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State Fair Of Texas Wreaks Havoc On Exposition Park Bars & Restaurants

The crowds aren’t supporting the local economy outside of Fair Park

State Fair
Amy McCarthy is a staff writer at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Going to the State Fair of Texas every year is pretty much a requirement as a Dallasite, but most of us don’t venture too far beyond the gates of Fair Park when we visit the area. Unfortunately for the bars and restaurants surrounding the Park, that means taking a major hit every time the State Fair rolls around.

The Dallas Observer reports that a number of Fair Park-adjacent businesses aren’t exactly the biggest fans of the city’s favorite deep-fried attraction. According to the area’s business owners, the crowds of folks that flood Exposition Park every fall just don’t visit the neighborhood’s bars and restaurants when they’re finished at the fair.

“The fair is terrible for the businesses in the area of Expo and Parry,” says Eight Bells Alehouse owner Meri Dahlke. "The only decent weekend we've had was TX/OU. Most people just visit the fair and go home — and take up all the parking.”

The parking situation is especially tenuous for the neighborhood’s bars. Lots and spaces typically set aside for businesses in the area are used for the Fair, which means that patrons are forced to pay around $15-$25 if they want to park their cars while the fair is in session.

In response, a spokesperson for the Fair told the Observer that it “hasn’t heard complaints from businesses that lose revenue during fair month,” but that the State Fair is open to considering ways to mitigate the impact.

Either way, if you’re heading out to spend $100 on fair tickets, you should also probably consider throwing a few bucks at the businesses whose parking spaces you’re taking.

State Fair Time Is No Festival for Expo Park Bars and Restaurants That Lose Money [Dallas Observer]