Howdy folks! It's hard to believe an entire year has gone by since we've blogged...or is it? All I know is that we've been busy bees! Or should I say busy Texas bees. Yeah, let's stick with Texas bees since we do love all things Texan...
After a long week of set up, it's official, the Food and Fiber Pavilion is open and ready for business!
Technically speaking, the Pavilion opened yesterday evening at 6:00 p.m. for a special "Fair Food and Fine Wine" event hosted by TDA and Texas Monthly honoring all of the Pavilion sponsors, exhibitors, GO TEXAN participants and press.
Speaking of press, FOX news showed up at the party with a camera crew to shoot all the fun! It seems that Chef Joseph Poon-a professional watermelon carver that also makes fresh salsa out of delicious Texas watermelons-made quite an impression because the TV crew said he was the best interviewee all night! I believe it. Mr. Poon is quite endearing. Anyhow, I'm going to try my hardest to get my little paws on a copy of the video from Fox news, so be sure to check back for that. Trust me, it's worth the wait. For now, this picture will have to do.
Some additional party highlights include: Chowing down on some good 'ol Salt Lick Texas BBQ; Elsie the cow mooing in chorus with Will Harrell and the Hounds; and of course seeing friends and co-workers take old-time western photos dressed as a showgirls and sheriffs. Overall, it was great fun & nice to be around so many familiar faces.
Before I sign off, I want to bring my first entry back to what I planned on blogging about in the first place; Pavilion set-up. I want to sincerely thank, from the bottom of my heart, all of the talented and dedicated TDA staff that work so hard to pull the Food and Fiber Pavilion together in such a short amount of time. If you've ever watched the reality TV show "Extreme Home Make Over" you'll know what I mean. It's like that show, but I like to call it the "Extreme Pavilion Makeover" because that's exactly what's going on. There are literally a crew of us who come into an empty 25,000 square foot Pavilion and in a matter of 10 days turn it in to Disneyland. OK not quite Disneyland, but maybe a more accurate word would be Agriland. Welcome to Agriland! We hope you'll visit soon!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
At times Juliana & I actually have to leave the Pavilion to go up to will call, or to the State Fair media office, or sometimes we simply take a break and stroll around the fairgrounds. On one of our ventures out in to the fairgrounds, we noticed a random fairgoer walking around with a GO TEXAN shopping bag, and then we noticed the bags were popping up everywhere! We decided it would be fun to take pictures of all the people and places we spotted the GO TEXAN shopping bags and share them with you! We even took a picture of Big Tex holding a GO TEXAN shopping bag, but it mysteriously disappeared. Maybe it's with missing the quilt unveiling photos...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Did you know that Borden's Elsie the Cow has veterinarians in place to regulate her nutritional requirements on a weekly basis? That her trailer is thermostat controlled and designed solely with her comfort in mind? She is groomed every day which includes a bath and her hooves and horns being polished? Until Steve Bradley with Borden told me all of the above, I sure didn't! Elsie's better taken care of then I am & she's probably better taken care of then you! We love Elsie & are very honored to have her and her son Beauregard part of the Food and Fiber Pavilion.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I saw a the cutest t-shirt on a little girl that said "Please Recycle My Brother" but I didn't have a camera with me at the time to take her picture. However, it did make me think about how this is the first time we've had recycling bins in the Food and Fiber Pavilion & how it's working out really well!
The City of Dallas is going to give us a report on how much recycling we did for the duration of the fair & I'm curious to see how we measure...
Sunday, October 12, 2008
In case you didn't know, there was a football game yesterday on the fairgrounds. There was a loud buzz of people cheering GO Texas, but what were hearing was GO TEXAN! And guess what- GO TEXAN won! I think the score was GO TEXAN 45, OU zero, but my math could be a bit off. Anyhow, the darling UT fans pictured above were tired from a long day of cheering, but made a point of stopping by "their favorite pavilion" before heading back to Austin.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
One of the great things about the Food and Fiber Pavilion is the sheer variety of performances and demonstrations on the events stage.
Yesterday the Hill College Choir and Jazz Band performed in the Pavilion. It was their thirty-fourth time to perform here & it was quite the production. Two buses full of college students arrive two hours before their show time to tune their instruments, practice their harmonies and make sure everything is just right. They take the performance very seriously and usually draw a pretty good crowd. A gentleman next to me in the audience told me that he came to the Food and Fiber Pavilion every year just to watch their performance. It's nice to know loyal fairgoers appreciate the long held traditions of the Food and Fiber Pavilion.
The Fort Worth Zoo was on the stage today and they are also a perennial favorite. They brought an assortment of animals with them that would wow any audience. We learned the difference between an opossum and a possum (possums live in Australia), saw an alligator and got to meet the cutest African Penguin.
There really is something for everyone on the events stage. I know there are still many more events on the stage but my favorite so far is the Fort Worth Zoo. That penguin will be tough to beat!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
There's always so much going on in the pavilion (especially on the weekends) that it's becoming difficult for me to pick what to write about. But with record GO TEXAN store sales in the pavilion, today's choice was easy!
We get really excited around here when store sales are up! Not just because it means the pavilion is busy, but it means that the GO TEXAN companies are selling a lot of product.
Each and every day, these passionate Texas companies arrive hours before the pavilion opens to prepare and set up their sampling area and yesterday was no exception. There were 11 GO TEXAN companies sampling product throughout the pavilion & it was packed in here. I mean packed. All of their hard work and sampling was worthwile because store sales were up 56 percent compared with the same weekend last year!
Pictured above is busy day in the GO TEXAN General Store and Van Roehling Sauces & Rubs sampling yet another great GO TEXAN product. Yum!