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Chimichurri

The 2022 State Fair of Texas is about to commence, with opening day on September 30, and discounts galore.

On the foodie front, for the first time, they've added seven new food stands from some notable Dallas-area restaurants.

These are above and beyond the usual concessionaires, and also have nothing to do with the Big Tex awards (which this year include a Fried Charcuterie Board and a sweet called Peanut Butter Paradise).

No, these are serious gourmet goodies that range from irresistible empanadas to gourmet soft-serve ice cream to Neapolitan pizza topped with BBQ.

These are the seven brand-new vendors joining the lineup at the 2022 State Fair of Texas:

Empanadas and fries from Chimichurri & Milagro Taco Cantina
Award-winning chef Jesus Carmona’s new stand will be serving dishes from his two Dallas restaurants, Chimichurri and Milagro Taco Cantina. He'll be doing two types of empanadas, plus a campeona taco, a burrito Texano, and mole fries, drizzled with mole sauce, crema fresca, and cotija cheese. Carmona was nominated for Rising Star Chef in CultureMap’s 2018 Tastemaker Awards and appeared on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri.

Candy pickles from Di-Licious Candies Pickles Factory
Known as the “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” of pickles, the family-owned and -operated Di-Licious Candies Pickles Factory is the “first original candy pickle factory in the entire world” and has more than 250 flavors of candy pickles. Featured dishes include their signature chamoy candy pickle along with candy pickles in a cup, Rainbow Brite candy pickle sundae, and cotton candy pickle roll crunch.

Pumpkin spice cheesecake on a stick from Drizzle Cheesecakes
Olympic athlete Stephen El Gidi and his partner Walid founded Drizzle Cheesecakes in 2018. Their business has made appearances across North America from southwestern Ontario to neighbors at Six Flags Over Texas’ Holiday in the Park. Drizzle’s New York-style cheesecake on a stick is dipped in magic-shell Belgian chocolate and rolled in a variety of toppings including crushed Oreos, red velvet cake, strawberry crumble, and more. Their stand will feature specialty flavors developed just for the State Fair of Texas including pumpkin spice cheesecake.

Loaded queso fries by Enjoy Foods
Founded in 2012, Enjoy Foods started out as a gourmet kitchen store in Rockwall from owners Dwaina Morris and her husband They'll be serving loaded queso fries, loaded queso nachos, fried chicken tacos, root beer floats, brownie sundaes, daiquiris, and fried jalapeños. One extra-unique item is their adult-infused jumbo Texas pickle infused with daiquiri mix.

Gourmet soft-serve ice cream by Once Upon a Cone
Once Upon a Cone has been soft-serving delicious ice cream treats all over Texas for the past 12 years. They do premium vanilla, chocolate, and swirled soft-serve ice cream along with specialty sundaes, shakes, floats, and malts. Their dipped cones are available in chocolate, cherry, butterscotch, and birthday cake flavors.

Nashville hot chicken by Palmer’s Hot Chicken Dallas
The Nashville Hot Chicken restaurant concept from Dallas native Palmer Fortune and his partner and chef Mills Garwood will serve the Motherclucker sandwich, a fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese and pickles; jumbo tenders; banana pudding; and tots, plain or smothered in pimento cheese queso). Plus their Frosé wine slushy made with pureed strawberries, hibiscus, and lime.

Neapolitan-style burnt ends pizza by Texapolitan Pizza
Stephan Nedwetzky of Pit Commander Barbecue is using barbecue as the topping on his favorite type of pizza, Neapolitan. Each pizza is made from 00 flour imported from Italy and needs only 90 seconds in the 900-1,000-degree stone oven to reach thin, crispy perfection. Four personal-sized pizza pies will include margherita, pepperoni, cheese, and smoked pork belly burnt ends. That one consists of red sauce, mozzarella, smoked pork belly burnt ends, jalapeños, cotija cheese, and Pit Commander Barbecue Sweet Heat BBQ sauce.

State Fair of Texas

State Fair of Texas unveils 10 creative fried foods for 2022 Big Tex Awards

State Fair News

The 2022 batch of fried foods has arrived: The State Fair of Texas has chosen the finalists for its annual Big Tex Choice Awards, with 10 state fair vendors who will compete for acclaim with their various kooky concoctions.

This year's competition drew 51 entries from 36 concessionaires. Entries are evaluated on uniqueness, creativity, presentation, and taste.

The finalists will participate in a competition on August 28 when a panel of judges gives three awards, for Best Taste – Savory, Best Taste – Sweet, and Most Creative.

