Where does the money go?

What happens to the money at the State Fair of Texas

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Amitha Nair

With anywhere from 40,000 to 200,000 people buzzing from the rides to outrageous foods, the State Fair of Texas brings people of all ages to enjoy everything the event has to offer from Sept. 23 to Oct. 23.

An average person ends up paying somewhere between $10 to $15 for a ticket, not including the money spent on rides and food inside the fair according to the official State Fair of Texas website.

“The ticket prices are reasonable but the additional spending like rides, games, food, are expensive enough to keep me from going most years,” junior Maggie Coleman said.

Starting back in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has been promoting Texas agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. Acquiring numerous collections such as being home to the world’s largest collection of Art Deco structures and home to some of Dallas’ top museums and cultural centers as said on the Stae Fair of Texas.

“So many people don’t know that the State Fair of Texas is actually a non-profit, so by being a non-profit organization, the fair itself serves as our largest fundraiser,” said Taylor Austin, public relations manager for the State Fair of Texas.

A portion of proceeds from the admission tickets are going directly back to the community through different initiatives like our Big Tex scholarship program, the Big Tex Urban farms that donate fresh produce back into the south Dallas community, and Our Community Giving, a grant program to give other non-profits funding for great initiatives, Austin said.

In addition, the State Fair of Texas gives back through its partnerships with charities like the North Texas Food Bank and provides 2.1 million free admission tickets for North Texas students and teachers. As well as sponsoring local community programs, giving college scholarships, hosting more than 11,00 creative competitions, providing 6,000 seasonal jobs, and adding hundreds of millions of dollars to the North Texas economy, according to the State Fair of Texas website.

“We are not related to the government at all,” Austin said. “ We are a private non-profit organization so because of that we are able to give our money back in the way we would like to.” 

Although the admission ticket proceeds are given back to the community in many different ways, the thousands of dollars spent every day in one food booth goes directly to the stand, according to the Dallas Observer. 

The money that is spent on buying food is separate then the admission money, that money goes directly to those who hold the stand, and there is no profit getting taken out of the money at the end of the day.

“We have more than 80 food vendors at the State Fair of Texas and you can think of them as small businesses,” said Austin.  “For many of them, this event is critical to their success for the rest of the year and so it means a lot to them to be a part of the State Fair of Texas.”