If there were an award for best attendance at the State Fair of Texas, Richard Boone of Dallas would almost certainly win it.
Boone has been going to the state fair since 1916, when he was two weeks old, he told WFAA-TV. On Thursday, 100 years later, he grabbed his cane and headed out to see Big Tex and a couple of state fair girlfriends once again.
“He’s a man with a mission, especially when it comes to the fair,” his daughter Anita told WFAA.
Apart from several years during World Wars I and II and in 1935 when the fair was canceled, Boone says he has attended every year since his mother brought her newborn to the Maxwell House Coffee booth at the fair to show off to co-workers in 1916.
“The fair has been in our blood all the time,” he told WFAA.
Or, as Nancy Wiley, author of The Great State Fair of Texas — An Illustrated History, told The Dallas Morning News: “It taps into so many good memories for so many people.”
Given the inclination, Boone could have seen Elvis Presley perform at the fair in 1956. He was around for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition at Fair Park, the first appearance of Big Tex (1952), the first Texas-OU “Red River Rivalry” game (1929), the introduction of the iconic Fletcher’s corny dog (1942), and of course Elsie the Borden cow. Not to mention the year Big Tex went up in flames.
These days, just a Fletcher’s and a visit to Big Tex is enough to make his day at the fair.
Here’s WFAA’s report: