DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The State Fair of Texas is coming back this fall and organizers say it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.
This is the 135 year of the State Fair and what a way to welcome back the crowds from a year off due to the pandemic. The 2021 fair will include displays of commemorative art that celebrates the idea of being together. This year’s theme is “Howdy Folks!”READ MORE: 3rd Person Injured In Texas Drag Racing Crash Passes Away
Last year’s fair was dwindled down to a drive-thru experience where fairgoers could still enjoy the food the fair brings and a limited livestock market show from their cars.
It was back in February when fair organizers enlisted the public’s help in planning this year’s state fair. Through a survey they collected people’s desires and how they envisioned the 2021 fair. At the top of that survey — safety.
This year the fair will implement recommendations from government health agencies including the CDC.
The State Fair of Texas kicks off September 24 and runs through October 17.
It's here! Introducing this year’s theme, “Howdy, Folks!.” Mark your calendars for the 2021 State Fair of Texas and get ready to say “howdy” right back to #BigTex starting September 24 through October 17. View the full artwork at https://t.co/q60ZEQDLzh 🤠 #HowdyFolks #BigTex pic.twitter.com/JERWdS6tEi
— State Fair of Texas (@StateFairOfTX) June 2, 2021
Organizers say they’ve already ordered hand sanitizing stations for the grounds, but as far as other safety protocols go, nothing can be ruled out as they’re playing the pandemic by ear.
“As vaccinations continue to increase, and herd immunity rates increase, we feel we are in a prime position to be able to host people back for the state fair this year,” said Karissa Condoianis of the Texas State Fair. “We will continue watching the status of the pandemic, in order to frame what other safety protocols may look like this year, and we will be sure to communicate those out so that everybody feels safe to visit.”
Dallas County Health officials say from a medical standpoint, no masks or social distancing will be needed if you’re fully vaccinated. The hope is this will incentivize people to get vaccinated.
“The vaccines are so effective that they really prevent people from getting the illness very well and they also prevent people from spreading it to other,” Dallas Co. Health Director Dr. Philip Huang said.READ MORE: On 'Hell's Half Acre' Fort Worth Leaders Ignored Illegal Booze, Gambling As Money Ended Up In City Coffers
“Now, kids 12 and older can get the vaccine and it is imperative and important for all the children to get the vaccine,” Dallas County Health and Human Services spokesman Christian Grisales said. “August 1st, vaccination efforts at Fair Park will wrap up and preparations for the fair will begin.”
Fair staff confirms they will welcome back all 80 of their usual food vendors.
Last year, only eight participated.
“I am just busting with excitement,” said Johnna Mckee, of Fernies Funnel Cakes. “There are almost not enough words to express, what this means to us as a family. It’s not what we do, it’s who we are.”
“I go every year,” Ana Guandique said. “When they closed it, that was my first year not going. I miss the funnel cake! So yeah, I’m excited for the State Fair!”
“We will continue watching the status of the pandemic, in order to frame what other safety protocols may look like this year, and we will be sure to communicate those out so that everybody feels safe to visit,” State Fair of Texas spokeswoman Karissa Condoianis said.
Even with the new guidance, Guandique says she’ll still be wearing her mask.
“Just for precautions because it is a lot of people and it’s the state fair, there’s a lot of germs and stuff like that,” she said. “I feel more confident you know, just safer.”MORE NEWS: Church Offering $5K Reward For Safe Return Of Missing Fort Worth Girl Dashayla Wolfe
Nicole Nielsen and Erin Jones contributed to this report.