By Chirsten Ellis
Two years before coming to Los Angeles to study at USC, my family and I moved from Chicago, Illinois to Dallas, Texas., a state where two things are undeniable: 1:. That barbeque is doggone good. 2. That the infamous slogan, “Everything is Bigger in Texas” is an understatement! I also quickly learned that Texans are not ashamed of greeting anyone with a hearty ‘Hey Y’all’! Y’all is an American slang word, an abbreviation of the term “You all,” and is mainly used in the southern parts of the U.S.
I was also surprised at another phenomenal here: fried food! Sure, I had heard of fried chicken and fried shrimp, but never in my life had I ever come across fried butter! Lo and behold leave it to Texans to transform the butter you spread so smoothly on toast into a fried dish worth writing about. I found out about fried butter and other remarkable treats when I spent a day at the Annual Texas State Fair.
Every fall, the Texas State Fair takes place in Fair Park, near downtown Dallas. After living in Dallas for two months, my family and I decided to go out and take part in something new and entertaining. On a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon in October, we were in for a very amusing treat. On this particular day, the fair hosted the Red River Rivalry Classic Football Game which is a historically, well-known matchup between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners in the notable Cotton Bowl Stadium. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this two team matchup has the same intensity and energetic fan base as a USC vs UCLA rivalry game. Many in the crowds were dressed in either orange for their support of the Longhorns or red for the Oklahoma Sooners. I wore a gray Texas Longhorns shirt to show some love for the home state.
When I first walked into the fair entrance, I was amazed at the array of tall flag poles arranged in a semicircle each representing a flag of a different country. While walking through the fair event, there were food booths located on each side. In the air I could smell a variety of many flavors, not one short of pure deliciousness. On our sightseeing and food tasting journey, we also made a stop at the animal farm, where I saw live chickens, geese, roosters, and turkeys right in front of me. I had actually never seen these animals up close before. We also visited small shops selling a unique collection of handmade jewelry, paintings and cowboy/western clothes and memorabilia. The highlight of my afternoon was taking a picture of the grandest Texan of all named Big Tex (pictured above). He’s a cultural icon for both the city of Dallas and Texas in general and he stands an incredible 55 feet tall.
It was a pleasurable afternoon taking in all the sights, smells, and excitement of game day. I remember thinking how happy I was that Texas was my new home. Though I had to leave the state a mere two years later, I’m always excited to return home in the winters and summers and will be happy to resume my life there when I complete my studies.
Featured image from Wikimedia Commons
Chirsten is a rising junior majoring in English. She was born and raised in Chicago but has been living in Dallas, Texas for almost three years now. She enjoys writing, cooking new food recipes, learning different languages, and watching sports with her family.