A Love Letter to the Texas State Fair

To my one true love,

Oh, how I’ve missed you. It’s been an entire year since we last met and I have been counting down the days until I could see you again. And it is finally here, the day I get to see your bright lights and smell your sweet, fried aroma. You and I share a long history; for as long as I can remember we have met, once every year, only missing each other when I was out of town. And how terrible those few years of missing you were. I was so tempted to buy a plane ticket and jump into Big Tex’s arms. But in those few sad years, I learned that absence makes the heart grow fonder. They made me realize how foolish I was to think I could live a life without you. So I am here now, and nothing will stop me from making the most out of your brief visit.

You and I have grown up together. You have provided me with some of the best memories of my life, playing games with my siblings on the Midway, riding the Crazy Mouse until I couldn’t walk in a straight line, and now you provide me with drinks like the Barrel-O-Rita, so I can’t walk in a straight line once again. As my palate has matured, your Big Tex Food Awards have gotten crazier and better, finally reaching what I can only imagine as the best it gets with this year’s Fried Elotes. We have truly grown in our appreciation for great food together. Although I will admit that we have faced the challenge so many others deal with when beginning new relationships– love pounds. When you return each year, I give in to the temptation of your fryers because you are worth the added pounds.

Luckily, we have grown together in so many other ways too. When I was ready to begin looking at cars, you were there with an auto-show to suit my needs. I tested every car I could find, and even though my parents laughed in my face when I requested the Mercedes, you never mocked me. I only ever felt supported by you and that is what a true partner does. And of course, I never miss a ride on your crown jewel, the Ferris wheel (who prefers to be called the Texas Star), which lets me bask in the skyline of the city we both call home.

But I have to apologize. I have made it seem that it is only what’s on the outside that counts. But the truth is that you are so much more than that. Your halls are filled with knowledge and culture, and you make sure people are educated as well as entertained when they interact with you. I remember the first time I discovered your true self, the fair beyond the food. I entered into one of your inconspicuous buildings only to find it filled, wall to wall, with children’s artwork depicting scenes from history and their own families. It was as if, for the first time, you felt comfortable enough to show me the real you, to be vulnerable with me, and I have never appreciated you more. You don’t boast your knowledge or appreciation for fine arts, but maybe you should, because it gives you depth and intrigue, or at least it did for me.

That day took our relationship to an entirely new level. No longer did I visit you strictly for the food, but I began to see the smiles you put on people’s faces. You are open to everyone, a true home for people to make memories. Families and friends gather because you come to town every year. Big Tex embraces us all, for our similarities as fellow State Fair-lovers, and our diversity. The truth is, when you come to town, you unite a city on the basis of pure love and appreciation. You bring three weeks of joy even during the most challenging times, and that is a debt I can never repay.

So welcome home, my dear State Fair. I have missed you as I hope you have missed me. You have given me so much in my life and I only hope that my contribution of an $18 ticket, 3-4 fried food purchases, and a few rides and games show you how much I value your return to my world. And of course, I hope you see this love letter as a small token of my appreciation for you. There is nothing else like you and I only pray we can continue to grow together for many years to come.

 

As your loyal partner, I make this vow to you:

  • I vow to honor you and to protect you from others’ opposition.
  • I vow to protect your reputation from naysayers who claim you are overpriced and not worth it.
  • I vow to care for you in sickness from your fried foods and in health.
  • I vow to call the fire department if Big Tex ever catches fire again.
  • I vow to be faithful to you and to never assert that another state has a better fair.
  • I vow to return to you, every year, as long as you vow to always have funnel cake.
  • I vow to love you and cherish you, as long as we both shall live.

 

Love always,

Your forever customer