The North Texas Fair and Rodeo Parade is a tradition that’s been carried on for many years and continues to grow.
The annual parade will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday at Denton High School, 1007 Fulton St., wind down North Carroll Boulevard and travel around downtown before coming back to the school, officials said.
“It’s something that people look forward to every first Saturday of the fair,” said Susan Schoenthal, parade chairwoman.
Schoenthal has been involved with the parade for 15 years and has watched it grow.
Parade participants will start lining up at 8 a.m. on Crescent Street.
“We don’t charge for entrants and anyone who wants to be part is welcome to join us,” Schoenthal said.
The parade lineup is set up on a first-come, first-served basis, and Scout troops, cheerleaders, riding clubs and themed floats are just some of the participants who typically join the event.
Leading the way this year will be former Dallas Cowboys star Cliff Harris, who will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.
For the past five years, the parade’s creativity has continued to flourish, and cash prizes are now awarded, Schoenthal said.
First and second places are awarded in the following categories: Riding Club, Commercial, Youth, Western Wagon and Classic Car. The first-place winners receive $100, and the second-place winners receive $50.
“We also have a $250 cash prize for best overall entry,” she said.
Police said streets along the parade route will begin to close before the parade begins, so motorists should plan accordingly.
Streets along the parade route will begin to be barricaded by 9:40 a.m. Saturday and should reopen by noon, said Ryan Grelle, Denton police spokesman. He said all officers working the parade are off duty so that on-duty officers can stay focused on their regular schedules.
The North Texas Fair and Rodeo gates open today at 6 p.m., and the fair runs through Saturday, Aug. 24, at the North Texas Fairgrounds, 2217 N. Carroll Blvd. Parking for the event is $5 and tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children aged 7-12. Admission includes rodeo events and concerts.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.