UPDATE 8-28-2022: The winners are as follows:

  • Best Taste – Savory: Fried Charcuterie Board
  • Best Taste – Sweet: Peanut Butter Paradise
  • Most Creative: Cha-Cha Chata

The finalists are:

SAVORY

Chicharron Explosion Nachos, Glen & Sherri Kusak
Fried pork rinds with Cajun-style seasonings topped with beef fajita meat, queso, and BBQ chopped beef.

Deep Fried BLT, Tom Grace
A 12-inch rectangular tortilla filled with bacon and cheddar cheese is fried, then used as sandwich bread to hold lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Served with garlic parmesan potato chips.

Deep Fried Lasagna Roll, Parish Family
Lasagna made with ricotta, parmesan, provolone, mozzarella, and meat sauce is rolled, dipped in cheddar-herb batter, fried, then garnished with marinara, mozzarella, and basil. Served with zucchini fries.

Fried Charcuterie Board, Tami Nevins-Mayes & Josey Mayes
Mozzarella, salami, and green apple wrapped in a wonton wrapper and fried, topped with goat cheese and hot honey.

Holy Biscuit, Isaac Rousso
Biscuit topped with brisket, street corn queso, bacon, honey, and fried pickles.

SWEET

Cha-Cha Chata, Garza Family
Horchata milkshake with caramel, cinnamon, whipped topping, crushed candy, cinnamon galletas de gragega, and fried arroz con leche bites.

Deep Fried Rocky Road with Blue Bell Ice Cream, Cody & Lauren Hays
Rocky Road fudge coated with batter and fried, drizzled with chocolate syrup, sweetened condensed milk, mini marshmallows, and cinnamon glazed nuts, served with a cup of Blue Bell Ice Cream vanilla ice cream.

La Bluebonnet, Milton & Grace Whitley
Citrus juice, blueberries, and sugary base poured over ice.

Peanut Butter Paradise, Chris Easter & Nicole Sternes
Honey bun injected with caramel, topped with peanut butter, Reese's Pieces, Crushed Butterfinger, peanut butter cups, and more caramel.

The Ultimate Brookie Monster, Juan & Brent Reaves
A "brookie" consisting of a brownie with chocolate chip cookies, Oreos, and marshmallows baked inside, then battered and fried. Served with vanilla ice cream, then topped with cheesecake crumbles and strawberry sauce.

The 2022 State Fair of Texas will open on Friday September 30 and run through Sunday October 23. Here's how to get every possible discount.

Courtesy photo

How to get every possible discount at the 2022 State Fair of Texas

Deals for Days

The 2022 edition of the State Fair of Texas starts its 24-day run at Fair Park on September 30, with music, games, and food.

But what we're here for is discounts.

There are a multitude of discount ticket options and deals being offered by the State Fair and other entities, meaning there's no reason you should ever pay full price.

TICKET OPTIONS
General admission ticket prices are tiered depending on the day of the week you go:

  • Monday-Thursday: $15 for adults, $10 for kids 3-12 and seniors 60 and over
  • Friday: $20 for adults, $15 for kids 3-12 and seniors 60 and over
  • Saturday-Sunday: $25 for adults, $18 for kids 3-12 and seniors 60 and over

Visitors must choose which specific date they want to attend, and tickets are good only for the date chosen and cannot be used on another day. Be careful with purchases; tickets are not eligible for reschedule, refund, or transfer.

General admission tickets go on sale September 12, and can be purchased online or at the gate.

Premium tickets are $24 and allow you to come on any day. Two-pack and four-pack combos for premium tickets with food and ride coupons are also available. As a bonus, CultureMap is giving you $15 off a ticket & coupon two-pack when you use the promo code 22mapCOMBO.

Premium tickets went on sale August 1, and are available online only.

DISCOUNTS
Below are the many ways we've found for you to save money on tickets to State Fair of Texas.

The season pass
If you plan on going to the fair more than two times, individual season passes are the only way to go. Prices are $50 at BigTex.com and include one single-day, Bring-a-Friend ticket; a State Fair reusable bag; a 10 percent off coupon for State Fair merchandise; and more. The upfront cost, which can be done in advance or at the gate, pays for itself on the third visit.

If you want to buy food/ride tickets without waiting in line once you get there, you can also buy the $150 Season Pass 2-Pack Combo, which includes two season passes and 50 food/ride tickets (worth $50). As a bonus, CultureMap is giving you $30 off the combo when you use the promo code 22mapPASS.

Food/ride tickets remain at $1 per coupon. As always, if you have old coupons, don't worry; all coupons, even ones from the bygone 50-cent price, will be honored.

