What's New for This Year's State Fair of Texas

The countdown is officially on: just 101 days away from this year's State Fair of Texas. On Tuesday, fair officials announced what's new for 2019.

Returning after a six-year hiatus is the "World of Birds Show presents: SOAR!" where stunning array of birds fly high above audiences' heads. Steve Martin will present a new cast of species, as well as memorable feathered friends. The spectacular show, which also includes information regarding bird health, habitat information and worldwide conservation efforts, will run daily at the Band Shell.

"Fiestas de Marionetas!" is a family-friendly show in a small village with 85 marionettes set in lights and beautiful landscaping. They come to life to celebrate a fiesta of color, culture and creativity. The show runs daily at the McDonald's Amphitheaters on First Avenue.

"Texas Cinema" will focus on the history and impact of film performers and creators from the Lone Star State, as well as the depiction of Texas through film.

"Fair Focus: The Photography of Kevin Brown" showcases the professional work of Dallas-area freelance photographer Kevin Brown, who has more than 38 years of experience. The showcase is open daily at the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center.

"Mighty Mike Show" displays the incredible feats of strength as Mighty Mike bends horseshoes, juggles bowling balls and sledgehammers, and his all-around charm. The show runs daily in the Coliseum Terrace.

"Splashdance!" is a high-energy performance of professional dances and acrobats at the Esplanade fountains. Set to festive music, this new show will dazzle and entertain guests of all ages.

On the glowing Midway, there are seven new rides: Dancing Clown, Tilt-a-Whirl, and Satori Yachts for the kiddos; Crazy Surf and Beach Party for thrill-seekers; Moon Raker and Skyliner swing.

The Midway game Flip-a-Chick is back by popular demand.

Take a stroll and snap some pictures at "Contain Yourself(ie)" along the historic Lagoon. Beautifully-painted shipping containers will provide the perfect background for an Insta-worthy pic.

Two new livestock competitions will wow the crowd this year: Youth Archery Contest and the Sheep Dog Trail. 4-H and FFA students will test their aim in a bracket-style archery tournament from Oct. 12-13. On Oct. 17 at the Livestock Judging Pavilion, dogs with top genetics and athleticism will race the clock to herd sheep in a series of patterns.

At Casa de Chocolate, "A Sweet Indulgent Affair" exhibit will shot a glimpse into the origin and history of chocolate along with demos, classes and loads of amazing chocolate. The exhibit at the Women's Museum is presented by Mundo Latino.

Returning for the 56th year, the United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps will perform at the State Fair of Texas on 10 different days. Beginning Sept. 27, they will perform every day with their final performance on Sunday, Oct. 6.

The African American Museum, Dallas will present the widely acclaimed exhibition, The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection, which celebrates the achievements and contributions of black Americans from 1595 to present times. Considered one of the most comprehensive surveys of African American history and culture outside the Smithsonian Institution, the exhibition will feature over 150 of the shared treasures amassed by Shirley and Bernard Kinsey during their five decades of marriage. The collection includes masterful paintings and sculptures, photos, rare books, letters, manuscripts and more. Presented by Toyota Motor North America, the exhibition is on view Sept. 21, 2019 through March 1, 2020, with details and tickets at aamdallas.org.

Sports fans can prepare for another round of iconic football games inside the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium during the 2019 Fair. Returning on Saturday, Sept. 28, the State Fair Classic brings its annual match-up between Grambling State University and Prairie View A&M University. The rivalry continues Saturday, Oct. 12 when Cotton Bowl Stadium hosts the AT&T Red River Showdown, when the University of Texas Longhorns play the University of Oklahoma Sooners. Closing out the 2019 Fair on Saturday, Oct. 19, Texas Southern University and Southern University will meet in the historic Cotton Bowl for the State Fair Showdown.

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