The State Fair of Texas 2009

An article by David Brooks on September 28, 2009


Being a fan of culture and tradition I knew that when we moved to Texas we had to visit the state fair. Friday night we took a quick drive over to the fairgrounds where we ate ridiculous food and enjoyed all those typical carnival-esque things you can’t find anywhere else.

I don’t really remember going to fairs as a kid, growing up in rural Michigan. Festivals — maybe, but fairs not so much. My wife, on the other hand, had the Mississippi state fair every year.

From colorful rides to the masses of people gathered to watch men and women sell cutlery that will only work under display lights… it was everything you’d imagine. But at the same time it went above my expectations. I’m not a fan of crowds and considering how big the Dallas Metroplex is I assumed there would be a lot more people. But it was spread out enough so that you didn’t notice the large number of people until after dark when the extras showed up.

I’m not sure which of us remembered it first but as we planned for the trip to the fair we were reminded of Bizarre Foods, a show on the Travel Channel. When we were considering a move to Texas we saw the episode in which the host, Andrew Zimmern, visited the fair. In that episode he ate something I didn’t think was possible, “Fried Coke.” Being aficionados of soft drinks with Coke ranking somewhere in our top five favorites, my wife and I had to try it. We must have hunted for it at least an hour. Asking the people who sold the more unusual foods didn’t really help either, most people just looked at us as if we were crazy.

The Fried Coke was actually rather good once we found it. I was surprised, however, that it tasted more like fried dough with a hint of Coke than anything else. Covered in Coke and whipped cream, it was one of those foods that fit right in at a fair. As unusual as Fried Coke may seem, the same vender also sold “Fried Butter.” I don’t know how that would work, to be honest, but there were plenty of people asking for it. If those weren’t enough, you could try Fried Latte or Chicken Fried Bacon.

Apparently while we were on our search for foods that will probably contribute to our death, the opening ceremony began. We arrived as the announcer was thanking the former First Lady, Laura Bush for coming and the fireworks were launching.

There was a short parade, complete with Cirque du Soleil-esque clowns. It had been a great time, but we opted to search for our car. I couldn’t help but snap one last picture as we left. It actually turned out to be one of my personal favorites.

A neon sign reading 'Livestock'

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About David Brooks

David Brooks is the owner of the small creative studio, Northward Compass, based out of Orlando, Florida. He writes electronic and ambient music as Light The Deep, and fantasy stories about a place called Elerien.

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