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02 North Texas State Fair

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Since 1928 North Texas State Fair & Rodeo The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an Official Texas Historical Marker. The designation honors the 84-year-old 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. A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event was held at the North Texas State Fair on Aug. 8 at 2217 N. Carroll Blvd. in Denton. The ceremony was sponsored by the North Texas State Fair (NTSF) Association and Denton County Historical Commission (DCHC). Speakers for the included Denton County Judge Mary Horn, State Representative

Myra Crownover and NTSF Association President Carl Anderson. Glenn Carlton, Executive Director of the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo, was instrumental in obtaining the THC historical marker, bringing public awareness to the economic and cultural significance of the annual fair. DCHC Certificates of Commendation in recognition of leadership in the development of the fair and efforts that led to the placement of the state marker was presented to William Allen, Carl Anderson, Ken Burdick (presented posthumously), Glenn Carlton, Nanci Kimmey, R.D. Martin, James Roden, Kim Wendt and the Board of Directors of the North Texas State Fair Association. The THC subject marker was sponsored by the NTSF

Association. All THC marker applications are submitted to the state through local county historical commissions. During the marker process,

DCHC Marker Committee Chairwoman Beth Stribling worked with Nanci Kimmey, NTSF executive assistant and Kim Wendt, University of North Texas student intern who researched and wrote the historical narrative for the application. The historical narrative will be placed in THC’s archives in Austin and the DCHC research files in the Denton County Courthouse on the Square. The 2011 marker application was submitted to THC in the fall of 2010 and was approved by THC Commissioners in January 2011. The NTSF began as the Denton County Fair in 1928, organized by the Denton County Fair Association and chartered in 1930. In 1958, the fair was

renamed North Texas State Fair. In 1961, the name of the corporation “Denton County Agricultural Fair Association” was changed to “North Texas State Fair Association.” James Roden was the first paid executive director and served from 1983 to 2000. He was followed by Ken Burdick who served from 1999-2005. Glenn Carlton was named executive director in 2005. In 1989, the fair association began to move beyond the local cowboy competition and brought the first Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rodeo to the fair. The fair was called the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo to promote the addition of the professional rodeo activities. See MARKER on 7


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04 North Texas State Fair

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Officials forecast great weather, large crowds at this year’s Fair By Britney Tabor Carlton said tickets are inclusive of rodeo and concert. About 10,000 additional square feet of shade has been added for this year’s fair, Carlton said.

Staff Writer

Kyle Park and No Justice. “I think the rodeos and the concerts are a must-see every night,” Carlton said. An estimated 1,400 individuals are expected to compete in contests throughout the fair. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children between 7 and 12 years old and free for children ages 6 and under. Four-day passes can also be purchased for $40 and a season passes for $90. More information on obtaining the passes can be collected by calling 940-387-2632 or visiting

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experience at the fair,” Carlton said. Other attractions in the Kid Zone include a trackless train, bounce houses and rock wall. What makes this event so unique year after year, Carlton said, are the four rodeo performances with contenders vying for bull rider, bronc rider and much more — not to mention the daring rodeo clowns who get between riders and the animals to keep both safe. Some acts fairgoers can expect to see on fair stages this year include Stoney LaRue,

North Texas State Fair


Officials with the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo say they’re expecting an estimated 140,000 attendees at this year’s nine-day event. Weather throughout opening weekend, which begins Friday, is expected to be in the mid to low 90s. “I’m pretty excited about the forecast,” said Glenn Carlton, the fair’s executive director. “I think we’re going to see a real nice increase with the weather the way it is.” Last year’s fair drew about 125,000, he said. In some years downpours or record-breaking heat have arrived alongside the annual event. This year’s theme, “The rodeo is on … turn it up”, signifies an event that projects energy and fun, he said. “I would describe it as fun and friendly,” Carlton says of the fair that attracts all ages to everything from rodeos and carnival rides to steer and craft competitions. The event, according to officials, has something to entice people of all ages. And it showcases the county’s agriculture — a mainstay in a large part of northern Denton County. “Agriculture, farming and ranching is still a huge, huge part of Denton County,” said Carl Anderson, president of the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo Association who has served on the board a number of years. “If you’ve grown up in this town, it’s an honor just to be on the board,” he says, adding that this year’s fair has much to offer. New for children and adults alike this year is the Great American Duck Race, a free event in the Fun Zone where individuals release ducks into a duck race, Carlton said. Another new attraction is the trout fishing which will include a simulated rushing stream, fishing poles, casting and, of course, trout. “For the first time … kids can have their first fishing

“We really like to make sure we go the extra mile and that people are comfortable when they come to the fair,” he said. STAFF WRITER DAWN COBB contributed to this report.

