Red River Showdown: What to know before you go


DALLAS, Texas (KXAN) — State Fair of Texas officials are urging fans heading to the Cotton Bowl for the Red River Showdown Saturday morning to arrive early.

It may take longer than normal to get inside the fair grounds due to traffic and backups at security. A game ticket to the Red River Showdown serves as your ticket to the fair. Fair officials are also reminding fans of its COVID-19 safety protocols inside the fair grounds. Fans are required to wear face masks at all indoor facilities.

Don’t forget the clear bag policy at the Cotton Bowl. You can check here for more information on policies.

With the Red River Showdown set for an 11 a.m. kickoff, the grounds and attractions will open earlier than normal.

When will everything open Saturday?

  • State Fair Will Call opens at 6:30 a.m.
  • Official State Fair parking lots are located at gates 2, 6, 11, and 15. All gates will open at 7 a.m.
  • Coupon Booths and Online Coupon Pick up Centers will open at 7 a.m. You can purchase coupons online here.
  • Hospitality Centers and Information Booths will open at 7 a.m.
  • Outdoor concessions stands will open at 8 a.m.
  • The State Fair of Texas Midway will open at 8 a.m.
  • ESPN’s College GameDay will air live in the Cotton Bowl plaza from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • All exhibit buildings, outdoor exhibits, and indoor concessions will open at 9 a.m.
  • Gates to the Cotton Bowl will open at 9 a.m.
  • The State Fair of Texas closes at 10 p.m.

Game tickets will be scanned at the entrance to the Fair and at all Cotton Bowl gates as you enter the stadium, officials say. Download your game tickets and save them to your phone before arriving to the fairgrounds.

Check here for a map of the fairgrounds. Here’s the full schedule of events at the State Fair of Texas.

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