Go after 5 pm
If you can wait until after 5 pm to head out to the fair, you can save a good chunk of change as everyone pays child’s prices once the clock strikes five. The deal is good any day of the fair. No promo codes are needed — the discount is automatically applied at the gate and online.

Opening day deals
The half-price deal on opening day continues: Anyone who brings two jars of peanut butter to donate to the North Texas Food Bank will receive $10 admission at the gate.

Military/First Responders Appreciation
All active military, retired military, and veterans, as well as active and retired public law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency services agencies, can save $5 off on weekdays (Monday-Friday) and $7 off on weekends (Saturday-Sunday) when they present valid documentation of service at the gate or online. Spouses of service men and women with a valid Military Spouse ID and accompanying children under the age of 18 also receive discounted admission. First responders receive up to three discounted admission tickets for their family members.

McDonald's coupons
The next time you eat at Mickey D's, make sure to check your tray liner or bag for State Fair coupons. You'll find ones for $5 off on weekdays (Monday-Friday) and $7 off on weekends (Saturday-Sunday.) All coupons are only good for tickets purchased at the gate and cannot be combined with any other offer.

Dr Pepper Value Days
Visitors can purchase their admission ticket online for a reduced price of only $10 on Dr Pepper Value Days, every Tuesday and Thursday. Fairgoers must be a Big Tex Insider to receive the promotion code; you can sign up now at BigTex.com/Insider. (Or — psst — you can use the code 22Culture to get the same deal on Tuesdays only; general admission tickets go on sale on September 12.)

North Texas Food Bank Wednesdays
One of the best deals continues to be North Texas Food Bank Wednesdays. By bringing five canned food items, fairgoers will receive admission for only $5. All canned donations go to the North Texas Food Bank, which helps feed members of the community.

Senior steal
Guests age 60 and over had it made in the shade in past years, as they were able get a discount ticket every day. That deal is now gone, but they'll still have Senior Days every Thursday, when they can get in for just $5.

Thrifty Thursdays
Guests can save while snacking during Thrifty Thursdays, where participating food vendors offer one of their signature menu items at a reduced price, ranging from mini versions to regular-size items.

Fletcher's Corny Dog Fridays
In celebration of their 80th Anniversary, Fletcher's Original Corny Dogs will give away 80 Corny Dogs to the first 80 customers in line every Friday (starting Opening Day) throughout the run of the State Fair at all seven of Fletcher's locations. The Fletcher's stand in Big Tex Circle is their most visited stand, so for the best chance at a free corny dog, go to any of their other Fair locations.

Discounts on Midway rides
Designated as Thrilling Tuesdays, that day of the week is a great time to go to the fair. Not only can you get your $10 Dr Pepper (or CultureMap) ticket, you can save more inside, when most rides are offered at a reduced price.

Courtesy photo

2022 State Fair of Texas concert headliners include Ashanti and more

State Fair News

The annual State Fair of Texas has locked in 2022 concert lineup, and it's music every day with acts that include Ashanti, Trace Adkins, and the Vandoliers.

This year's fair runs from September 30 through October 23, and will feature every genre of live music, from country to R&B to Norteño to electro-pop.

Of the more than 90 performers this year, 74 artists featured across the three live music stages, including four headlining acts, hail from Texas.

The Chevrolet Main Stage
Featuring headlining and regional acts, this is the big outdoor venue with a festival-type stage and experience, located next to the Craft Pavilion, near the Hall of State.

September 30
Trace Adkins takes the stage on Friday, September 30 at 8:30 pm. Adkins has sold more than 11 million albums and charted more than 37 singles, received multiple Grammy nominations, and won several ACM and CMT awards.

October 1
Ashanti starts the celebrations for the State Fair Classic, performing on Saturday, October 1 at 4 pm. This Grmmy winner is the first female artist to occupy two positions on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has sold nearly 15 million records worldwide.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band brings traditional New Orleans jazz on Saturday, October 1 at 8:30 pm. Named after Preservation Hall in the French Quarter, the band was formed by tuba player Allan Jaffe in 1961. After Jaffe passed in 1987, the band continued to tour, aiming to nurture and perpetuate the art of New Orleans jazz.

October 2
La Fiera de Ojinaga performs at 8:30 pm, combining the best components of norteño with saxophone. La Fiera de Ojinaga released their debut album in 2013 and were one of the first groups to release their music digitally. The song "Imposible y Prohibido" has become one of the most viewed videos on the official Azteca Music Group channel on YouTube.