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From Page 2

Marker Denton’s permanent location on North Carroll Boulevard began in 1948 when Dr. W. C. Kimbrough, a Denton physician, sold the fair association 22 acres of land for $5. He was honored on opening day at the 1949 fair when the new fair grounds were dedicated. The oldest structure on the fair grounds, Fair Hall, was on the property at the time of the purchase by Dr. Kimbrough. The building had originally been used at the World War II German prisoner of war camp site at Camp Howze, an infantry training facility outside of Gainesville, Cook County. Prior to its location on North Carroll Boulevard, the fair was held for a short time at the new city park, developed after the city purchased the Quakertown property. In 1930, the fair association, under the management of Dr. Jack Skiles, relocated the fair to 13 acres of land immediately east of the Long and King


Wholesale Company building on East Hickory Street. Excerpts from the historical narrative described the fair in 1931 “as a five-day affair including entertainment by the North Texas Teacher’s College Band and had large entries in both the livestock and agricultural departments. The 1935 fair included entertainment by Floyd Graham’s Teacher College Band, the Lightcrust Doughboys from Fort Worth, John E. Lawhon’s Denton High School Band and W. Lee O’Daniels Band from Forth Worth.” The history of the fair symbolizes the rich heritage of the ranching and farming community of rural Denton County. It also reflects the leadership of the Denton business men who understood the economic significance of a county fair in Denton. The historical marker will educate the thousands of fair-goers of the history of this historic annual event. For more information on the Texas Historical Commission Marker Program contact Roslyn Shelton, DCHC Manager, 940-241-2523 or Beth Stribling, DCHC Marker Chairman at 940-241-2523.

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08 Fair provides variety of attractions North Texas State Fair

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Find non-stop action in the NTSF rodeo arena 09 The 84th Annual North Texas State Fair and Rodeo kicks off on Friday night with rodeo action from the professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls competing on the nationwide Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association tour. The PRCA is the premier professional rodeo organization in the world with over 500 sanctioned rodeos in the United States each year, the NTSF in Denton being one of those stops. Money accrued by contestants throughout the year goes toward qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, held each December. The top 15 money earners in each event get the opportunity

to compete for the world championship at the richest rodeo in the world. Rodeos like the North Texas State Fair are a big part of that system, and over the three days of PRCA action at the NTSF, spectators will see several past world champions competing, as well as some up-and-coming competitors who are on their way to earning that prestigious title themselves. The PRCA performances at the North Texas State Fair are Friday Aug. 17 through Sunday Aug. 19. Monday Aug. 20 at the Fair will feature working ranch cowboys competing as teams in events that modern rodeo competition evolved from. These events include team

doctoring, which simulates separating out a sick steer or heifer from the herd, roping head and heel, and marking the animal with chalk to substitute actual inoculation or veterinary procedure. Even today on most ranches, this is the most efficient means of medicating a single animal far from the pens. Another event is the team sorting in which the team of four cowboys must separate animals from the herd, in numerical order from numbers pasted on their hip, and keep those separated out from rejoining the herd. That’s easier than it sounds. Cattle are herd creatures by nature and keeping one determined beef from rejoining the herd is diffi-

cult enough, keeping six to eight from rejoining, with only four cowboys on horseback, can be impossible. The team with the highest number sorted within the specified time frame is the winner. This event really stresses teamwork and the horsemanship required is truly impressive. Team branding recreates the annual spring round-up and branding of new calves. One man rides into the herd and ropes a calf, drags it back across a line to the designated branding area where two cowboys hold the calf down, remove the rope and a third man runs in with a branding iron, marked with chalk, brands the calf and returns to his station. The team with the

North Texas State Fair

highest success rate in two minutes is the winner. Again, as in the other events, teamwork and horsemanship are essential to success. The crowd favorite has to be the ranch bronc riding. One cowboy from the team, usually one of the younger members, is selected to mount a bronc using a working ranch saddle. Unlike the saddle bronc riding in the pro rodeo, the cowboy is allowed to hang on with both hands. This does not necessarily make it any easier. The horses duck and dive and there are always some unplanned dismounts, usually not feet first.

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From Page 9

Rodeo Tuesday Aug. 21 and Wednesday Aug. 22 features performances by the cowboys and cowgirls we’ll see competing in the PRCA in coming years. The 21 & Under rodeo at the North Texas State Fair has seen several world champions compete in this arena before they were even old enough to vote. These cowboys and cowgirls compete in all the events seen in the professional ranks plus a couple of additional events like girls breakaway roping, one of the fastest-paced rodeo events, and girls goat tying, always a crowd favorite. The ladies barrel racing is one of the most popular events, and competitors from not only north Texas but from around the nation show up to run for the money at this event each year. The final three nights of the Fair are host to what is probably the public’s favorite rodeo event, bull riding. The annual NTSF Bull Blowout features 35 cowboys each night against

