Kara Ragland, left, and Rachael Bernstein

Rachael Bernstein had the perfect proposal idea.

Surrounded by twinkling lights and cheery fairgoers, she would ride the Texas Star ferris wheel to the top with her soon-to-be fiancée and pop the question.

She had her two best friends at hand ready to take pictures when she kneeled in the crowded wheel’s cage, capturing the magical moment for her to reflect on forever (right).

“I just thought it was really romantic being all the way up there and being able to see as far as you can see,” Bernstein said.

Bernstein and fiancée Kara Ragland adore the State Fair. After meeting online and hitting it off, they visited the fair and rode the ferris wheel shortly after their romance began.

“We hit it off just right away,” Bernstein said. “I always wanted to do it somewhere that we could always go back to and remember and I wanted to do it some place special. I picked the State Fair because it’s something we look forward to all year long.”

Last year the couple and their friends had spent the whole day at the fair and were waiting in line at night to ride the ferris wheel. Ragland suddenly turned to Bernstein and abruptly asked if she was going to propose. Bernstein, of course, lied.

“We were standing in line and she was like, ‘Are you going to propose?’ And I was like, ‘No,’” Bernstein recalls. “It was knowledge that it was going to happen soon. She had no idea when, she had no idea where. She just guessed it.”

Halfway to the top of the ride, Bernstein couldn’t wait any longer, kneeling and admitting that Ragland had guessed it before opening the ring box to a somewhat surprised and delightful reaction.

But the magical moment wasn’t ruined. Bernstein said the evening was still perfect.

A few months later, Ragland proposed to Bernstein on St. Patrick’s Day so both of them would have a “on-one-knee proposal.”
Bernstein, too, found out before it happened.

“We’re not very good at keeping secrets,” Bernstein laughs.

Ragland is currently in India filming a movie, so she’ll miss the fair’s full run this year, but Bernstein said her memories from last year will hold her over until new fair memories can be made again.

The couple is planning a wedding in Dallas scheduled tentatively for next fall.

Got an LGBT-related State Fair story? Email it to Editor@DallasVoice.com to be featured on Instant Tea during this year’s fair.