North Texas Fair & Rodeo begins Friday in Denton

If you are having State Fair of Texas and Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo withdrawals, the next best thing begins this weekend in Denton.

The North Texas Fair and Rodeo kicks off its 92nd year Friday night at the fairground just north of Highway 380 and east of Interstate 35.

But, capacity will be limited this year to 50% in the rodeo arena and 75% in the exhibit building.

There will also be hand sanitizing stations throughout the fairground, along with hundreds of signs reminding people to practice social distancing and keep 6 feet apart.

An overflow area was set up for concerts and rodeos where people can space out on the lawn with a blanket or lawn chairs and watch the shows on a video board.

Executive Director Glenn Carlton said he believes the North Texas Fair and Rodeo has found the way to open safely but admitted there were times when he was not sure the fair would go on at all.

“It was very stressful spring and summer not knowing if we were going to go or not. Then we got a postponement date. Then a set postponement date has to be approved by the mayor. It’s been a rollercoaster but we’re excited we are getting to go,” Carlton said.

The rodeo raises money for scholarships and youth livestock projects.

It starts at 6 p.m. Friday and runs through Oct. 24.

There are nine nights of music and rodeos most nights at 7:30 p.m., along with livestock shows, a carnival and a parade Sunday morning at 10 a.m.