North Texas Daily

Denton hosts 81st annual state fair, rodeo

Denton hosts 81st annual state fair, rodeo

August 26
23:55 2009

Old, young attend years- old tradition

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The North Texas State Fair and Rodeo Association is keeping tradition alive by hosting its 81st annual state fair and rodeo through Aug. 29 on Carroll Street, near the Denton Square.
28_RodeoStarted in 1928, the event began as only a rodeo hosted by locals and soon grew to include the fair.
It is now host to different rodeo competitions, livestock shows, youth attractions and competitions, which include everything from a chili cook-off to a beauty pageant, Executive Director Glenn Carlton said.
The association is a non-profit, community-based organization committed to supporting youth, agriculture and community, Carlton said.
The association’s goal is to host fundraisers to help support its facilities, programs and scholarships. The North Texas State Fair and Rodeo is its biggest yearly event.
The association also hosts other annual events, including a golf tournament and the Denton County Livestock and Youth Fair, Executive Assistant Nanci Kimmey said.
Kimmey, who worked as a volunteer for 27 years running the beauty pageant, passed the tradition down to her daughter, who now runs the beauty pageant.
28_RodeoThe North Texas State Fair and Rodeo began last Friday, Aug. 21, and will continue through this Saturday, Aug. 29. The $12 admission includes entry to the fair, rodeo and a nightly concert.
Carlton said this past weekend, more than 50,000 people crowded onto the fairgrounds to attend the carnival, watch the parade and rodeo, and attend concerts from the Randy Rogers Band, Josh Abbott, Johnny Lee and Tejas Brothers.
Attendees like Shawn Hubbard agree that the tradition is what keeps them coming back. ”I’ve been coming for about 25 or 30 years now, since I was a little boy with my parents,” Hubbard said, adding that he comes to support the rodeo that he used to participate in when he was younger.
The cost of the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo this year was $750,000, while the Association projects will earn a $1 million gross, he said.
“That $250,000 profit is not something that we keep,” Carlton said. “This is what we reinvest in our community.”
The Denton County Livestock Association, the Blue Ribbon Club and the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo Association give away $400,000 in scholarships each year combined.
08-27-09-rodeo2Kimmey said that to be a non-profit organization, the association remains almost completely volunteer-based, with only two paid positions.
“Volunteering gets in your blood,” she said. “We become like a ‘fair family.’ We build this and grow it together, and now there are three and four generations supporting it.”
The North Texas State Fair and Rodeo Association also helps to support 4-H clubs, or youth outreach programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the North Texas area by offering their facilities at no cost and hosting the Denton County Livestock and Youth Fair.
Other information about the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo along with a daily schedule of events can be found at www.northtexasstatefair.com.

By Amber Arnold
Senior Staff Writer

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