State Fair of Texas takes new approach amid the pandemic

Southwest

DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — The longest-running state fair in the country is usually filled with millions of attendees, but due to COVID-19 organizers had to make significant changes. This year’s fair is now drive-thru only.

Attendees must now purchase a state fair package and choose a time slot before arrival. The price of the package depends on the number of people per vehicle. Prices range from $65 to $99.

Although changes had to be made, the tradition remained the same. Attendees still enjoyed good food and a sense of community in the midst of a pandemic.

“There’s a sense of community that the state fair brings every year and a sense of unity. And I feel like people may need that more now than ever,” Karissa Condoianis, State Fair of Texas spokesperson said.

Some cars waited up to five hours on opening weekend to get a famous Fletcher’s corny dog passed through the window.

“People get excited to wait in line to get a fletcher’s corny dog because it’s their tradition. And they pass it down to their kids and so on,” Amber Fletcher, owner of Fletcher’s Original Corny Dogs said.

Fletcher is a third-generation owner of the family business, and she said the fair means more than just nostalgia.

“You know we are local vendors in DFW, and the fair is such an important role for our company and a lot of the other vendors. A lot of us, this is our livelihood,” Fletcher said.

The fact that the fair is open this season is a treat to many Texans.

“It’s just really fun — something to look forward to in 2020. Yeah, and they’re being really safe. They’re enforcing wearing all masks and stuff, social distancing when you get out of your car, so I think it’s worth it, said Mercedes Salazar.

The last time the State Fair of Texas was canceled was during World War II when the grounds were occupied by armed forces.

The fair continues through Sunday, Oct. 17.

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