Friday, October 10, 2008

State Fair Friday


The State Fair of Texas started on a Friday, two weeks ago. I posted about said fair last Friday, so I thought I'd post some photos from my one and only - yes - that's right - only one so far - trip to the fair, on a Friday. And, I bet - since S is jonesin to get to the fair - I bet we'll go tonight. So, here we go.

I went to the fair last week while S was at work with my in-laws and my brother and sister in law and Alexandra, the only baby around these parts, as you can clearly see from recent posts - you'd think, from the past week, that this was her blog. But, alas, I've just seen a lot of her. And, well, babies are camera magnets. Anyhoo - we we to the fair. And here is what we saw.

The State Fair of Texas grounds have a varied past, but the last expansion was built mainly in the 1930's and 1940's. The State Fair site doesn't cite this, but it is my understanding from several reputable Dallas sources that this expansion was done mainly by members of the WPA. Many of the buildings throughout the fairgrounds exhibit art deco and arts and crafts influences from the turn of the 20th century. Following are a few things I photographed while we were walking around.


A relief on the side of the food court building near Big Tex.


An exquisite art deco angel statue outside one of the automobile buildings.


A strange vantage of an art deco column through a piece of sculpture across from the Hall of State. Just go with me on this one. I know it's sort of strange.

The livestock buildings at the State Fair of Texas are mostly empty after the first week. This is in great contrast to the Indiana State Fair. There, the agricultural aspects of the fair are more central and meaningful to those who attend, and most animals are on display for the duration of the fair. That being said, there are "petting zoo" and "baby" animals still around here in Texas, as well as, I suppose, the animals involved in this banner's festivities:


"Dog Shows AND Pig Races"

Who could ask for anything more? Really - this establishment houses dog shows - AND - pig races. Whoa. Who needs TV. Or the Internet. Or the Performing Arts. Bring on the dog shows. And the pig races. And then, maybe, more dog shows.


Since I showed you a large pig and some piglets from the Indiana State Fair, here is a Texas equivalent-sort of. I love the fan.

You couldn't have a state fair post without something about the food. Right outside the pig barn - we have this:


Chicken Fried Bacon. Ahem.

There is food everywhere. But, at the Texas State Fair, there is also a food court - indoors, in the air conditioning, which can be key some years to get on out of the HEAT that can still plague us in late September and October. Thankfully, this year has been pretty merciful once the summer waned. We headed to the food court, though, because that's the usual plan. And, because there are special culinary delights in there that you can find no place else.


Texas shaped nachos in the food court.

Dallas is hosting one of the North American stops of the huge King Tut exhibit. This was evidenced at the fair as well.


This fine lad greets up upon entry from parking through gate 10.


And, an annual favorite - the butter sculpture - wears an Egyptian theme this year.

Maybe Big Tex was excited to host King Tut because they both sport single syllable two word names. They're brothas. Big Tex. King Tut. They feel one another's pain. They're simpatico. Or at least, simp. They probably only talk to one another in one syllable grunts. OK, let's move on.


Alexandra seemed to enjoy herself at her first State Fair.

Around the corner, sort of in the middle of everything, Big Tex stand guard over the festivities. Here are some shots of the very important guy.


Big Tex from the left of center. Check out that belt buckle, huh?


A friendly close up shot of his movable chin. Friendly because he is of course, well, friendly.


A mid-torso shot that includes that waving hand. Do you wave with your hand at that angle? Does anyone? Maybe King Tut does.


His boots. I bet its cheaper to re-sole those babies than buy a new pair. What do you think?


Even after dark Alexandra was hanging in there.

We headed on over to the Midway.


A Midway sign near the entrance from parking through gate 10.


A general shot of the booths on the way to the Texas Star.


The Skyway shooting across through the Midway.

We walked on down for a closer look at the Texas Star. In case you don't know this - it is the largest Ferris Wheel in North America. Of course it is. It's in Texas. It's a beauty to photograph at night. But, all I had was the powershot, so I ramped up on the ISO and tried to stand very still to get a few photos. In this instance, you really need a tripod and possibly an SLR to get an amazing photo. But, here are a few I captured.


Upon approach.


I walked over to get this shot from the front. But, in every photo, there is that pesky street light. Can someone turn that off for me next time? Geesh.


Here's one attempt at removing the lamp - I used the Photoshop clone stamp.

The lamp is gone, and if you didn't know I did it, maybe you wouldn't notice there are now way too many spokes in the lower left of the Ferris Wheel. It's not a real pretty solution, but I gotta tell you - I like it better than staring at that street light.


This is the "vivid light" filter, I think.

Again, the lamp is gone here, but this time I just burned it on out of there once I got the background dark enough. And, in some ways I like this treatment. But, its not a natural look, for sure.


The street light cropped out.

So, in this version, I cropped the photo down until the street light wasn't there. And, I "hued" up the photo - making the blue more than believable. I was just playin'. I sort of like this one too, but again, its not a believable edit. Just an artistically fun one.

So, that's the highlights of one State Fair of Texas visit. If we don't go tonight, I'm sure we'll go next week. And, I am going next week with my work colleagues, too. So, more to come from the fair, my friends. Like it or not! Happy Friday!

1 comment:

  1. I really like the "vivid light" version of the Star.

    Fun pictures. I'm hoping to go to the fair, but won't be surprised if it doesn't happen. Maybe next year when my 3rd little duckling is older.

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