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David Minton/DRC
A trophy saddle on a steer wrestler's horse at the 2013 North Texas Fair and Rodeo, Friday, August 16, 2013, in Denton, TX.
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Crowds flock to variety of attractions at North Texas Fair and Rodeo

The gates to the North Texas Fair and Rodeo opened Friday, and fairgoers were trickling in when Ryan Kientzler, his wife and childen walked through, hearts set on having a good time.

The small number of people was something Kientzler was trying to take advantage of, “to get here early to where we can get everything going before the crowd starts going,” he said.

Kientzler said he lived in Argyle for several years, moved away and came back. And now he’s back at the fair and rodeo.

The Kientzlers join the thousands of others who will pass through the gates at the North Texas Fairgrounds over the course of the nine-day fair to see the rodeo events, livestock shows and concerts and munch away on the food from scores of vendors scattered about the fairgrounds.

Mary Sabotik and her mother, Frances, longed for a better map of the attractions as they walked the grounds.

Sabotik, fresh from the military, was gone for nine years and this year is her first time back in Denton to attend the fair.

“We’re pretty excited,” she said.

New to the event this year is the Amazing Rainforest Experience, featuring several tropical animals. Early entrants began checking for the attraction as soon as they arrived, though it did not start until an hour after the gates opened.

It didn’t take long for game attendants to start calling to the people passing by, trying to lure them into shooting baskets or throwing darts with the hope of winning big prizes.

The Ferris wheel and other rides soon were running as the first strums of the guitar of Kylie Rae Harris began.

Taking the stage after her was the Josh Abbott Band, something Patricia Cohen said she was looking forward to in particular.

Well, along with the shopping.

Her husband, Ken Cohen, said he travels so much that when he is in town, they jump on the first thing they can do.

“He likes the rides,” he said, gesturing to their son. He continued with a grin: “He’s riding, she’s shopping and I’m drinking.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.


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