The State Fair of Texas opened on September 30, and vendors are struggling with similar supply shortages that Texas restaurants have faced in recent months. Chicken, paper plates, utensils, and similar supplies have been hard to come by for fair vendors this year, Fox 4 News reported.
Some vendors, such as Smokey John’s BBQ, had stocked up on supplies in preparation for a shortage.
“If you’ve ever been to the fair, you know there’s these little containers that the French fries come in, the fried Oreos come in,” co-owner Brent Reaves told Fox 4 News. “Those are the boats. People love to be able to come in, eat the food out of those boats but they’re going to be in demand. So, thousands of units are going to be flying off the shelf. We have to get ‘em now. We’ve been prepared. We’ve been working on it for months.”
The original funnel cake stand, Winter Family Concessions, shared that the one item they are not worried about having is funnel cake mix.
Christie Erpillo of the funnel cake stand told Fox 4 News that the team had to get creative after their supplier raised prices a few times over the year. Inflation, particularly pronounced in the DFW metro as compared to other cities, is taking an especially harsh toll on food prices across the city.
“We’re being creative,” Erpillo said. “Some of our items we can get, and we know we can get. We’re re-purposing with different products. So, you can get a Mexican Pizza or you can get a burrito bowl or street tacos because basically it is the same product that we’re repurposing different ways.”
The supplier for Winter Family Concessions raised prices five or six times within the year, according to Erpillo.
Food prices across the country began to raise due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, The Dallas Express reported in April. A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the time showed that food prices were expected to rise 5% by 2023.
The State Fair of Texas lasts for 24 consecutive days, making it the longest-running fair in America, according to the website. It is held in Fair Park each year which is a National Historic Landmark.
The fair features new attractions this year, Fox 4 News reported, including an opening day parade, new rides, and new exhibits.
There are 76 rides, including the new Cliff Hanger.
State Fair of Texas Senior Vice President of Operations, Rusty Fitzgerald told Fox 4 News, that the new ride is great for families to enjoy.
Sports fans can visit the Mavs Vault in the Hall of State to take in the history of the Dallas Mavericks through trophies, jerseys, interactive exhibits, and more.
“I feel so proud. I mean, I can’t tell you that I don’t because it’s a time since I got here since ’81 and look at all the history, all the players that have been here and all the things that have happened,” a former Mavs player, Rolando Blackman, told Fox 4 News. “We were here and built the pier and beam and put that down on the ground to make sure to put this whole thing together.”
The State Fair of Texas runs until October 23.