October 4
The Chris Pérez Band rocks fairgoers on October 4 at 8:30 pm. Fronted by Grammy award-winning guitarist, songwriter, and best-selling author Chris Pérez, the group is a Latin rock band infused with English and Spanish roots who won a Grammy for their album Resurrection. Pérez dedicated his crossover hit song "Best I Can" to his wife, the late Latin superstar, Selena, who performed at the Fair in 1994.

October 5
Kraig Parker with the Royal Tribute Band and Orchestra gives two shows at 5:30 and 8:30 pm. This is the ultimate tribute to Elvis Presley in concert, starring this international award-winning artist who has sold out venues worldwide.

October 6
Mystery guest. Oooh there's a special mystery guest performing at 5:30 and 8:30 pm. Follow the Fair on social media and sign up to be a Big Tex Insider at BigTex.com/Insider to be the first to know who it is.

October 7
The Vandoliers bring their signature mix of red dirt country, rock, and Tejano to the Main Stage, playing at 5:30 and 8:30 pm. Hailing from Texas, the group started recording in 2015 and have released three albums.

October 8
Jamestown Revival takes the stage at 8:30 pm. Childhood friends-turned-folk duo Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay released their debut album, Utah, in 2014. Are they from Utah? No. They're from Texas. Since their debut, they have been featured in Rolling Stone magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and performed at major festivals across the country. Their new album, Young Man, was recorded in Fort Worth.

October 9
Lucinda Williams will showcase her poetic singer-songwriter blues sound at 8:30 pm. Her 1998 album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road was a seminal work that helped her pave her own path in the music industry, with more than 14 albums under her belt, including a new album Good Souls, Better Angels in 2021.

October 10
Le Freak will groove with two shows at 3 and 5:30 pm. A tribute act that puts the fun in funk, Le Freak thrills fans with their retro gear and their covers of 70s and 80s disco hits.

October 14
Jason Boland & The Stragglers play the Chevy Main Stage at 8:30 pm. They've toured the world as leading ambassadors for red dirt music for 20 years, have 10 albums and more than 500,000 records sold.

October 15
Fitz & The Tantrums will light up the Chevy Main Stage at 8:30 pm, the first time this indie-pop band has played the State Fair. Their major label debut More Than Just a Dream featured back-to-back Platinum-certified #1 Alternative Radio singles with "The Walker" and "Out of My League," and they've performed on ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC's Today and more national shows.

October 16
Night Ranger rocks the stage at 8:30 pm. Popular 80s hard rock band is best known for "Sister Christian," which peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. They've sold more than 17 million albums worldwide.

October 21
Girl Named Tom hits the stage at 8:30 pm. Sibling trio was established in 2019, with all three siblings harmonizing to a variety of material including acoustic pop, singer-songwriter, and more. In 2021, the group competed and won NBC's The Voice, making history as the first trio to win.

October 22
Resurrection: A Journey Tribute performs their '80s throwback at 5:30 and 8:30 pm. This tribute act recreates the experience of a Journey concert during the 80s, and has performing everywhere from AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, to Royal Caribbean International cruises.

October 23
La Mafia closes out the Fair music series with a show at 3 pm. With roots in the Northside neighborhood of Houston, La Mafia is known worldwide for its pop grupero style, combining the influences of Spanish music with English rock and pop music. The group has won five Grammy awards, winning Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance two years in a row in 1997 and 1998.

The Lone Star Music Series
Launched in 2019, this series aims to showcase the Texas-sized talent we have right here in our local area. Regional acts performing on the Chevrolet Main Stage this year will Brave Combo, The Powell Brothers, Peterson Brothers Band, Trevor Douglas, Rob Roy Parnell, Squeezebox Bandits, Beatlegras, Taylor Young Band, The 40 Acre Mule, Clay Melton, Retrophonics, Rathmore, Hannah Kirby, Ron Lawrence & Sazarac Jazz, No Rehearsal, and John Christopher Davis. Joining the regional acts on the Main Stage, Chevy House Party will feature a variety of popular local DJs, spinning some tunes to get the party started.

The Bud Light Stage
Located centrally in Cotton Bowl Plaza, this stage showcase local and regional talent all 24 days of the Fair, just steps away from all your fried food favorites. Notable acts include Joshua Ray Walker on Opening Day, September 30, fresh from an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” The first and only all-female mariachi band, Mariachi Rosas Divinas showcase their heartfelt style of mariachi on Sunday, October 2. Bree & The Fellas, a Dallas-based jazz and R&B group who will bring their smooth groove to the stage on October 21.

