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Fair tradition worth sharing

People get excited about the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo. We know how they feel. It’s one of the few events we can think of that forms a direct link between the area’s colorful past and its promising future, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

It’s a multi-generational event, a true family affair, and some Denton County families have been attending for generations.

It’s a hands-on experience, with contests and exhibits aplenty, and if your family isn’t involved this year, then chances are that you’ll see plenty of your neighbors taking part.

It’s old-fashioned fun, the kind that’s getting tougher and tougher to find these days. You can watch heart-pounding rodeo action, hear some down-home foot-stompin’ music or become a kid again by climbing aboard a carnival ride or enjoying some lip-smacking festival food.

“There’s something for everyone out here,” said Carl Anderson, president of the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo Association.

Anderson knows what he’s talking about. A longtime volunteer, he recalls a childhood spent at the fairgrounds. He grew up about a half a mile from the fair’s location off North Carroll Boulevard.

“Mom would walk my brother and me out here,” Anderson told us.

That excitement is still with him 52 years later, and he’s not alone.

Many volunteers dedicate themselves to helping make the event a success — about 500 people take off and spend almost the entire time at the fair, including some who bring trailers for a 24-hour stay.

“That’s what makes it so much fun — to see how this thing comes together,” Anderson said. “It’s a passion for some people.”

The passion for the fair that Anderson and others share is probably the primary reason that the event is still thriving after 84 years.

That long history was commemorated recently during a dedication ceremony for an official Texas Historical Marker awarded to the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo by the Texas Historical Commission.

The designation honors the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo as “an important and educational part of the history of farming and ranching in Denton County and surrounding areas,” according to an event press release.

Like we said, the fair is a direct link to the area’s history, and when you and your kids head out to the fairgrounds tonight, you’ll be joining a long line of folks who have walked the same path.

It’s a tradition — one that’s worth sharing.

And it’s all ready to unfold once again. The fair runs today through Aug. 25. You can check out a complete schedule at

Do yourself a favor and check it out.