Save Big at the State Fair


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The State Fair of Texas kicks off this weekend! For those planning a trip (or a few trips), these money-saving opportunities are available Friday, September 27 to Sunday, October 20.

 

State Fair Savings

Online Tickets
Save time and money by purchasing tickets online. Online tickets are $1.50 less than tickets purchased in person.

Season Passes
Going to the State Fair of Texas for one day is definitely not enough time to get the full experience. Get a season pass, enjoy all the attractions and save money. Season passes are now available for $45, which includes 24-day admission and a variety of special VIP benefits.

Discounted Group Tickets
Going to the fair with a group of friends or coworkers? Well you’re in luck! Groups as small as 20 can get through the gates for as low as $10 per person (a savings of more than 55%).

 

Any Day Discounts

Dart GoPass
Through the Dart GoPass app, you can buy discounted tickets to the State Fair of Texas. General admission tickets are $16, while child and senior tickets are $12.

Kroger
Get your tickets in advance at your local Kroger. General admission is $16.50 and season passes are $39.95. Tickets can be purchased at the checkout counter or service desk up until October 20, 2019.

Dr Pepper
Bring an empty Dr Pepper can to the State Fair gates after 5 p.m. any day of the week and get general admission for half price.

McDonald’s
Discount coupons are available at participating McDonald’s locations throughout North Texas. Bring your coupon to the State Fair gate any day and save $5 off general admission or half off a children’s ticket (with purchase of general admission).

 

Opening Day – Friday, September 27

Military Appreciation Day
All active military, retired military, and veterans receive free admission when they present valid documentation of military service. Spouses of service men and women with a valid Military Spouse ID, as well as children under the age of 18, also receive free admission.

Dasani
Bring a full 20 oz. bottle of Dasani water (or any 20 oz. Coca-Cola product) for donation to the North Texas Food Bank and get in for $9 on Opening Day.

 

Every Tuesday – October 1, 8 & 15

Dr Pepper
Bring an empty Dr Pepper can any Tuesday and receive $9 admission.

Thrilling Tuesdays
Discounts extended to the Midway with most rides offered at a reduced price on Tuesdays.

 

Every Wednesday – October 2, 9 & 16

North Texas Food Bank
Bring four cans of food as a donation to the North Texas Food Bank and receive $4 admission.

 

Every Thursday – October 3, 10 & 17

Senior Days
Senior citizens 60 years and better get into the fair for free.

Coca-Cola Half-Price
Bring an empty 20 oz. bottle of any Coca-Cola product and receive $9 admission.

Coca-Cola Thrifty Thursdays
Every Thursday of the fair you can save while snacking with participating food vendors offering one of their signature menu items at a reduced price.

 

Friday, October 11

First Responders Day
All first responders, including active and retired public law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency service agencies, will receive free admission when they present a valid badge or ID from their department or organization. In addition, up to three admission tickets will be available for their family members.

 

For more information on this year’s State Fair of Texas, visit bigtex.com.

 

Plan Your Tax-Free Weekend Shopping


School backpack and school supplies with chalkboard background. Education or back to school concept.

 

Tax-free weekend is days away, and just in time for back-to-school shopping. Are you ready?

 

This year’s Sales Tax Holiday will happen Friday, August 9, through midnight Sunday, August 11. But remember, the tax exemption is only available on certain items under $100. Computers and software are not tax-exempt.

 

Tax-free items include: 

• School supplies
• Art supplies
• School instructional materials
• Clothing and footwear less than $100 per item
• Backpacks

 

Shopping with Mom

 

The best ways to save money on tax-free weekend:

• Planning ahead
• Making a list of items you need
• Looking for the best sales in your area
• Checking for coupons (printable or online)
• Maximizing price match programs where available.

 

Good luck and happy shopping!

Maximize Your Tax-Free Weekend


Apple, pile of books and pencils

 

Tax-free weekend is days away, and just in time for back-to-school shopping. Are you ready?

 

This year’s Sales Tax Holiday will happen Friday, August 10, through midnight Sunday, August 12. But remember, the tax exemption is only available on certain items under $100.

 

Office and school supplies arranged on wooden table - Knolling

 

Tax-free items include: 

• School supplies
• Art supplies
• School instructional materials
• Clothing and footwear less than $100 per item
• Backpacks

Keep in mind that computers and software are not exempt.