The Yuengling Stage
Located outside the Go Texan Pavilion, the Yuengling Stage features a Friday night comedy series, titled “Deep Fried Comedy,” along with live music throughout the week. Get ready to groove with Texan EJ Mathews on October 1. Take a trip back to early Nashville with Simon Flory on October 8. Having played together for more than 10 years, Dallas Asian Strings will serenade fairgoers with their extensive repertoire on October 12, and Claire Morales will rock the stage on October 22.

Season passes are now on sale at BigTex.com/Tickets.

Delaware North

Globe Life Field in Arlington debuts 3 new food stands for 2022 season

Ballpark News

Baseball season is back and so is a new lineup of ballpark food being served at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

The Texas Rangers and foodservice and retail partner Delaware North are not only debuting new specialty food items, but this year they have three new hospitality spaces for you to eat and drink at.

New venues
Three new venues include a pop-up spot and a cocktail loungey place, as follows:

  • Arlington Eats. Located near Section 101, this will feature pop-up outposts of local restaurants during weekend games and select events. Arlington’s Hurtado Barbecue Co. will be the featured concept for the first two games, followed by Ella B’s Restaurant on April 15-17, and Prince Lebanese Grill on April 29-31. Hurtado Barbecue will return May 13-15.
  • 421 Food Hall. Located on the upper concourse near Section 225, this space features buffet-style dining with a mix of open seating at picnic and high-top tables, along with an exclusive lounge for season ticket holders. It's named for the Rangers' first game in Arlington on April 21, 1972.
  • The High Ball bar. Adjacent to the 421 Food Hall, it will serve specialty cocktails and beer and is accessible to fans near Section 223. The release says it features a "cocktail lounge vibe," with couches, lounge chairs, side chairs, and a mix high-top and traditional tables. Got all your seating options, yes it does.

Food items
In a statement, Casey Rapp, Delaware North's inimitable general manager at the ballpark, says their culinary team "has been hard at work this offseason, creating a fun mix of new items for the 2022 season that feature creative twists on fan-favorites – with a range of regional flavors and products."

New food items include:

  • Alligator Corn Dog: Alligator Andouille sausage in corn dog batter, available at the Bullpen Grill at Section 125.
  • Chicken Fried Brisket Sandwich: Nolan Ryan brisket, smoked in-house, battered, and fried, then piled on Texas Toast with pickles, red onions and Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, available at the Sweet Baby Ray's stand at Section 125.
  • Brisket Egg Rolls: Created by a Rangers fan in 2020 as part of a recipe contest, with shredded brisket and Napa cabbage, rolled in an eggroll wrap and fried. Served with Togarashi-seasoned fries and Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce. Available at the Go Deep Fried stands at Sections 121, 225, and 230.
  • Vegan Bratwurst: Impossible vegan bratwurst served on a vegan roll with grilled onions. Available at the Vegan Cart at Section 101.
  • Vegan Chicken Salad: Classic salad sandwich, with vegan chicken. Served with Terra Chips and sliced vegan bread. Available at the concession locations at Sections 101 and 205.
  • Golden Chick Loaded Fries: Golden Chick battered fries topped with Ricos Nacho Cheese, bacon bits, and Ricos Jalapenos. Available at the Golden Chick stand at Section 128.
  • Mac and Cheese Nachos: Tostitos tortilla chips with Ricos Cheese Sauce, mac & cheese, pico de gallo, Ricos Jalapenos, and sour cream. Available at concession stands at Sections 106 and 225.
  • Cornbread Chili Pie Dog: Texas chili Angus beef hot dog with cornbread subbing in for the bun, topped with Texas Chili chili, cheddar cheese, and Ricos Jalapenos. Available at concessions stands at Sections 132 and 225.
State Fair of Texas

State Fair of Texas concessionaires offer trendy new snacks for 2021

State Fair News

The day draws near for the 2021 "back to normal" State Fair of Texas — which this year arrives on September 24 — and it'll open with a list of new snacks, created by the fair's concessionaires.

These are in addition to the previously-announced winners of Big Tex Choice Awards and include buzzy dishes like egg rolls, decadent mac & cheese, and food on a stick.

There are a few new vendors bringing a fresh take, and some of the dishes incorporate hot foodie trends like quesobirria.

The fair folks have thoughtfully created an entire page for reference under BigTex.com/newfoods, which also includes a map on where to find them.

Here's the list of 2021 new foods:

Bacon Jam Corn Bombs
Warm bacon jam ladled over hushpuppies, drizzled with ranch, and topped with candied jalapeños.

