Claire Barber took this image of the Texas Star Ferris wheel at night. 

Claire Barber took this image of the Texas Star Ferris wheel at night. 

80th Anniversary of the Texas Centennial Exposition

You may have to wait in a Texas-size line, but you can ride North America's largest Ferris Wheel for free this week. The 212-foot Texas Star at Fair Park, which cost $8 to ride during last year's State Fair of Texas, is doling out the free rides as part of the 80th anniversary celebration of the Texas Centennial Exposition this week. More than 6 million visitors, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, attended that event, which marked the 100th anniversary of the state's independence from Mexico with the erection of about 50 buildings in Fair Park and a festival that ran from June 6-Nov. 29, 1836.  

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of that anniversary celebration, a free festival is happening at Fair Park June 8-11. (The Dallas Morning News is sponsoring the event.) There'll be concerts, midway games and rides, a speakeasy, a children's play area, water activities, fireworks, historical exhibits and other family-friendly attractions. The free rides on the Texas Star happen June 10-11 from 5-10 p.m.; the midway will be open the same hours and you can also hop on the Tower ride for free. Another awesome thing: You can get Fletcher's corny dogs on June 10 and 11 — the first time they've been available at Fair Park outside the confines of the State Fair. Yay! 

If you're a fan of Fletcher's corny dogs,  you'll only have to wait a little longer to get more. The State Fair of Texas opens Sept. 30; season passes are already available.  

What's Happening on GuideLive