The State Fair of Texas wrapped up its 2023 season with a slight dip in visitors compared to last year’s record-breaking attendance numbers.
Fair Park saw 2,341,449 visitors walk through its gates while the event was run between September 29 and October 22. The highest daily attendance was recorded on Saturday, October 7, with 208,731 fairgoers clocked. Meanwhile, the lowest daily attendance was 45,246, which was seen on Monday, October 2.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the year prior had a whopping total of 2,547,289 attendees, a 15.65% increase compared to 2021’s attendance.
This year’s fair also saw a shooting on the evening of Saturday, October 14, which left three people injured. As covered by The Dallas Express, the accused gunman, 22-year-old Cameron Turner, claimed he acted in self-defense. Nonetheless, the incident had the immediate effect of the fair opening four hours late the following day and drummed up heavy scrutiny around the fair’s gun policies and weapon detectors.
That being said, daily attendance figures afterward still saw only a low of 67,031 on Wednesday, October 18, and a high of 118,256 on its final day.
Whatever the reason for the shortfall of around 200,000 fairgoers, State Fair officials applauded this year’s event and the funds it raised to support community initiatives, scholarship programs, and more.
“Each year the State Fair of Texas is centered around community,” said the president of the State Fair, Mitchell Glieber, according to NBC 5 DFW. “Despite the challenges we faced this Fair, our team has been resilient and remained steadfast in bringing the community together to celebrate at the Most Texan Place on Earth.”
This year, the fair theme was “Explore the Midway.” It featured an array of food offerings, including the culinary creations conjured up by the winners of the coveted Big Tex Choice Awards, such as the Deep Fried Pho, the Biscoff Delight, and the Bourbon Banana Caramel Sopapillas.
The next installation of the fair — which will be its 138th year — is scheduled from September 27 to October 20, 2024.