Bag of Eggrolls
A new vendor this year, Crunchies Eggrolls and More brings a bag of eggrolls to the fair, and the taste is Texas-sized. Fairgoers will receive a variety of tasty eggrolls in a bag, consisting of mac and cheese, pizza, original, and samosa egg rolls.

Big Tex Bowl
Mac & cheese made with cavatappi noodles and a three-cheese sauce, topped wth smoked brisket, cheddar, French fried onions, chives, bacon, candied jalapeños, and a BBQ cream sauce.

Bucket of Fries
Loaded cheese fries topped with beef and bacon, served in a portable bucket, perfect to stroll around the fairgrounds with.

Chicken on a Stick – Combo #4
A new vendor at the fair this year, Chans Chicken on a Stick brings the sharable Combo #4 to the new food list. Vegetable rice is combined with lo-mein, then finished with a pork egg roll and teriyaki-glazed chicken on a stick.

Country Fried Shrimp Grits
Grits are infused with shrimp and cheese, formed into squares, battered, and fried, then covered with shrimp and crawfish sauce.

Dallas Hot Birddog
Spicy corndog from State Fair staple Fletcher's has a smoked turkey frank in a fiery batter, deep fried, topped with mac & cheese, fried jalapeños, and drizzled with Cholula.

Deep Fried Pancakes
Individual bite-size pancakes with choice of maple butter, blueberry sauce, or pecan butter syrup.

Deep Fried PB & Razbrûlée
Deep-fried peanut butter sandwich pocket is topped with vanilla creme and turbinado sugar, broiled and caramelized to a hard-shell top, with mixed berries on top.

Deep Fried Peach Cobbler Soul Rolls
Spiced peaches are rolled into an egg roll and deep-fried, topped with cinnamon sugar, and served with ice cream.

Deep Fried Shrimp Étouffée
Deep-fried dumpling filled with rice and shrimp smothered in onion, celery, tomatoes, green peppers, and cheese, served with creole mustard or chipotle ranch.

Deep Fried Toffee
Milk chocolate toffee square is wrapped in a flaky biscuit bite, then deep-fried.

Fried Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)
Sweet and savory pudding layers bread with shredded cheese, sprinkled over a piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar) syrup with raisins, then baked, then battered and fried, then crowned with whipped topping and dulce de leche.

Frozen Ranch Water
Wine-based tequila version of the popular cocktail with Topo Chico and lime is frozen; flavored toppers include passion fruit, paloma, raspberry, and watermelon.

Gobble Balls
Entry from Dallas restaurant Ferris Wheeler's BBQ starts with smoked turkey nuggets that are breaded and deep-fried.

Helmut's Strudel
Flaky layers of pastry wrapped around apple, cherry, and cheese fillings.

Lobster Corn Dog
Breaded lobster cake is coated in cornbread batter and fried. Serve with remoulade dip.

Quesabirria, with Consomé
Shredded steak is mixed with cheese, stuffed in corn or flour tortilla, then grilled until crisp, with side of consommé for dipping.

The Realest Cheesesteak
South Dallas staple SouthSide Steaks & Cakes makes its Fair debut with a large cheesesteak combining steak with three cheeses, chicken, onion, bell pepper, and banana peppers on a French hoagie bun.

Southern Fried Lemon Ice Box Pie Balls
A pie ball, hand wrapped in a pâte sucrée dough, is infused with graham crackers, lemon zest, and brown sugar; filled with lemon ice box pie filling; battered in chicken fry; and fried. Topped with Chantilly cream, graham cracker crumble, lemon zest, and edible gold glitter.

Texas BBQ Brisket Banh Mi
Vietnamese baguette is topped with chopped smoked brisket, barbecue sauce, cilantro, cucumber, pickled daikon radish and carrots, with honey siracha aioli, hoisin sauce, and jalapeño slices on the side.

Texas Easter Eggs
Meat, cheese, and peppers are formed into an egg shape, decorated with an Easter-colored ranch sauce, breaded, and deep fried. Served in a special Texas Easter Egg carton.

Texas Fried Fritos Pie
Chili and sharp cheddar are encased corn chips, then battered and fried.

Texas Fried Surf and Turf
Rolls of filet mignon medallions are filled with chunks of langostino lobster and jalapeño, then wrapped with bacon and fried until the steak is medium-well. Two to an order, served with tempura fried asparagus and drizzled with horseradish hollandaise.

