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State Fair of Texas ranked best state fair in America for 2022

One company has been keeping track of the top 50 fairs and carnivals for almost 20 years. Dallas and Houston have dueled for the top spot since 2006.

DALLAS — They don't call him Big Tex for nothing!

For the past 17 years, Carnival Warehouse has been keeping track of up to 50 of the top fairs and carnivals in the U.S. And for the 12th time, the State Fair of Texas has topped the list.

Each list shows not only the number of people that attend all 50 fairs, but also the change of attendance compared to the year before. According to the 2022 rankings, the State Fair had over 2.5 million attendees, a nearly 16% increase from the 2021 fair.

That's a pretty big bounce back from the 2021 State Fair. It was still ranked the biggest in America, but there was almost a 12.5% decrease of attendees from the 2019 fair.

Almost needless to say, it's a huge recovery from 2020 when the State Fair was canceled and replaced with a drive-thru and pop-up events. 

Carnival Warehouse writes, "Overall, the industry had a very strong year. If 2021 was a recovery year, 2022 was a restoration."

The State Fair's 12-time victories haven't been consecutive for these rankings. Between 2006 and 2022, it's been a draw between Dallas and RodeoHouston.

Houston has been number one for four out of the outstanding five "Top Fairs" list: 2009, 2016, 2017, and 2018. That last top spot went to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in 2020 (for the record, their rodeo was around early February, right before COVID started shutting everything down).

Fort Worth also deserves its props. The city's Stock Show & Rodeo has gone from No. 18 in 2008 to ninth place in 2022. It also ranked second in 2020.

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