After taking a year off due to Covid-19, preparations are underway for the 2021 Texas State Fair.

This year’s theme, “Howdy Folks,” is a nod to the return of crowds to this beloved event.

Senior Vice President of Operations Rusty Fitzgerald expects to have a large turn-out this year after canceling last year’s event.

“The excitement level is just over the top, out the roof,” Fitzgerald said. “Everybody is just ready to have a fair and bring a lot of people out here and have a lot of fun.”

Since its early days late 1800s, the Texas State Fair has grown to be the largest annual fair in the United States. The weeks-long event will run from Sept. 25th until Oct. 17th and will be jam-packed with events and fair food.

One food vendor who is excited to see this year’s fair getting off the ground is Jack Pyalnd, owner of Jack’s French Frys. Pyland has been serving fries and the Texas State Fair for over 70 years and is determined to make sure this year goes smoothly.

“I’ve been here since August 1st,” Pyland said. “I physically have not left the fairgrounds except for an hour at a time to go somewhere because it’s just you have to stay out here, make decisions get things put up.”

With an event this large, many people are concerned about Covid precautions and what protocols will be in place. While masks are not required for vaccinated fair-goers, everyone is encouraged to wear them and to get the Covid-19 vaccine. There will be a vaccine station located behind Big Tex, and fair-goers who receive the vaccine will also get $20 in fair food or ride coupons.

However, fair organizers would like everyone to remember that “by entering the fairgrounds, you voluntarily assume all risks, hazards, and dangers related to exposure/contracting COVID-19, and voluntarily waive all claims and suits against the State Fair of Texas.”