Cheylon Brown had already purchased a glow-in-the-dark green cup and a corn dog soon after the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo opened Friday evening.
“This is our very first time coming here, and we are pretty excited,” Brown said.
Since her four children had spent the majority of the summer doing sports and other activities, they had not had a chance to enjoy some fun, so she and her husband decided to treat them to the fair.
“This is a great chance to have a family outing,” Brown said.
Another first-time fair visitor was Canadian Debbie Wilton, who decided to go to the fair with her daughter, Kim, and her grandson, Caleb. Her grandson had won a little frog at one of the Talley Amusements fair stands.
“Every time I come here to visit my daughter, I come to do something different,” Wilton said. “My grandson loves horses, so we came for the rodeo.”
Fair officials estimate about 140,000 attendees will walk the fairgrounds to enjoy the food, music, the rodeo and other planned events.
Glenn Carlton, executive director of the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo, said opening day is always hectic.
“But we let the volunteers take over,” he said. “Now I can rest a bit.”
Carlton said it takes about 500 volunteers to produce the annual event. He expects the fair to have a good run, just like it did last year.
Earlier this month, the Texas Historical Commission recognized the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo with an official Texas Historical Marker for its significant role in education about farming and ranching in Denton County and surrounding areas.
Friday’s opening events included the music of the Louisiana-born and Texas-raised Rusty Brothers — Daniel, Steven and Andrew McWilliams — on the Bud Light Stage. They delighted a small crowd with a couple of their hits, including “Love, Guitar and Whiskey.” Other evening artists were Waco’s Wade Bowen and Kyle Park of Austin.
Today’s events include a parade at 10 a.m., beginning on the north side of Denton High School, and the Denton County Farm Bureau Pre-Junior Hereford Steer Show at 11:15 a.m.
The evening music lineup includes Scotty Thurman and the Perfect Trouble Band and the Casey Donahew Band.
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.