 

Asian hipster woman shopping for clothes inside a clothing store

 

The best ways to save money on tax-free weekend:

• Planning ahead
• Making a list of items you need
• Looking for the best sales in your area
• Checking for coupons (printable or online)
• Maximizing price matching if a store offers that.

 

Good luck and happy shopping!

8 Spring Blooms for Lone Star Landscaping


Spring is blooming all over North Texas, as seen from any car window the past few days. With fields of beautiful wildflowers popping up in city parks, off major highways and at celebrated gardens, what better time to curate the spring landscape of your dreams.

Whether you’re looking to refresh the backyard garden or improve your home’s curb appeal, these perfect plants are sure to flourish this season.

 

Cluster of the Famous Texas Bluebonnets.

Bluebonnets — The iconic state flower of Texas features clusters of up to 50 fragrant blue blooms with a white tip and can be spotted off roadways all over this great state. Bonus: Bluebonnets attract butterflies and native bumblebees.

 

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush — This eye-catching Texas native loves the sun and features stems topped with clumps of bright red, paintbrush-like spikes. With a reputation for being unpredictable, these flowers grow between 6 and 16 inches high.

 

Verbena bonariensis in garden

Verbena — Ideal for cascading over garden walls, hanging baskets and window boxes, these tiny purple blooms form round clusters and tend to cover large spaces. Plant these drought-tolerant perennials in partial shade and enjoy their dainty scent.

 

close up colorful tulips in tulip field

Tulips — The typically cup-shaped tulip comes in virtually any color and grows from 6 inches to 2 feet tall. Treated like annuals, tulips require well-drained soil to avoid excessive moisture and should be planted 4 to 6 inches apart.

 

Blue flower irises

Iris — This easy-to-grow perennial is reliable and comes in a variety of colors. The plants thrive best with plenty of sun, well-drained soil and a flowerbed to themselves, but make lovely cut flowers as well.

 

Fuchsia

Fuchsia — The delicate blooms of the fuchsia plant add vibrant color and versatile aesthetic to any outdoor space. Fuchsia thrives in any semi-sunny spot and grows beautifully in hanging baskets, flower pots or in gardens over the soil.

 

Beautiful yellow daffodils in the garden

Daffodils — These showy yellow flowers with a trumpet-shaped cup are hardy perennials that develop from a bulb and typically bloom in early spring. Plant these cheerful blooms in a sun-soaked area as a bold border or between shrubs for a pop of color.

 

Meadow blanketed with pink evening primrose, oenothera speciosa, wildflowers. Top view, close-up

Primrose — The nodding delicate blooms of primrose range in color and require moderate watering. These native Texas flowers like well-drained soil and spread extensively in open areas.

The State Fair of Texas’ Food: ‘Batter’ Than Ever


funnel cake strawberry sauce dessert
 
Chances are, if you have heard of the State Fair of Texas, you have heard about the — always outrageous, always delicious — food. Each year, State Fair concessionaires debut their latest edible innovations to the public in hopes of winning the Big Tex Choice Awards.
 
The judges have spoken. Here are your 2017 Big Tex Choice Award Winners.
 
Best Taste-Savory/Most Creative
 
Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
 
Best Taste-Sweet
 
Gulf Coast Fish Bowl
 
Here are your 2017 Big Tex Choice Award finalists competing for the titles of “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative.”
 
Savory Finalists
 
Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick
 
Texas Fajita Fries
 
The Tamale Donut
 
Surfin’ Turfin’ Tator Boat
 
Sweet Finalists
 
Deep Fried Froot Loops
 
Pinot Noir Popcorn
 
Fried Texas Sheet Cake
 
Fat Smooth
 
Tickets to the 2017 Big Tex Choice Awards Judging/Tasting are now on sale. It’s never too early to make a list of your must-try unique foods!

State Fair Headliners You Don’t Want to Miss


Dallas, TX USA - October 17, 2015: The iconic and massive Texas Star, at Fair Park in Dallas, TX
 
It’s time to get excited about the State Fair of Texas – our state’s most beloved event of the year. While there is notable debate over what the best part of the fair is, there’s no doubt the free concert series draws a large crowd every time. Below is a list of who you can (and should) see live on the Chevrolet Main Stage this year:
 
Thursday, October 5

Israel Houghton & New Breed – 8:45 p.m.

 

Friday, October 6

The Peterson Brothers – 5:30 & 8:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, October 7

Ro James – 2 p.m.

