Despite Mishaps, State Fair Closing Strong

Crowds pack the fairgrounds one day after two major mishaps

Despite two mishaps on Friday, crowds packed the State Fair of Texas during its last weekend.

As the sun set on the last Saturday of the fair, Fort Worth resident Daniel Whittington said it was difficult to navigate through the crowds.

"This is extreme. I have not seen it this busy ever. This is unbelievable. There's points to where you can't even walk, you're just standing still," he said.

But what isn't so crowded is the Stratosphere. The thrill ride malfunctioned Friday night, stranding 24 people 165 feet above ground. State Fair of Texas Chief of Operations Rusty Fitzgerald says crews have been investigating what happened.

"We're taking a look at it. Of course, we're doing our own investigation, seeing exactly what caused that error. We don't let anything run until we know what caused it and make sure it can't happen again," Fitzgerald said.

Visitors didn't seem too concerned about the incident. Thrill seekers filled the fast moving rides throughout the fairgrounds.

"I was a little nervous about it but you know, it's an amusement park. You have a risk every time you go on a ride," said Whittington.

Another mishap on Friday left the park without its larger-than-life mascot, Big Tex. Fair goers mourned the loss of the iconic cowboy, which burned down after an electrical malfunction.

"May he rest in peace. We love him, we love him. He the heart of Texas," said Waxahachie resident Damian Telfor.

Fair Park officials said Big Tex will definitely be back next year -- bigger, better, and hopefully fire-proof.

The last day of the 2012 State Fair of Texas is Sunday, Oct. 21.

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