Nearly two months ago, Texas residents sighed with disappointment, even if it weren’t surprising that the State Fair of Texas canceled the season for 2020. It was the first time doing so since World War II.
But this week, a release went out giving a big update: The fair won’t be totally closed, but will open for drive-thru events in lieu of the usual 24-day exhibition.
Every weekend, you’ll get the fair food you look forward to each year (if that’s your thing).
The Big Tex Fair Food Drive-Thru will operate every Friday through Sunday of the planned fair, September 24 to October 17, plus October 12, September 25-27, October 2-4 and 15-18.
There will be no drive-thru event October 10, because the Red River Showdown between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma is still planned to happen in Fair Park.
In this experience, you’ll apparently still smell the sweetness of fried food and see different fair icons “and even a little Midway fun,” according to the release.
The drive-thru should take no longer than and hour and a half to finish.
Tickets are limited and will be pre-sold for guests to enter in three time windows: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1 to 5 p.m. and 5 to 5:45 p.m.
One of those icons will be Big Tex himself, who will wear his very own, tremendous, face mask.
“In a year of many firsts, this historic event will offer Fair lovers the opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime photo and experience,” the statement read.
A once-in-lifetime photo of a very dark time, that is. As well as the listed fair dates, you can get that photo September 19 or 20 for $25, which admits one vehicle of up to eight people and one downloadable professional photo with Big Tex.
Fair and photo packages are available for $65 (for one to two people) to $99 (three to four). Both admit eight people in one vehicle and the Big Tex photo. Quantities vary between the two for soft drinks, corn dogs — Fletcher’s, of course — french fries, fried Oreos, cotton candy, kettle corn and midway prizes.
Additional add-ons come in pairs and include Smokey John’s turkey legs ($24), as well as corn on the cob ($10), more corn dogs ($15) and sausage on a stick ($12).
The fair will follow protocols and ask guests to abide by them. You’ll stay in your vehicles, with the exception of Big Tex photo time and using the restroom — and use social distancing while out of it. Even while in your vehicle, when interfacing directly with staff or vendors, you are required to wear a mask.
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All team members will wear a mask at all times, are subject to temperature checks upon arrival and are required to wash hands regularly. Those handling food will wear gloves, changing them between tasks.
“Proceeds from this event will support State Fair of Texas operations, allowing us to bring back all your favorite traditions for 2021 and fulfill our nonprofit mission through our year-round initiatives. A portion of the proceeds will also benefit the North Texas Food Bank to help feed our community in need,” the statement read.
Hopefully, it will also help some people who rely on income from this annual event, too.
Sales for the drive-thru fair go live at 10 a.m. September 2.