I'm extra grateful for fair season this year. The fairs are definitely not something I'm likely to take for granted again.

But what is it about the East Texas State Fair that makes it unofficially fall in East Texas for me?

Maybe it's because I've lived in East Texas for so many years now. It could simply be that it almost always seems to coincide with the first hint of cool in the evening breeze. Whatever the case--for me, the East Texas State Fair always signifies the beginning of Fall.

Photo: Tara Holley
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Having grown up in Tyler, I have a fond memory from high school football games at Rose Stadium just next door to the Fairgrounds. I was on the drill team at the time and we were standing on the field for pre-game. The sun was starting to go down and the early fall sky was turning pink and purple.

Photo: Tara Holley


At the same time, the lights of the fair began to glow. The music of the band behind us began to play in seeming rhythm with the whirling of the rides, and occasionally you could hear slight echoes of happy yelling. It was one of those magical moments for which you know, even then, you'll always feel nostalgia.

Photo: Tara Holley

At the fair, I experience a similar feeling. Except this time from the other side of it. I am a happy fair-goer while I look over in the midst of the fun chaos and notice one of our East Texas high schools playing a game.

Photo: Tara Holley


There's something about being at the fair that makes me truly feel a part of a community. Whether you go for the rides, the exhibits, the people watching, or the famous food row, there's something magical about this small city fair.

They've added new things to experience this year, too. If you want to get more info go to etstatefair.com.

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