Meet Your 2012 State Fair of Texas Fried Foods, Bands and Competitive Eaters.

The State Fair of Texas will open its gates a month from now on Friday, September 28, so it should come as no surprise that the folks behind the three-week affair have spent the bulk of this week flooding the newswires with all sorts of information about the upcoming ordeal.

Some of it is super interesting, too.

For instance: Did you know that renowned competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi will be participating in hot dog eating competition in this year's fair? Because he totally is, and you can watch him stuff his face live and in person in the fairgrounds at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 12.

Also, Kevin Costner will be there — and playing music, oddly enough.

On Saturday, September 29, the night after local disco covers band Le Freak opens up the Chevrolet Main Stage, Costner and his band The Modern West will take to the stage for a free show. Among the other musical performers coming to the Fair and performing for free this year? Uncle Kracker (September 30), the Rebirth Brass Band and Ruthie Foster (October 6), Kevin Fowler (October 13), Kansas (October 14), Kellie Pickler (October 19), a sans-Lionel Richie Commodores (October 20) and the Texas Tornadoes (October 21).

Of course, all anyone really cares about when it comes to the State Fair is the fried food and what gross things people will decide fry up this year.

That information, thankfully, came today, as the Fair announced the finalists for the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards for accomplishments in fried food.

Here are the finalists (with their Big Tex-approved descriptions), each of which you can clog your arteries with once the Fair opens next month.

Chicken-Fried Cactus Bites: “Handpicked prickly pear cactus pads, thinly sliced, chicken battered and deep fried. Served with sweet and spicy secret jalapeno ranch and agave nectar dipping sauce.”

Deep Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake: “Chocolate tres leches cake soaked in buttermilk batter and fried. Sprinkle of cinnamon, whipped cream, strawberry slices and peaches drizzled with syrup.”

Deep Fried Jambalaya: “'From scratch' jambalaya with shrimp, Cajun sausage and seasonings, coated in lightly seasoned flour and fried. Served with spicy ranch sauce.”

Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider: “Three-cheese mac is baked, battered in bread crumbs and deep fried until crisp on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside. Placed on a slider bun with a griddled beef patty.”

Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll: “Cinnamon roll dipped in pancake batter, rolled in crispy fried bacon crumbles, deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It's a main course and a dessert all in one.”

Fried Mexican Fire Crackers: “Spicy chicken, cheese and jalapeno mix wrapped in masa dough and deep fried. Served with fiery TNT sauce.”

Fried Pork Wing: “Slow cooked for six hours then deep fried, rolled and tossed in a smoked bacon chipotle glaze. Accompanied by homemade potato chips dusted in barbecue seasoning.”

Picnic on a Stick: “Pieces of spicy fried chicken alternate with Tater tots and dill pickles. Repeated three times on a stick, then dipped in batter, rolled in bread crumbs and fried. With choice of BBQ sauce, ranch or honey mustard. BYO ants.”

Awesome/gross!

Photo via WikiCommons.

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