some of the rankest bulls in the business. Bull Riding has captured the nation’s attention with televised events exposing greater and greater numbers to the sport. Denton and the surrounding area already have their own built-in audience for the Bull Blowout, as it is easily one of the most popular annual bull ridings in the region. In addition to the bull riding competition, teams of two bullfighters each compete during the bull riding. Known as Cowboy Protection bullfighers, the teams are judged on their teamwork, positioning during the ride and after the rider’s dismount. Their sole job is to protect the cowboy and their teammate. Athletic ability, knowledge of the sport, and willingness to put yourself in harm’s way are all factors that make up a successful protection bullfighting team. There are always some spectacular displays of fearlessness and self sacrifice when these guys step into the arena. The Bull Blowout runs the last three nights of the NTSF, Aug. 2325.

Larissa Fulton of Sanger competes in last year’s ladies barrel racing event.

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14 Casey Donahew Band North Texas State Fair

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set to perform at fair By Matt Crider There are several reasons the Casey Donahew Band is a fitting choice to play at the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo. At the top of that list are “North Texas� and “Fair & Rodeo.� Donahew, a Burleson native, is proud of his roots and says he’s been around horses and cattle his entire life. “The rodeo scene is kind of our wheelhouse,� Donahew said during a recent phone interview. The singer-songwriter said he started playing guitar in high school. After attending Texas A&M University for a couple of years, he transferred back north to the University of Texas at Arlington. After a stint working as a teacher, Donahew turned his attention full time to music — and hasn’t looked back. “I put together a band and kept expanding and making records, and we’re still working at it,� he said. He got his start 10 years ago

playing at the Thirsty Armadillo in Fort Worth. He worked his way up to larger Cowtown establishments like the Horseman Club and Billy Bob’s Texas. Awareness of Donahew’s music steadily spread from Tarrant and Johnson counties, and he became a fixture on the Texas/Red Dirt circuit. He credits that success partly to high-energy concerts. “For years we’ve tried to build our reputation off of our live show. We want to make sure people come back and tell their friends about it,� Donahew said. “I just try to do what I do every night, and I think that’s what’s made us popular. Fans expect certain things, and I try to give it to them.� This month’s concert calendar finds the band traveling from the Great Plains to San Antonio and all across Texas, with stops in the Midwest, Boston and Canada. Donahew said the only place they haven’t broken through is the West Coast, but he’s got designs on California.

One thing seems clear: The band isn’t changing to meet someone else’s definition of successful. “It’s still really hard to break

into radio nationally. We’re kind of growing our fan base like we did in Texas — kind of underground and word of mouth,� Donahew said. “We’re

making music for our fans and nobody else. That’s the formula we’re going to roll with.� See DONAHEW on 20






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Turnpike Troubadours roll into town Aug. 22 By Matt Crider When the Turnpike Troubadours roll in from Oklahoma for their Aug. 22 concert at the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo, it will be a homecoming for the Texan fifth of the Red Dirt quintet. Bass player R.C. Edwards said that drummer Gabe Pearson is a former Denton resident. “Gabe has been with us for about a year,” Edwards said. “He used to play with [Denton musician] Rodney Parker.” Edwards and Pearson are joined by lead singer Evan Felker, fiddler Kyle Nix and guitar player Ryan Engleman. “We’ve always liked Denton. There are a lot of music lovers, and a lot of friends come out,” Edwards said. “It’s a town we really like. It’s got a real neat music scene. “People appreciate good music there.” The Troubadours’ music expands upon the honky-tonk sounds of the bars where they got their start. “Sometimes we’re like a souped-up version of blue-

grass. Sometimes we’re like a country version of punk rock,” Edwards said. “We just started out playing around beer joints in Oklahoma. It kind of grew from there.” The band recently released its third album, Goodbye Normal Street, and Edwards said the journey so far has been about assembling the right lineup and finding the band’s sound. “We’ve come a long way,” he said. “It’s just getting better all the time — better shows, better crowds. “We got out of the van. We’re doing the bus thing now and loving every minute of it.” The Troubadours have roots in Tahlequah, Okla., east of Tulsa, but are now based about 70 miles east of Oklahoma City in Okemah. “It’s sort of in the middle for everyone,” Edwards said. Last month saw them hop from the bus to a plane for a couple of shows in Europe, and each of those provided something unique. Edwards said they played at a club in Italy for 300 to 400

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people and many in the audience were familiar with the music. From there they went to Craponne-sur-Arzon, France, for the renowned Country Rendez-Vous festival, where they played in front of thousands. “They’re more like country music lovers across the board,” Edwards said of the big French

crowd. “They’re really into line dancing over there. So that was a little fun to see.” While Edwards called the European trip fun and “eyeopening,” the band is now back to playing three to four shows a week in Texas and surrounding states, all in support of Goodbye Normal Street and the current single and video, “Gin, Smoke, Lies.”

