retired military and veterans save $5 off Monday-Friday and $7 off on Saturday-Sunday when they present valid documentation of military service at the gate or online. A Military ID Card is an example of valid documentation of military service. This deal is valid for all 24 days of the fair.

Spouses of service members with a valid Military Spouse ID and accompanying children under the age of 18 also receive discounted admission.

First responders, such as active and retired law enforcement members, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency service members, also qualify for a discount throughout all 24 days of the fair. Tickets for first responders who present a valid badge or ID card at the gate or online can save $5 off Monday-Friday and $7 off on Saturday-Sunday.

Day-specific discounts

Opening Day Discount: Receive a $10 admission into the fair on opening day when you bring two jars of peanut butter to donate to the North Texas Food Bank.

Dr. Pepper Value Days: Admission tickets are $10 every Tuesday and Thursday during the fair when purchased online. Register for free as a Big Tex Insider to receive this promotion code.

North Texas Food Bank’s Feed the Need Wednesdays: Fairgoers who bring five canned food items on Wednesdays receive $5 admission. Food donations go to the North Texas Food Bank.

Senior Discount Days: Those ages 60 years and older get into the fair for $5 every Thursday.

Visitors attend opening day of the State Fair of Texas on Friday, September 24, 2021, in Dallas.
Visitors attend opening day of the State Fair of Texas on Friday, September 24, 2021, in Dallas.

Is parking free at the State Fair?

Parking is not free at State Fair of Texas specific lots, with spaces priced at $20 at official fair lots.

All fair parking lots are lit and located near pedestrian gates. Bicycle racks can be found inside Gates 5, 6 and 11 on a first come first served basis.

One convenient parking lot suggested by State Fair of Texas officials is through Gate 2, located at 925 S. Haskell, Dallas.

Can I take public transportation to the State Fair?

Yes, there are public transportation options available to get to the State Fair of Texas.

The DART Rail Green Line can take visitors to the fair from two stations, the Fair Park Station on 3710 Parry Ave. in Dallas or MLK, Jr. Station on 1412 S. Trunk Ave. in Dallas.

Tarrant County travelers can access the Green Line by taking the TRE to the Victory Station located at 2525 Victory Ave. in Dallas.

Fletcher’s Original Corny Dogs are one of the iconic food items at the State Fair of Texas.
Fletcher’s Original Corny Dogs are one of the iconic food items at the State Fair of Texas.

State Fair foods

Fried foods are nearly as synonymous with the State Fair of Texas as Big Texas or its iconic Ferris wheel.

Since 2005, the State Fair has held its “Big Tex Choice Awards” to decide on the top fair foods of the year. In previous years, creations like fried beer and fried peaches and cream have been recognized.

This year’s “Big Tex Choice Awards” food finalists are five savory and five sweet treat creations which include a fried lasagna and deep fried rocky road with ice cream.

[More: From fried to refreshing, check out this year’s 10 State Fair of Texas food finalists]

The winner is set to be announced Aug. 28 during a live-streamed event on the State Fair’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.

For first-timers and locals alike, an original Fletcher’s corny dog is among State Fair food must-haves.

Are pets allowed in the State Fair?

Pets are not allowed at the State Fair of Texas. Service animals are permitted and must be leashed or harnessed and not left unattended.