Gates Whitsitt (left), 2, and his brother Gambill Whitsitt, 4, eat Fletcher's corny dogs at State Fair of Texas in Fair Park in Dallas, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. The State Fair of Texas opened today and runs through October 22. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

Gates Whitsitt (left), 2, and his brother Gambill Whitsitt, 4, eat Fletcher's corny dogs at State Fair of Texas in Fair Park in Dallas, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. The State Fair of Texas opened today and runs through October 22. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

Jae S. Lee/Staff Photographer

This weekend is your last chance to visit the 2017 edition of the State Fair of Texas. We at Guide and GuideLive.com wanted to share some of our favorite things to do at the fair -- while you still have a chance to go.

Livestock and llamas

I like going to the livestock areas and talking to the people with the animals. It's fun to learn about llamas or miniature zebu through the eyes of the people who raise them. Also, a well-coiffed llama sitting in front of a fan is pretty majestic. -- Ann Pinson

The thrill of the fried-food scavenger hunt

Your definitive list of best and worst State Fair of Texas' new foods, ranked

You've seen him: There's Texas Tourist Tom, head down in a map, finger scanning the page. "If I'm here at Big Tex, and Fletcher's Corny Dogs is right there, where's the danged funnel cake bacon queso burger stand?" he asks while shaking the map. You are Tom. I am Tom. It's part of the State Fair of Texas fried-food adventure. If you, like us, love the food at the fair and want to sample the Big Tex Choice Awards nominees, grab your State Fair map and a pocketful of coupons. Pack some patience. Those fried foods are not easy to find, but man, they're delicious. -- Sarah Blaskovich

The low and slow Kidway

I love the State Fair of Texas for myriad reasons: the air-conditioning in the Automobile Building, the Starlight Parade at twilight, the people-watching. But I've come to appreciate the Kidway more than anything. My little one can revel in rides low and slow enough that I can always get a good video or photo, and neither she nor I get anxious or fearful. And riding to her heart's content won't break the bank, because each ride costs the same: eight coupons. (The only drawback: It's right next to all the carnival games.) With so many children present, the entire scene is one big "Awwww" waiting to happen. -- Dawn M. Burkes

The nightly Starlight Parade

This procession of illuminated floats, stilt-walking performers, beauty queens and rockin' Shriners winds around the park starting at 7:15. Our tip: Around 6 p.m., head to Cotton Bowl Plaza to grab a drink and a snack, then either find a seat along First Avenue near Neon Big Tex or grab a bench farther down First closer to the Children's Aquarium and the parade's starting point. -- Shannon Sutlief

After-hours at the petting zoo

Hey, tiny sheep: Can we be friends?

Hey, tiny sheep: Can we be friends?

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

My favorite thing at the fair is what I like to call "late night" at the petting zoo. Every night around 10, all the animals from the Children's Health Barnyard are led into the Ranch Arena next door so they can run around freely and play. It's not a secret, but most people don't know about it unless they happen to stumble across it as they're leaving the fair. So just picture llamas, donkeys, cows, ponies, camels, zebras, goats, etc. all playing together. It really is the cutest thing ever. -- Kiley Faulkner

Big Tex memories

Dennis Jansen and Cassandra Jaramillo take a selfie with Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas at Fair Park in Dallas.

Dennis Jansen and Cassandra Jaramillo take a selfie with Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas at Fair Park in Dallas.

Rose Baca/Staff Photographer

Big Tex selfies are just about as necessary a part of growing up Texan as are pictures of your babies growing up among bluebonnets. Just look up #bigtex on Instagram for proof. The fair even designates selfie spots for primo photos. My family moved around a lot while I was young, so I never had a chance to have pics taken each year at a specific landmark. Lucky for her, my baby girl is a native Texan, and she'll grow up with the big man. She's almost 4 now, and we've done an annual Burgos Family With Big Tex selfie since the first time we took her to the fair in a stroller. -- Sara Frederick Burgos

The best part: the friends we make along the way

That's clichéd, but true. I'm not a big fan of the fair unless I go with a group of friends who are up for a crazy fried-food adventure. If you go on your own, you'll just walk around Fair Park for a couple of hours talking yourself out of spending money and accomplishing little outside of meeting your step goal for that day. Go with buddies, make a mission out of it and have a good time. -- Britton Peele

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