TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The East Texas State Fair opens Friday for its 106th year, and preparations and crews are getting ready for the big event.
Crews are working around the construction for the new W.T. Brookshire Conference Center to bring the same family fun East Texans expect, year after year.
For John Sykes, president of the East Texas State Fair, this particular week is on his mind year-’round.
“There’s nothing like it in East Texas and frankly we are the largest event between Tulsa, and Houston and Shreveport and Dallas,” said Sykes.
Since 1912, the fair has unfolded on the fairgrounds, offering delicious food, exciting attractions, thrilling rides and of course, award-winning livestock in all shapes and sizes.
Planning out an operation this big doesn’t just happen overnight.
“There’s so much involved in doing something like this. It’s not just a matter of coming in here and just parking, but the amount of electricity and water and gas lines need to be hooked up,” said Sykes.
More than 100 people are on the property working each day leading up to the start of the fair to ensure everything is ready to go by Friday.
“There’s more tents yet to go up, there’s all of our commercial exhibitors will be moving in. Right now I think we have 90%of our food vendors in,” said Sykes.
They are working 18-hour days to make sure it all fits properly and safely, especially with the massive construction project for the new convention center, right next door.
“Our big focus is how much space do we have and where can we put everything,” explained Sykes.
He said they are ready to host another successful fair season, full of fun for the entire family.