Visitors to this year’s State Fair of Texas spent $37.2 million on food, amusement rides and other fun.
That made for a strong year, and better than last year, but just short of the 2010 record of $37.3 million.
The fair does not release attendance figures, but the final weekend seemed to be especially strong. A parade Sunday night that traditionally helps end the fair had to be canceled due to the large crowds. Some vendors even ran out of food over the weekend. That might have made up for several rainy days earlier in the month.
The top day for food and beverage sales occurred on Oct. 12 with sales of $2.8 million. The top coupon-grossing day in State Fair history was on Saturday -- $3.7 million.
Sue Gooding, the fair spokeswoman, says Big Tex will be dismantled Tuesday and stored on the fairgrounds until next year.
Nearly 125,000 visitors stopped by the "Life & Times of Big Tex" exhibit at the Hall of State, fair officials said.
Fair patrons donated nearly 195,000 pounds of canned goods for the North Texas Food Bank, translating to about 162,000 meals.
And fairgoers ate up plenty of new fried foods. More than 50,000 people ate the new Deep Fried Thanksgiving Dinner, while 72,000 Deep Fried Cuban Rolls were served. Both items won at this year's Big Tex Choice Awards for best new fair food.
Next year's fair is only 11 months away: It starts Sept. 26.