We Can All Be Good Neighbors at the State Fair of Texas

While the long-running controversy around the best use of Fair Park may be coming to an end, neighbors of the State Fair of Texas still have another concern, and it’s a pretty trashy story.


While you’re enjoying the fair, you probably don’t notice that there are trash and recycling bins everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

historic building with 10 police motorcycles and 2 trash cans
Here in front of the Hall of State, at the end of the Esplanade, there are lots of easily accessible trash cans. By the way, that’s a Dallas Police Motorcycle Unit getting ready for a stunt riding demo!

I think there’s a trash can in almost every pic I took – but that’s OK. That’s a good thing (that they’re there, and that you don’t notice them.) The State Fair of Texas hires people to keep the grounds clean, and presumably, they schedule additional trash and sanitation services to keep dumpsters emptied regularly. The park is the very model of cleanliness, and while I hate that we take it for granted, I’m glad we can.


Unfortunately, the businesses in Exposition Park and around the fairgrounds don’t have the budget or the resources for all the extra trash collection that’s required during the three-week run of the fair. On a recent visit to the area, when asked what the number one problem was with the State Fair, everyone I asked said trash. 

When fairgoers leave the grounds, they leave trash on the streets all around the neighborhood. Some who would do the right thing can’t because dumpsters meant for a few days of local business now have to serve hundreds of thousands of fair visitors. That means the trash of the well-meaning people ends up on the ground right alongside that of careless litterers.


This year, I’m asking each Fair Park visitor to help the State Fair of Texas be a good neighbor. Dispose of your trash before you leave the fairgrounds. Maybe even go so far as to pick up trash you see on the streets before it has a chance to pile up. It’s not the most fun thing to talk about, but tell everyone you know who’s excited about going to the fair this year. We can be the change we wish to see.

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