During a press conference held on Sept. 26, 2023, the organizers of the State Fair of Texas addressed new security measures ahead of the fair’s opening on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023.
In addition to reminding fairgoers to review the guest code of conduct when planning to visit the fair, spokesperson for the State Fair of Texas Karissa Condoianis gave an overview of the new security measures in place for the fair.
“As you enter the gates this year, you will notice new security protocols,” said Condoianis. “In addition, the fair has invested in a new OpenGate weapon detection system at each pedestrian entry gate.” According to the manufacturer’s website, the new security system automatically screens people in transit as well as their backpacks, purses and bags for the detection of metal threats including weapons.
Condoianis added that this year, in addition to the Dallas police, Dallas ISD and DART police officers, the fair partnered with the private security and investigation company Andy Frain Services to staff the entrance gates and search people flagged by the screening system.
Dallas police officers, both in uniform and in plain clothes will roam the fairgrounds to look for concerning behavior and provide aid to people who need it. According to Deputy Chief Teena Schultz from the Dallas Police Department, a tactical planning team spent between eight and nine months preparing for the fair.
As previously reported by Local Profile, in early August 2023, the fair announced a new policy for minors that required all fairgoers under 17 entering after 5:00 p.m. to be accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone who is at least 21 years old. Additionally, all parents, guardians and chaperones are allowed to accompany up to six kids under 17 at a time. This change in policy comes after a 2022 incident when a group of fairgoers caused a false shooting scare by running through the fair crowd and creating chaos.
The State Fair of Texas will open its doors on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., fairgoers can visit the fair’s website for more information.