Twice-Fried Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs)
Spiced beef is rolled with lightly browned rice and chopped vegetables, deep-fried, then battered and rolled in bread crumbs and fried again. Served on tomato sauce with a drizzle of Crema Mexicana.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'80s heartthrob Bryan Adams brings 2023 tour to Fort Worth with rock 'n' roll-icon guest artist

Summer of '23

Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, who's been entertaining audiences on stage and screen for four decades, is coming to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena - and he's bringing along a very special guest. Adams is teaming up with rock 'n' roll icons Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for his "So Happy It Hurts Tour," stopping in Fort Worth on June 29, 2023.

The U.S. tour kicks off on June 6 in Baltimore, Maryland, and ends August 3 with a show in Seattle. He'll visit just two Texas cities - Fort Worth and Sugar Land, outside Houston, for a show at Smart Financial Centre on June 28.

Adams is touring in support of his 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts, which was released March 11, 2022 via BMG. The album is nominated for Best Rock Performance at the upcoming 2023 Grammy awards, taking place Sunday, February 5.

Adams also is riding the wave as the lyricist for Pretty Woman – The Musical, the Broadway musical based on the famed Julia Roberts-Richard Gere rom-com. The touring musical currently is on stage at Dallas' Music Hall at Fair Park (through February 5) and is coming to Fort Worth's Bass Hall, February 7-12.

Barrier-breaking rock 'n' roll badass Joan Jett is known for Top 40 hits such as "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." Joan Jett and the Blackhearts toured last year with Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Poison. Bad Reputation, a 2018 documentary about Jett's life, is now streaming.

Tickets for the "So Happy It Hurts Tour" go on sale at 12 pm Friday, February 3 via ticketmaster.com.

Global superstar Beyoncé rides into Arlington on highly anticipated world stadium tour

Worldwide concert news

Texas-born pop superstar Beyoncé is coming to Dallas-Fort Worth as part of her just-announced "Renaissance World Tour." She will perform at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on September 21.

And, fans who can't get enough can also catch Bey in her hometown of Houston, at NRG Stadium, on September 23.

Tickets for the world tour dates go on sale Monday, February 6. BeyHive members will enjoy an exclusive presale, while other fans can register now with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan technology here. Those interested can find tickets, schedules, and more information at beyonce.livenation.com and tour.beyonce.com.

Beyonce kicks off her world tour on May 10 in Stockholm, Sweden at the Friends Arena. She'll dot Europe with big stadium shows through June 27, where she'll play Warsaw, Poland.

Her North American tour starts July 8 in Canada, where she'll play Toronto's Rogers Centre. Beyoncé will trek the U.S. through the summer and into September; her Dallas and Houston shows are the sole Texas performances.

She will end her tour in New Orleans (Caesars Superdome) on September 27.

The world tour comes as Beyoncé is awash in Grammy glow: in November, she was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, tying her with her husband (neé Shawn Corey Carter) for the most nominations in Grammy history. The Grammys take place Sunday, February 5.

Critics and fans have lauded Renaissance, her first solo work since the wildly popular and deeply personal 2016 effort, Lemonade — even through its minor controversy.

Start packing and planning those trips. Here's the entire tour schedule:

Europe

May 10, 2023 – Stockholm, SE – Friends Arena

May 14, 2023 – Brussels, BE – King Baudouin Stadium

May 17, 2023 – Cardiff, UK – Cardiff Principality Stadium

May 20, 2023 – Edinburgh, UK – BT Murray Field Stadium

May 23, 2023 – Sunderland, UK – Stadium of Light

May 26, 2023 – Paris, FR – Stade de France

May 29, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

May 30, 2023 – London, UK – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

June 08, 2023 – Barcelona, ES – Olympic Stadium

June 11, 2023 – Marseille, FR – Orange Velodrome

June 15, 2023 – Cologne, DE – Rhein Energie Stadion

June 17, 2023 – Amsterdam, NL – Johan Crujff Arena

June 21, 2023 – Hamburg, DE – Volksparkstadion

June 24, 2023 – Frankfurt, DE – Deutsche Bank Park

June 27, 2023 – Warsaw, PL – PGE Narodowy

North America

July 8, 2023 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre

July 12, 2023 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field

July 15, 2023 – Nashville, TN – Nissan Stadium

July 17, 2023 – Louisville, KY – L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium

July 20, 2023 – Minneapolis, MN – Huntington Bank Stadium

July 22, 2023 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field Stadium

July 26, 2023 – Detroit, MI – Ford Field

July 29, 2023 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium

Aug. 01, 2023 – Boston, MA – Gillette Stadium

Aug. 03, 2023 – Pittsburgh, PA – Acrisure Stadium

Aug. 05, 2023 – Washington, DC – FedEx Field

Aug. 09, 2023 – Charlotte, NC – Bank of America Stadium

Aug. 11, 2023 – Atlanta, GA – Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Aug. 16, 2023 – Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium

