Highest Attendance at Texas State Fair


Big Tex greets fairgoers at the State Fair of Texas | Image by Visit Dallas

It seems as though the State Fair of Texas was the place to be last year, with over 2.5 million people coming to the Lone Star State just to participate in one of Dallas’ biggest events.

The State Fair of Texas was better attended than any other fair in 2022, contributing heavily to a year of much-needed recovery for the North American fair industry, according to Carnival Warehouse. The number of attendees went up by hundreds of thousands across the board, while the State Fair of Texas saw a 15.65% increase compared to 2021’s attendance.

Karissa Condoianis, the State Fair of Texas’ senior vice president of public relations, explained that the turnout may have been so large because of the fair’s cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19.

“This year’s fair brought a degree of normalcy, reminiscent of pre-pandemic times, back to our community. This incorporates many facets of our organization, including both our entertainment and food lineup,” said Condoianis.

The State Fair of Texas has a rich history. First known as the Dallas State Fair & Exposition, disputes among a group of Dallas businessmen over where to host the event back in 1886 led to its rocky start on the north side of town.

However, due largely to the efforts of civic leader R.L. Thornton, Fair Park emerged out of the two World Wars as “a masterpiece of art and imagination,” and fair attendance soared. In 1949, 2 million people attended the State Fair of Texas, according to the fair website.

The State Fair of Texas is not the only event in the Lone Star State to record large attendance numbers, as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo came very close, bringing in 2.4 million fairgoers in 2022.

However, the State Fair of Texas has been more closely compared to the Minnesota State Fair, with both holding historical significance for their respective states and offering attendees unique fried foods.

Yet as Texas State Fair spokesperson Taylor Austin explained, there are some differences.

“The State Fair of Texas runs for double the length of the Minnesota State Fair, and historically sees higher attendance, however the Minnesota State Fairgrounds are 45 acres larger than the Fair Park footprint,” said Austin.

Austin is proud of the numbers seen at the 2022 State Fair of Texas.

“It’s all thanks to our fairgoers that we are the No.1 fair in the country,” Austin wrote in an email, according to The Dallas Morning News.

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