Mixed Emotions as State Fair of Texas Comes to a Close

Another State Fair of Texas is in the books.

Sunday was the final day of the fair and the public's last chance to enjoy the rides, animals, vendors, shows and food until 2018.

While it may be hard for some to believe that 24 days have already come and gone, the people who've been busy working the fair nonstop sure can.

"I'm pretty tired," laughed Jack Pyland, who runs several "Jack's Frys" stands at the fair. "I'll be licking my wounds for awhile. But soon, I'll be ready to start planning for next year."

Pyland knows the grind better than most. This is his 69th State Fair. His parents, who began serving french fries there in the 1940s, started bringing him when he was just 6-months old.

"I always say I'll never do it again -- but that only lasts about 30 days," said Pyland. "I don't know any better. [The State Fair] is the only thing I know."

During the fair, he starts each day at around 3:30 a.m. -- making sure he has enough potatoes for the day ahead and then washing them (he saai he goes through approximately 2,500 pounds of potatoes per day). Once that's done, he has to make sure his booths are fully staffed and prepped to go. He works until about noon -- then heads back to his RV to take a quick shower before he gets started on his daily paperwork. Finally, he heads back out to the stands at about 4 p.m. and works until about 11 p.m. -- giving him roughly two to three hours to sleep each night.

While he's always sad to see the fair end, he looks forward to some much needed down time.

"The first week after I leave the fair, I go get in an airplane, go up to 10,000 feet, jump out, open a parachute and ride it down for 30 minutes," said Pyland. "It's just a little solitude, some alone time in the air."

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