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It ain't cheap: Here's how to save some money at the State Fair of Texas

The state fair is back! The big event is hoping to rebound from huge losses last year.

DALLAS — Big Tex is back in his wrinkle free duds. He’s going to have to be a working cowboy this year to rustle up a recovery from the 2020 state fair, which COVID-19 turned into a much less fun drive-thru event that lost a lot of revenue. Instead of making money like usual, a report shows $20,398,186 came out of Big Tex’s big pockets.

Plan your fair visit with discounts in mind

If you’re trying to protect your pocket, daily admission tickets are much less expensive Mondays through Thursdays; you can save more than 40%. On those days, adult tickets drop from $25 to $15, and children tickets fall from $18 to $10.

If you still have unused food and ride coupons from last year or any year, you can use them this year. 

If you like the midway, think Tuesdays. That’s when they offer some reduced ride prices. And Thursdays are best for gluttony. That’s when you can find special food pricing at the fair.

Speaking of which, a study several years ago found the economic impact of this annual event is up to a half-billion dollars. This fair feeds the local economy.

Special deals

  • If you're over 60 years old, every Thursday you can get half price admission to the Fair for $5
  • Bring five canned food items, you can get admission for $5. All canned donations go to the North Texas Food Bank.
  • Every Tuesday and Thursday, you can get your ticket online for only $10 on Dr Pepper Value Days. You have to be a Big Tex Insider to receive the promotion code, sign up now at BIGTEX.COM/Insider
  • After 5 p.m. on any night of the week, general admission is reduced! No matter your age, all guests pay the child price after 5 p.m.
  • McDonald's coupons: Check out those coupons on tray liners and inside meal bags. With these coupons, you can save $5 off on weekdays M-F and $7 off on Saturday and Sunday!
  • Is your family active military, veterans or retired? Save $5 off on weekdays and $7 off on Saturdays and Sundays when you show valid documentation of military service at the gate or online. Spouses and children also get a special deal.
  • First responders: All first responders can save $5 off on weekdays and $7 off on Saturdays and Sundays when they show a valid ID or badge.

Go here to see all the discounts available at the State Fair.

That's a whole lot of corny dogs!

Fletcher’s Corny Dogs is one amazing example. The legendary food vendor survives—and thrives—year-round because of what happens in just 24 days at Fair Park. 

The goal this year, Amber Fletcher says, “500,000 corny dogs in 24 days”. 

If they sell that many at $7 each, they’ll make $3.5 Million—on corny dogs! 

Fletcher comes to an obvious conclusion, “I think we’ll stick with it”. It is a remarkable business success story made possible by the State Fair of Texas. 

When the now iconic booth first opened at the fair many years ago, a good year of sales was 1/438th of what they expect to hit this year, “So, in 1942 the fair was 17 days and we did $8,000 worth of corny dogs”.