 

Sunday, October 8

The Spazmatics– 2 & 4 p.m.

Wilson Phillips – 5:30 p.m.

 

Monday, October 9

Temecula Road – 4 p.m.

Daya – 5:30 p.m.

 

Tuesday, October 10

Tristan McIntosh – 11:30 a.m., 5:45 & 8:30 p.m.

 

Friday, October 13

Prophets & Outlaws – 5:30 & 8:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, October 14

Pat Green – 8:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, October 15

Charlie Daniels Band – 5:30 p.m.

 

Friday, October 20

Waterloo Revival – 8:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, October 21

For King & Country – 8:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, October 22

Los Traileros Del Norte – 3 p.m.

 

In addition to the headlining acts who will perform each weekend over the course of the Fair, another set of regional bands and musicians will play this year during weekdays on the Chevrolet Main Stage. To see their schedule, click here.

Spring Plants for Your Texas Landscape


Spring is in the air, and it’s bringing with it a bright floral forecast.

According to experts at The University of Texas at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, “higher temperatures in January and February pushed some plants to bloom early.” This means spring flowers will be in full force the next few months.

If you’re tired of your landscaping and are itching for a change, or simply hoping to add some springtime cheer to your home, below are some great options for plants that will thrive this season.
 
1. Bluebonnets – Lupinus Texensis

Selective focus closeup with shallow dof on patch of Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) from low angle against blue sky.
The iconic state flower of Texas is a no-brainer for spring landscaping. These beautiful stems feature clusters of up to 50 fragrant blue flowers with a white tip. Bluebonnets are even recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting native Bumble Bee species.
 
2. Daffodils – Narcissus

Wild DaffodilsThese hardy perennials feature showy yellow flowers with a trumpet-shaped cup. They develop from a bulb and can be expected to bloom early spring. Try planting these cheerful blooms in the sun as a border or between shrubs.
 
3. Delphinium – Delphinium Carolinianum

Delphinium,Candle Delphinium,many beautiful purple and blue flowers blooming in the garden,English Larkspur,Tall LarkspurThis colorful perennial may be a challenge to grow, but the beautiful spiky blooms are worth the effort. Flowers can be blue, pink, purple, or white, and are perfect for a cottage-style garden. Grow these plants in fertile soil in full sun to light shade.
 
4. Fuchsia – Fuchsia Magellanica

Fuchsia. Onagraceae Salvia splendens Scarlet sage.The delicate, striking blooms of fuchsia are great to add an exotic aesthetic to any home. Fuchsia grows best hanging in baskets or in any semi-sunny area.
 
5. Indian Paintbrush – Castilleja Indivisa

Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata) blooming at high elevation
This native Texas plant is a showy annual or biennial that features stems topped with clumps of bright red paintbrush-like spikes. While relatively unpredictable, these flowers are a great pop of color.
 
6. Iris – Iris Germanica

Photo of purple iris flowers in a summer garden.
This reliable perennial comes in a variety of colors and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. The tall plants prefer sun, well-drained soil, and a flowerbed to themselves.
7. LinariaLinaria alpina

Linaria can be either hardy annuals or perennials and vary in height from 15 cm to 1.2 m. They have lance shaped leaves and carry flowers that are similar to those of snapdragon. They bloom from the end of spring through to the middle of summer and have flowers of many colors including orange, purple, blue and yellow.These contrasting biennials are great for adding texture to any landscaping. Grow these in a sunny gravel garden, but don’t expect them to survive through a hot and humid Texas summer.
 
8. Phlox Phlox paniculata

Close-up of Phlox hesperisThese perennials form beautiful clusters of pink or lavender blooms. Plant phlox in moist soil and a sunny area.
 
9. Primrose – Oenothera speciosa

different colored primrose blooming in springThe small, delicate blooms of primrose range in color and spread extensively in open areas. These flowers require moderate watering and well-drained soils.
 
10. Tulips – Tulipa

colorful tulip flowers at gardenTulips come in virtually any color, so you can easily find the perfect shade for your landscape. Space each bulb about four to six inches apart and make sure the soil is well-drained, as tulips cannot tolerate excessive moisture.
 
11. Verbena Verbena

Verbena bonariensis flowerThese tiny little purple blooms form round clusters and can cover large spaces. Plant these perennials in a partly shady area and enjoy the delicate scent they emit.