Fair time in Texas is about as big as it gets when it comes to celebrating regional fairs and festivals. From hundreds of county fairs, the Central Texas State Fair in Belton, the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont, the annual East Texas State Fair in Tyler and, of course, the granddaddy of them all, the Official State Fair of Texas in Dallas, fair time in Texas is a time to celebrate all things Texas past and present, and with the official opening of the Texas State Fair Friday, Sept. 28, all eyes were on the famous Texas State Fair Grounds where millions will flock to celebrate Texas agriculture and culture.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples kicked off the Fair Friday morning during special ceremonies at the 40-year anniversary of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Food and Fiber Pavilion. The Pavilion is located in the heart of Fair Park andis expected to attract large crowds once again as a showcase for the state’s agricultural products.

“The State Fair of Texas is the world’s greatest showcase for all things Texan,” Commissioner Staples said during the opening. “Visit the Food and Fiber Pavilion and discover the many outstanding products offered by our GO TEXAN vendors who work hard to share the best of the Lone Star State with Texas and the world.”

The Food and Fiber Pavilion, sponsored this year by Southwest Dairy, is a 25,000-square-foot facility showcasing hundreds of GO TEXAN products. GO TEXAN promotes the products, culture and communities of the Lone Star State. Research shows that Texans, when given a choice, prefer locally produced items over those produced elsewhere.

“Texas agriculture contributes more than $100 billion to our state’s economy each year,” Commissioner Staples said. “Texas farmers and ranchers take pride in producing the products that improve the daily lives of people around the world. From the food on our tables to the clothes on our backs, the products of agriculture touch our lives in countless everyday ways.”

While the many local, state and regional fairs and festivals across Texas have been called our last great connection to Texas past, they are also known as a “bridge for future generations” to connect to modern and post modern Texas. In addition to enjoying the products produced by Texas agriculture, the State Fair grounds is a central place to find new technology equipment and trends that support agriculture.

“Farmers and ranchers love to attend the State Fair each year to review some of the newest and most advanced agriculture systems coming down the pike,” Josh Templeton told reporters following the opening ceremony at vendor’s row. Templeton works with the fair to attract industry exhibits and special demonstrations for the thousands of farming families who make the State Fair a regular stop on their annual schedule.