Aug. 18, 2023 – Miami, FL – Hard Rock Stadium

Aug. 21, 2023 – St. Louis, MO – Dome at America's Center

Aug. 24, 2023 – Phoenix, AZ – State Farm Stadium

Aug. 26, 2023 – Las Vegas, NV – Allegiant Stadium

Aug. 30, 2023 – San Francisco, CA – Levi’s Stadium

Sept. 02, 2023 – Inglewood, CA – SoFi Stadium

Sept. 11, 2023 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place

Sept. 13, 2023 – Seattle, WA – Lumen Field

Sept. 18, 2023 – Kansas City, MO – Arrowhead Stadium

Sept. 21, 2023 – Arlington – AT&T Stadium

Sept. 23, 2023 – Houston – NRG Stadium

As always, As with previous tours, Beyoncé will create activations, programs, and giveaways via BeyGOOD, the foundation she created in 2013.

Monumental new sculptures by  renowned 9/11 artist take root at Texas Botanic Garden

blooming work

Here is something new for Texas travelers who enjoy exploring art in nature. An intriguing new collection of sculptures called "Intertwined: Exploring Nature's Networks," by renowned artist Steve Tobin, opened at the Houston Botanic Garden on January 28.

Tobin's collection of pieces soar and wind and unfold against the backdrop of the gardens paths and trees, connecting the bronze, glass, ceramic, and steel sculptures to the landscape.

The connection is important for Tobin, an artist who may be most well known for his Trinity Root, a memorial that was cast from the roots of the tree that protected one of New York City's cathedrals during the 9/11 attacks. As a child, he was known as "Nature Boy," which he says was as apt then as now.

"I would find twigs or mushrooms, and they would mean something to me," he says. "I'm the guy with my nose in the sand and my butt in the air, looking deeper than most people. I think I see more. I think it's part of my DNA."

Originally from Pennsylvania, Tobin graduated from Tulane University in 1979 with a degree in math. He was always drawn to art, however, and his massive creations - from eggs in birds' nests to roots and limbs woven together to branches stretching to sky - evoke the powerful pull he feels to the natural world and a desire to help others see its beauty. The Christian Science Monitor described his works as "monuments to the meeting of science an art."

"Science is more creative that art," he explains. "Scientists have to describe the universe from nothing, and the explanation has to work. Artists can make up whole worlds. Scientists don't get credit for their vast creativity."

By focusing his works on the natural world, Tobin looks to showcase how the two subjects work in harmony, and how people can interact with them. In Eagle Nest, a huge, polished steel egg sits perched in nest.

Polished to a high gloss, the egg becomes a mirror. "You look at the egg and you see yourself," Tobin says. "It shows that you are in the egg."

For Tobin, there is magic in helping people, whether they are art novices or aficionados, find a connection with his art.

"I've done my job when someone has an expression of magic," he says. "And once you open that door, even for a second, it can never be fully closed."

He says he is looking forward to Texas audiences seeing his works in the garden, which he feels is a natural place for his sculptures — the biggest of which is 30 feet high and took 2,000 hours of welding to complete.

Showcasing his sculptures there cements the harmony with nature he feel and thinks is something others should strive to see. Tobin even has a connection to Houston: one of his great friends, a woman he met at Tulane, lives there.

Two other pieces also have roots there. Tobin says Steel Roots will resonate particularly well in Texas. "It's made from repurposed oil pipe, a lot of it from Texas," he says. "So now, it's back home in a different context."

And when Botanic Garden guest encounter the Twisties, they'll likely recall hearing the terms from gymnast Simone Biles, who famously used the word to describe the disconnect she felt between her mind and her body. Tobin's sculptures are between eight and 17 feet high and evoke Asian calligraphy. He describes them as "distorted gymnastics."

Mostly, though, Tobin wants visitors to get a window into how he imagines the world.

"I try to translate into sculpture what I see so people can see what I see."

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"Intertwined: Exploring Nature's Networks" runs Saturday, January 28 through August 13 at Houston Botanic Garden, 1 Botanic Garden Ln. Regular garden admission is $15. For tickets and more information, visit Houston Botanic Garden online.

Photo courtesy of Houston Botanic Garden

Tobin's 'Romeo & Juliet' sprouts from the grounds.