Rodeo fun in the chute

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Lane Hunt, 6, and Hagen Hunt, 12, of Cumby play in the midway during the 2012 North Texas State Fair and Rodeo in Denton

Fair gears up for next week

Eighty-five years strong and here again for another run is the North Texas Fair and Rodeo.

The fair and rodeo opens Aug. 16 and runs through Aug. 24 at the North Texas Fairgrounds, 2217 N. Carroll Blvd.

The event brings nine days of music, shopping, livestock, rodeo shows and all-around fun for the North Texas region.

“Our music is always the highlight — nine days, and over 30 different bands and artist in those nine days,” said executive director Glen Carlton. “Some of the bigger names this year are the Josh Abbott Band and Casey Donahew Band, Jack Ingram and Neal McCoy.

This year will also include a new musical addition — rock band Madison Rising will take the stage Aug. 21.

Other events include the Peterbilt Kids Zone, the trackless train, a rock-climbing wall, pony rides and another fun zone sponsored by First United Bank. Another new attraction will educate fairgoers about rainforest animals, bringing a 25-foot exhibit with more than 20 species.

For the fifth year in a row, Talley Amusements will provide the carnival rides during the fair.

“The rides are clean and safe, they are one of the better carnivals in the state of Texas,” Carlton said.

Rodeo events take place nightly, with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo on first three nights and the ranch rodeo on Aug. 19. Aug. 20 and 21 will bring the 21-and-under rodeo, and the last three days of the fair will be the bull blowout.

Carlton said there is also the cowboy protection match, featuring eight teams of bullfighters who are judged on how well they distract the bull during events.

Great fair shopping and food will be available, with all of the vendor slots sold out, Carlton said.

“There is really something for everyone,” he said.

Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 7 to 12, and free for children 6 and younger. Parking just outside the fairgrounds costs $5 per vehicle per day.

— Bj Lewis


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