It's Opening Day for the State Fair of Texas

It’s opening day for the State Fair of Texas.

The theme for 132nd year of the fair is “Celebrating Texas Innovation.” In addition to the traditional food, Midway rides, carnival games, exhibits, concerts and shows, there are a few new attractions this year.

There are three new rides on the Midway – the Y-Factor, Haunted Castle an Airmaxx. While the Y-Factor and Airmaxx are spinning attractions for thrill seekers, the Haunted Castle is a family ride that’s just a little spooky and scary. A second smaller Ferris wheel has also been added near the main stage. But don't worry, it's not replacing the Texas Star.

Everyone’s favorite Little Hands on the Farm attraction is bigger this year with tractor rides and even more farm-to-market learning activities for the kids. Meanwhile, the petting zoo, now called Big Tex’s Farmyard, has moved new location near the Kids’ Boardwalk and the Wild West Pet Palooza. It’s still a hands-on, kid-friendly attraction with live animal displays.

When it comes to shows, there’s an All-Star Stunt Dog Show with some of the funniest and smartest shelter dogs doing amazing tricks. ChulaHoopsUSA features choreographed pro hoop dancers who ultimately get the audience involved. And the Big Air! Basketball Slam Dunk Show joins the list of new daily shows for 2018.

Fletcher’s has a new corny dog this year called the Cheezy Pup. It’s American cheese on a stick dipped in Fletcher’s batter. It’s a cheesy and a little smaller than a regular corny dog, hence the name Cheezy Pup. And, of course, the 2018 Big Tex Choice Awards finalists and winners will be available from concessionaires. They include the Cotton Candy Taco, Fernie's Hoppin' John Cakes and Arroz Con Leche.

The 2018 free concert lineup includes country singers Aaron Watson and Hunter Hayes, pop singer Austin Mahone and rapper Ludacris. Last but not least, the tallest Cowboy in the world is sporting a new pair of red and blue Lucchese boots this year. Big Tex returned to his post in Fair Park last week.

Opening Day is Military Appreciation Day. All active military, retired military and veterans can get in free with a military ID. Their spouses with a military ID and children can also get in free. For other discounts and deals, check out Steve Noviello’s guide to the State Fair of Texas.

The fair runs through Oct. 21.