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"Howdy, folks!” We've been waiting all year to hear Big Tex’s booming voice welcoming us the 2016 State Fair of Texas. After months of hearing about Big Tex Choice Award-winner Fried Jell-O and other mouth-watering fair foods, you can finally conduct your own taste tests. The State Fair’s 24-day fair lineup includes 75 bands, more than 70 rides, an auto show with 400 of the latest new-car models, three football games (instead of the usual two) and one butter sculpture. What are you waiting for? Fair gates open daily at 10 a.m.

The theme for 2016 is "Celebrating Texas Agriculture," and special activities will include concerts on the Main Stage and college football games. Daily activities include the Starlight Parade at 7 p.m. and the Illumination Sensation lights and fireworks show at 8 p.m.

• General Admission: $18
• Kids under 48" tall: $14
• Seniors 60 and over: $14
• Children 2 and under: Free
• Seniors 60 and over: Free every Thursday (Oct. 7, Oct. 14, and Oct. 21)

HOURS: State Fair of Texas exhibit buildings open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. Opening times and closing times vary for the midway and museums.

PARKING: Self parking is available on official State Fair lots for $15 per space.

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