Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Texas State Fair

I recently spent a day at the Fair.  Looking at the photos now, I realize that it was really a day about sculpture...

First, of course, the iconic statue of Big Tex.

BIG TEX at the Texas State Fair - photo gifted to the Public Domain

It just wouldn't be the State Fair of Texas without Big Tex saying in a deep voice: "Weeellcooome tooo thee Staaaate Faaair ooooof Teeeexaaas..."  (B.T. stated his showbiz career, I understand, as a giant Santa Claus beside some West Texas highway.  Miscast there, I think: too skinny and tall!)

Then, nearly-as-iconic comes The Butter Sculpture.  Carved from (you guessed it) real butter.  This year's sculpture was designed to honor of the Girl Scouts' 100th birthday:

Butter sculptures of Girl Scouts and Big Tex - public domain
Those reflections are from the glass sides of the refrigerator case.

That's Big Tex (butter version) they're giving those cookies to, of course.(More on sculptor Sharon BuMann HERE.)

The midway rides have their share of statues.  Here it's a fiberglass mermaid (with light-up under-sea flowers) who sits in the center of a spinning boat ride.

Photo gifted to the public domain 

The animal barns have their own statuary.  This is a reproduction of the famous mix-N-match animal invented for the 1936 fair, which combines attributes of sheep, goats, pigs, cattle.  Nowadays they'd throw in llama too.  I saw a lot of llamas!  This sculpture has a funny name... that I just can't remember...

Photo gifted to the public domain

And, of course, there are the famous Art Deco architectural murals and statues that mark the main buildings along the Esplanade.  This one is called "The Tenor" or similar.  (His female companion is "The Contralto"  I'm pretty sure.)  Behind him you can see a few details of the buildings.  I love this guy's manly chromed hood-ornamentishness.

Photo gifted to the public domain

This sculpture is a reproduction too, as the original was lost, but many original statues remain.  Like this one - my absolute favorite - in front of what was the Women's Museum.

Photo gifted to the public domain

She has an official name, but I call her "The Cactus Lady."  

No trip to the Fair is complete without stopping by to say "Hello" to Big Tex and "Goodbye" to The Cactus Lady.  She stands conveniently close to the exit to the DART trains heading home.  (More on the architecture and statuary of Fair Park HERE.)

This year I enjoyed the llamas and quilts and music and the Girl Scout exhibit and the kids dancing Mexican and Irish dances, but it was the sculptures that turned out to be the highlight for me.

Well... that and the Belgian Waffles with whipped cream and strawberries.  Darn tasty!

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