Well here we are on the first official day of summer in East Texas, and I'm already thinking about autumn. I mean...with the weather being as hot as it has been, can ya blame me? lolz

And when I think about the coming fall in Tyler, Texas, my mind always turns to thoughts of the East Texas State Fair.

And what is it about the East Texas State Fair that makes it unofficially fall in East Texas for me?

It could simply be that it almost always seems to coincide with the first hint of cool in the evening breeze. Whatever the case--for me, the East Texas State Fair always signifies the beginning of Fall.

Photo: Tara Holley
Photo: Tara Holley
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Having grown up in Tyler, I have a fond memory of high school football games at Rose Stadium just next door to the Fairgrounds. I was on the drill team at the time and we were standing on the field for pre-game. The sun was starting to go down and the early fall sky was turning pink and purple.

Photo: Tara Holley
Photo: Tara Holley
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At the same time, the lights of the fair began to glow. The music of the band behind us began to play in seeming rhythm with the whirling of the rides, and occasionally you could hear slight echoes of happy yelling. It was one of those magical moments for which you know, even then, you'll always feel nostalgia.

Photo: Tara Holley
Photo: Tara Holley
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At the fair, I experience a similar feeling. Except for this time from the other side of it. I am a happy fair-goer while I look over in the midst of the fun chaos and notice one of our East Texas high schools playing a game.

Photo: Tara Holley
Photo: Tara Holley
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There's something about being at the fair that makes me truly feel a part of a community. Whether you go for the rides, the exhibits, the people-watching, or the famous food row, there's something magical about this small city fair.

But with all of the changes in that area, will it be the same as before? Are there new things we can expect?

The fair dates are planned for September 23 through October 2, 2022, by the way. We can definitely expect the yummy food, the carnival rides, and performing seals. But there are some new offerings, as well.

When asked about whether the construction of the new W.T. Brookshire Convention Center would be a hindrance to the fair, ETSF President John Sykes told KLTV that "the setup will look similar to 2021, but with new surprises.

The setup from 2021 had the same attractions, but it was condensed due to the construction of the W.T. Brookshire Convention Center. The convention center remains under construction, but Sykes said that would not be a deterrent."

Sykes said:

“The property that we’ve been operating on since 1912 has really been impinged by the construction, but so what? We’re going to figure out a way to do it."

For example, a ticket booth is going to be moved to a different, more populated area. Sykes also told KLTV that we can look forward to much of what we already know and love, but they'll also be adding a butterfly exhibit, a hypnosis act, AND a jet pack performance. WHAT?! OK, that sounds exciting.

Ready to learn a bit more? If you want to get more info go to etstatefair.com.

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