Remember where we were this time last year? The pandemic was in full swing, folks who could were working from home or staying quarantined as much as possible while essential workers braved the world for all of us, politics were raging, and good news (and toilet paper) was hard to come by.

We're not entirely out of the woods yet, but things have drastically improved and there's so much optimism going into summer of 2021.

Standing at the horizon of that hot summer hope is a friendly giant waving and shouting, "Howdy, folks!". It's that most iconic of Texas mascots - Big Tex!

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He's waving us all toward the gates of this year's State Fair of Texas, which will officially open on Friday, September 24.

I love the idea behind this year's commemorative theme art, by the way. State Fair of Texas President Mitchell Glieber wrote in a media release Wednesday that it's all about being together.

State Fair of Texas

"We’re excited to make up for lost time and help families and friends from all walks of life reconnect again, while making new memories to last a lifetime," Glieber wrote.

After the year we've had with the pandemic, politics, and the big freeze, we should take every opportunity to just enjoy things and really appreciate how events like the State Fair of Texas really can bring people together - not just physically of course, but in the sense of realizing that at the end of the day, the petty things that seem to divide us seem so insignificant when we're surrounded by good people, good food, and good fun.

Speaking of good food, who else is sooooo ready to dig into that fair food? My arteries are already screaming in terror, but my taste buds are here for it!

By the way, there's a State Fair of Texas coloring book you can print out for the kiddos and get the fun started early. You'll find it here.

Check out ticket info and updates at BigTex.com.

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