Texas-OU football clash highlights weekend of State Fair

Mark Wilson mwilson@empiretribune.com
It's going to be another great weekend at the State Fair of Texas. Plenty of sunshine is expected with temperatures in the low 80s.

It’s not as if we all needed another reason to visit the State Fair of Texas, but the annual Red River Showdown between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners is this weekend.

The game will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

The State Fair — featuring this year’s theme of “Celebrating Texas Agriculture” — opened Sept. 30 and will continue through Oct. 23. It features 73 thrilling carnival-like rides as well as 71 food vendors. Some of those food vendors have multiple booths.

This Saturday’s game marks the 111th meeting in the football rivalry between the two high-profile Big 12 schools. Both teams are 2-2 on the season, although the Sooners are 1-0 in conference play and the Longhorns are 0-1.

But the rivalry can produce surprising results, such as last year’s 24-17 Texas victory, upsetting the Sooners when they were ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Texas has a 47-38-4 edge in the all-time series since 1929, when the matchup began to be played as part of the state fair. The first Texas-OU contest was in 1900. The only football team Texas has played more times is Texas A&M.

The Sooners are ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press Coaches Poll. The Longhorns dropped their last two games, and fell out of the national rankings.

As always, the state fair features an overload of family fun including musical performances, rides, exhibitions and tons of tasty food.

In addition to the new “Taylor Swift Experience” that features memorabilia from the singing superstar’s archive, there are many other exhibits for every interest.

The Hall of State features three Texas-themed exhibits — “Six Nations Over Texas,” Ways of the West” and “Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy.”

A new daily show at the fair this year is the “Lords of Gravity Basketball Slam Dunk Show, from Budapest, Hungary. A state fair news release says the high-energy troupe features “jaw-dropping hoop skills and high-flying acrobatics.”

Then there is another extreme sports show, called Xpogo, in which two pogo professionals demonstrate “gravity-defying tricks, flips and spins,”

Another new show is the Lone Stare Stampede, in the Pan Am Arena, featuring the tale of of the American West brought to life through depiction of stagecoaches, horses, cowboys and bandits.

Fairgoers can learn about Texas agriculture and natural resources in “I Spy Texas,” a new interactive exhibit in the Science Place building.

City slickers can attend daily milking demonstrations in front of the Science Place Building.

The gates open at 7 a.m. daily. Exhibit buildings, outdoor exhibits and food concessions will be open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Museum and Midway hours vary daily.

Tickets ($18 admission for adults, $14 for seniors 60 and older and children up to 48 inches tall and free for children under age 2) and food coupons (50 cents each) for the state fair can be bought at the gate or online, or at any Kroger or Walgreen’s location in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Season passes to the fair (online at BigTex.com/seasonpass) can be purchased for $29.95 with the promotional code of “BigTex10” but that’s for a limited time. The regular price for a season pass is $39.95.