Last weekend I went to the State Fair of Texas and had a great time. It’s the 126th year of the fair itself and Big Tex is celebrating his 60th birthday. Of course, there were some new novelty fried foods (Fried Lemonade, Fried Frito Pie, Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll, Fried Nutter Butters) for sale. I can tell you that the fried Nutter Butter cookies are darn worthwhile.
As for packing iron onsite, prior to the trip I went to the Fair’s official website FAQ page where I read this:
Concealed Handgun Policy
A person holding a valid Texas Concealed Handgun License (or valid CHL from a reciprocating state) is permitted to enter onto State Fair property with his/her concealed handgun; provided, however, that CHL holders will not be permitted to carry their concealed handgun inside the Cotton Bowl Stadium, a facility defined under Texas Penal Code 46.035 as “the premises where a high school, collegiate or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place.” Note that the Fair does not provide lockers for the storage or checking of weapons for CHL holders, so if you plan to attend a game or event in the Cotton Bowl, please secure your weapon at home or in your vehicle prior to entering the fairgrounds. We want the Fair to be a fun and safe experience.
So properly armed with knowledge (and a pistol) I was a tad concerned when I saw that every patron entering was being ‘wanded’ by security guards. I fell into a line at the gate but I had my permit in hand. When it was my turn, I simply showed it to the guard and she smiled and said to show it to the policeman inside the gate as she waved me on. The cop was sitting in an elevated box overlooking the gate. I went ahead a did as I was told saying to him, “The guard said I should show this to you” as I handed him my permit and drivers license. He looked at them for a moment and handed them back with a “Thank you”. I went on and had a great day without giving it another thought. In retrospect, I probably didn’t need to show the cop ‘my papers’. It’s not like the security guard radioed him to let him know to look for me. I didn’t feel hassled, everyone was polite and it didn’t take any extra time.
The only other bit that I’d pass on would be: the usual rules apply while at the fair so don’t partake of any adult beverages while carrying and some of the carnival rides can be rough [like the ‘porch swing in a giant slingshot’ and the ‘vertical centrifuge'; frankly I’m surprised the midway isn’t littered with empty shoes flung off of the riders] so maybe a retention holster is in order depending on how much you enjoy thrill rides.