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A night with Charlie Daniels at the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo

A night with Charlie Daniels at the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo

The crowd that saw Charlie Daniels at the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo in 2016.

A night with Charlie Daniels at the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo
August 28
15:39 2016

The smell of fried turkey legs, warm beer and sweaty mud-coated bulls lingered in the air from the past nine nights of the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo. Screams from the spinning, twinkling rides collided with the live bands on stage. The energy of excited rodeo fans radiated through the crowds.

And on the last night, a crowd of people waited in the Texas sun as the Budweiser stage lit up for its last performance of the Fair and Rodeo. The singer in the spotlight was Charlie Daniels, an American country-bluegrass-southern rock multi-instrumentalist, lyricist and singer.

At 79, Daniels jumped out on stage and contributed to the energy of the rowdy crowd. From the first instant his bow hit the fiddle to the brief moments following his exit, he kept his audience engaged. There was variety in his setlist, from his classic hits like the “Devil Went Down to Georgia” to songs from his latest album, released this past April, “Off the Grid.”  Nothing of the show fell short of familiar and fun.

The crowd shouted the lyrics and tapped their boots. People were shoulder to shoulder. Although this made dancing near impossible, it didn’t stop people from trying. The pavement was radiating heat, but that did not turn away the cheering fans. Most had been standing on their feet for an hour or two just to stand near the stage. Cell phones spied on Daniels from the moment he stepped out. The momentum of the crowd carried through the show.

As the show went on, the crowd became so thick and dense that hardly anybody could move. Nobody could weave their way in or out of that crowd. Everyone was heel to toe with one another, trying to get as much out the experience as possible. On the edge of the crowd, people were still taking pictures and maneuvering their heads to see him.

Despite the large size of the crowd, Daniels did not have a hard time keeping their attention. Though there was a rodeo on one side of the fair and extreme rides on the other, the sound of his fiddle kept the crowd building until the show was over. People trickled down from the rodeo bleachers to catch the glimpse of Daniels playing. It was an entertaining show, full of nostalgia and excitement. Even mothers with teary-eyed children ready for bed stood firmly to watch Daniels until the very end.

Before long, the sound of his band shrouded the sounds of the fair, stealing the attention away from other festivities. Many people had been to pop-up fairs before and seen a rodeo, but they would not miss out on the opportunity to see Daniels play.

Daniels was the perfect ending to this Texas rodeo and tradition. For the duration of the fair, attendees got to enjoy livestock shows, local barbecue, carnival rides, local contests, rodeos and live music. Having Daniels wrap up the night with his enthusiasm and passion made it not only a memorable night, but a memorable season for the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo. Locals and visitors, both domestic and international, got a good taste of what it feels like to be a Texan.

Featured Image and Video: Charlie Daniels closes out the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo for 2016. Bina Perino | Staff Writer

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Bina Perino

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