The State Fair of Texas is the largest event that takes place in Dallas. It has been held annually for over 125 years. The fair takes place over a three-week period. It attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the country. The fair contains a number rides including a Ferris wheel and roller coasters. There are traditional food stands and games. Stages allow for live musical performances during the day and at night. There is a full auto show during the fair showcasing new cars for the next year. Another attraction is the Cotton Bowl football rivalry between local Texas colleges that compete during the fair. Visitors who are attending the fair should plan to visit for more than one day. Tickets and lodging should be secured in advance since availability becomes unpredictable after the fair has started.
The Taste of Dallas is a festival that celebrates the local cuisine, cooks and restaurants in the city. It is held over the course of a single week in the middle of July. The event contains a number of outdoor booths that offer visitors different types of foods or samples from local restaurants. There is also a 150,000 square foot indoor space at Fair Park that is home to other attractions. Chefs provide demonstrations of tool use and common cooking techniques. There are live musical performances. Part of the indoor space is also home to an art gallery that includes the work of local artists. Visitors should plan to arrive at Fair Park on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) trains in order to avoid the complications of parking at the venue.
More than 20,000 people attend the annual Cinco de Mayo event in Dallas. The event is actually a Mexican celebration. It is held to commemorate the victory over the French at Puebla although it has become a larger celebration of Mexican and Spanish culture. Visitors can enjoy traditional Mexican and Spanish food from a variety of vendors and restaurants. There is live music and dancing. The celebration ends with a massive parade. The parade includes floats, marching bands and dancing groups dressed in traditional Spanish clothing. Visitors do not need to plan ahead and there is no admission cost. It is a good idea to arrive in Dallas at least one day before Cinco de Mayo.
The Dallas Blooms festival is held every year at the Dallas Arboretum. It lasts for one month. This festival celebrates the blooming of over 500,000 bulbs on the 66-acre property. It is the largest flower festival in the region. Visitors are able to walk the grounds each day and experience the diverse range of colors, fragrances and shapes that are emerging. The arboretum also has a live concert schedule. Visitors do not need to purchase tickets to see the flowers ahead of time although concert tickets should be purchased in advance. It is best to arrive in the middle of the festival to see the largest number of flowers in bloom at once.