Maybe it's because I've lived in East Texas for so many years now. It could simply be that it almost always seems to coincide with the first hint of cool in the evening breeze. Whatever the case, for me, the East Texas State Fair always signifies the beginning of Fall. Of course, the first day of Fall is September 23 so there's an overlap.

Yet it had been awhile since I'd been. Don't know why, really. Life happens and the years go by so quickly. However, last night I attended the East Texas State Fair for the first time in several years and it took me back.

Having grown up in Tyler, I have a fond memory from a high school football game at Rose Stadium just next door to the Fairgrounds. I was on the drill team at the time and we were standing on the field for pre-game. The sun was starting to go down and the early fall sky was turning pink and purple. At the same time, the lights of the fair began to glow. The music of the band behind us began to play in seeming rhythm with the whirling of the rides, and occasionally you could hear slight echoes of happy yelling. It was one of those magical moments for which you know, even then, you'll always feel nostalgia.

Last night, I experienced a similar feeling. Except this time I was on the other side of it. I was a happy fair-goer while I looked over in the midst of the fun chaos and noticed one of our East Texas high schools playing a game. It felt like truly being part of a community. Whether you go for the rides, the exhibits, the people watching, or the famous food row, there's something kinda magical about this small city fair.

They've added new things to experience this year, too. Some of the new options areThe Nerveless Nocks breathtaking aerial show, even more live music throughout the day, the Sea Lion Splash, and a new Craft Beer Tour where you can sample 30 samples of different beers from various breweries. If you want to get more info go to

I won't let so many years go by without going back. In fact, I may go back this evening. I wasn't able to score that corn dog I've been jonesin' for all year.

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