DALLAS - Big Tex will not wear a mask this year but fairgoers may be required to at the State Fair of Texas.
Fair organizers said masks will be mandatory outdoors in crowded settings, at some independent vendor booths and indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
"Big Tex needs every fairgoer to do their part and most of all, be respectful of others and do the right thing. The current health situation makes for a challenging backdrop for the 135-year State Fair of Texas tradition. Of course, we would love for everyone to attend the State Fair this year and continue the great family traditions that make the event special to so many, however, we understand that some will be hesitant. We ask that those who attend do so because they are willing to follow our health guidelines – not because it’s mandated, but because it’s the right thing to do," the State Fair of Texas said in a news release.
Organizers admitted it will be difficult for them to enforce a mask mandate around the fairgrounds so they are asking people to pitch in and do their part by wearing masks when shopping, attending a show or visiting an exhibit.
Fairgoers won't be asked to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test but they will be urged to practice social distancing, utilize hand sanitizer stations around Fair Park and stay home when they’re not feeling well.
"Most of all, please respect your fellow fairgoers. We’re all in this together. And please remember that some operators may be short-staffed due to labor shortages. Please practice patience and be kind to those who showed up to work and serve you at the great State Fair of Texas," the State Fair of Texas said.
Dallas County will be offering free vaccines that will come with $20 in coupons to be used on food or attractions at the fair.
It opens on Sept. 24 and runs through Oct. 17.