Usually, the State Fair is early enough in the fall that you still sweat like a pig, the neighborhood it's in leans heavily toward the "hood" side, and it's so huge it takes all day just to walk around and get to the stuff you want to see. The lines are long, the prices are high, and I usually am glad to be leaving.
The Fort Worth Stock show, however, is more my style. We don't like the midway rides (although FWSSR has that too), but we love the livestock areas.
There are three or four barns filled to the brim with livestock waiting to be judged in one of the many livestock shows. Most of the animals have been raised by young kids, and are being exhibited as part of FFA (Future Farmers of America) or 4-H groups.
We also like the commercial exhibit areas. We're into western themed stuff, and there's plenty there. From cowhide couches to antler lamps, there's plenty to look at. Some of it is high priced, but most of it is beautiful - and I get all sorts of ideas for things to make myself.
We went today, and got there around 9 am. The weather today was really cold, compared to the balmy, spring-like weather we've had most of this week. That's ok, though, since cool weather is more fitting for a livestock show. We looked around unil around noon, then drove the few blocks from the fair ground to a place called Fred's Texas Cafe... AWESOME Texas diner style burgers and fries. We'll definitely go back again next time we're in the area.
We didn't go to the rodeo, because we couldn't work it out to fit our schedule. It's a very good rodeo, though, if you have a chance to attend. Another rodeo that's well worth your while, when it's not stockshow season, is the weekly rodeo in the actual historic stockyards just a couple of yards north of the fairgrounds. They have a rodeo pretty much every Saturday night.