Halleluiah, It’s State Fair Time

Of course, the big state fair is in Dallas, but that never stopped Texans from having their own local fairs.  Every year around this time, the suffocating August heat breaks into a cool 92 degrees, leaves begin to fall on the back porch and Friday night football causes traffic jams to the high school stadium.

This Labor Day week-end, the Central Texas State Fair cranked up at the Expo Center in Belton. Mom and I loaded up the Jeep and headed for an hour’s drive up Hwy 35.  When we turned into the parking area, Tony, a member in good standing with the Texas Sheriff’s Posse, pulled his horse along side the Jeep,

Don't Mess With Tony

Don't Mess With Tony

“Please follow me, ma’am.” Off he trots as I dutifully follow behind. Yes, only in Texas would the parking attendant ride a horse, wear a cowboy hat, chaps and spurs.  New York City’s cowboy doesn’t wear clothes! What kind of cowboy is that?

Tickets were an affordable $5.00 at the gate. Once inside the fairgrounds, the smell of corny dogs, funnel cakes and cheesy curly fries drifted down the midway.  Number one priority was to get my funnel cake fix. The combination of grease and sugar and out of the fryer hot is at its peak of tastiness when kids are laughing and calliope music’s whistling.

Bumper Car Delight

Bumper Car Delight

Smiles tell the story. The fair is all about play. The crash of the bumper cars, the thrill of being suspended in mid-air



the make believe of riding a bull.

Hang on, darlin'

Hang on, darlin'

The carnies coax a couple to throw a ball, win a prize. “Aw, too bad. So close. Here, try again?”  Curious about tomorrow? Mother Hanna will tell your future for a mere $5.00.  What a deal!

The real work waits inside the livestock arena. Young people crouch in pens, grooming their best friends, encouraging them to behave and show off to win the blue ribbon. The moment arrives, the nervous participants parade into the arena. The judge is swift, watches with a knowing eye and pronounces the best of the bunch. They’re all winners.

As Mom and I left the fairgrounds, rain began to gently fall. Jenny, the gate attendant, thanked us for coming and “ya’ll come back real soon.”   Tony, our cowboy-parking sheriff, tipped his hat, “Have a safe trip home, ladies.”

Every kid is a winner!

Every kid is a winner!

As we drove off toward home, the taste of funnel cake still lingering on my tongue, “I love Texas, don’t you, Mom!”

She just smiled.


1 Comment

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One response to “Halleluiah, It’s State Fair Time

  1. John B.

    I’ve heard from several people; I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I could.” Make no mistake, your current posting about the State Fair leaves little doube that you are a certified and blue blood Texan. I found one thing that is confusing, just does a New York cowboy wear. Western wear is universal, leave it to NYC to dress a cowboy in something less than true western.

    Enjoyed the trip to the State Fair, it has been many many years since I took the time to visit a fat stock show……..thanks!!!

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