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Fair Park museums set to showcase new pieces of history at the State Fair of Texas

The Hall of State and African American Museum will both feature new exhibits just in time for the fair.

DALLAS — Last year, without a state fair, the museums at Fair Park were closed.

But they still had visitors.

“We had people banging on the door wanting to get in,” said Marvin Dulaney, deputy director and chief operating officer at the African American Museum.

The door won’t take a beating this year.

Because when the state fair opens, so do that door and on the other side is some stuff that’s never been seen.

At the Hall of State, visitors can look back on the 135-year history of the State Fair of Texas.

On display is everything from an architectural model of the fairgrounds to Big Tex’s original head.

A different cowboy, Tom Landry, will be featured, too. The Tom Landy collection was put together last year, but because of COVID-19 this will be the first time it’s on display.

“If you’re a football fan, especially a Dallas Cowboy fan, there’s a lot here to see,” said Karl Chiao, executive director for the Dallas Historical Society.

At the African American Museum, guests can see beautiful, historic images from Sepia Magazine.

Plus, pieces that honor the achievements of Black athletes in the Prairie View Interscholastic League.

“All Black high schools that literally weren’t allowed to compete in the UIL because of segregation,” Dulaney said.

A lot of people come to the state fair for great food and great fun, but Dulaney says hopefully they’ll walk away with something even greater.

“I want them to take away the fact that African American history and culture is an important and essential part of American history,” Dulaney said.

Admission to both the African American Museum and Hall of State is free and the museums are open each day during the fair.