“We’re real proud of it. It sounds a lot like us,” he said of the album, adding that the song “Good Lord Lorrie” and others are becoming crowd favorites. “They’re kind of already pretty familiar with it. It’s getting good reaction all the way around.” See TROUBADOURS on 20


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20 Josh Abbott Band returns to fair on August 23 North Texas State Fair

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By Matt Crider The Josh Abbott Band made a splash last year with the song “My Texas,” which references must-see attractions all around the state. Featured prominently in the lyrics are three major rodeos, giving the impression that the band has played its share of livestock shows. Abbott and the boys return Aug. 23 to the Thursday night slot on the main Budweiser Stage for their second consecutive appearance at the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo. They’ll surely perform “My Texas,” which benefits on its recorded version from the voice talents of Pat Green. Abbott said he e-mailed Green and told him he’d like the veteran artist to help him record the song. It’s a throwback to the days of Green and Cory Morrow singing duets together, Abbott said in a

phone interview from his Austin home. He also said he did some acoustic concerts during which Green joined him on stage to sing the song. Other tracks on Small Town Family Dream, the Josh Abbott Band’s 2012 album, include “FFA” and “Flatland Farmer.” “We’ve played the fair a couple of times,” Abbott said of the annual Denton event, adding that his band also has performed at the Rockin’ Rodeo bar. “[Fairs] are fun to play. You’re always going to have a good crowd and everyone’s ready to have a good time.” It’s also been a good time for the band itself. Abbott said the single “Touch” made a dent on the Billboard country chart. “I fee like we’ve had some national radio play,” Abbott said. “Our first-week [album] sales for this Texas country

From Page 14

Donahew A unique part of the band’s formula is Donahew’s songwriting. It’s especially raw and honest, and he doesn’t broaden his subject matter in a contrived effort to appeal to the masses. He writes about what he knows. “I was born and raised down in Burleson,” he said. “It’s really important. I grew up in the Fort Worth area and have no intention of leaving.” Some of the band’s biggest hits, such as “Stockyards” and “Ramblin’ Kind,”

From Page 17


pay tribute to Donahew’s story. “Fort Worth’s a big part of that, so it finds its way into several songs,” he said. “It’s what’s going on in my life.” Donahew and his band have been adamant that music should entertain, and that philosophy goes into their songs, including the ones that aren’t 100 percent autobiographical. “Some of the stuff is for fun and the other is more serious,” Donahew said. “There’s a little bit of truth is everything and a little bit of fantasy.” He said the band’s newest album, Double-Wide Dream, continues on its predecessors’ independent path, with

top.” “New doors open all the time, so it’s a pretty exciting time right now,” he said. “We’re getting bigger and bigger regionally all the time, touring out farther and farther.” Booking more concert dates means playing at more rodeos, and the band is slated to take the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo’s main Budweiser Stage on a Wednesday night. “It’s different, every one,” Edwards said of playing local fairs. “I’ve heard good things about the one in Denton. We’re pretty excited.”

ous,” Abbott said. “We just released a new record in April. Anytime you do that, you’re going to have a bit of a busier

his pen contributing all 10 songs. “This is our fifth record — fourth studio record. I produced it myself,” Donahew said. “We did everything right here in Fort Worth. We’re working our third single right now and things are really good.” The title track received significant airplay in North Texas, and “One Star Flag” cracked the top 20 on the Texas Music Chart the first week in August. “One Star Flag” is a rocking ode to drinking, Texas and independence — including, naturally, Fort Worth and rodeo. It and songs like it are what fans should expect when the band takes the

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year. “I’m excited to see what this next year holds. There’s always an adventure out there.”

main Budweiser Stage on Aug. 18, the second night of the fair. “I don’t think there’s anything too over the top where we have to throttle down,” Donahew said of the fair’s family-friendly setting. “We’ve been playing in Denton for years. We played the bar scene,” he said. “We played the rodeo last year. This will be my second time at the fair.” Just a short drive up Interstate 35W, Denton’s annual fair is a welcome destination for the band. “We’re into rodeo ourselves. I still team rope,” Donahew said. “Rodeo people are our people.”

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Drug Emporium

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University Carroll

In addition to the CD and MP3 formats, Goodbye Normal Street is available for audiophiles and traditionalists as an LP record. “It really has its own sound,” Edwards said of the 33-rpm disc, which the band was excited to be able to produce. Regardless of the medium, Edwards said he hopes the new album takes the Turnpike Troubadours “straight to the

band were shocking to people.” The success has increased the band’s workload. “It’s been pretty adventur-


Variety of musical acts set to play at 2012 North Texas State Fair & Rodeo By Matt Crider Also appearing on the Budweiser Stage:  Aug. 17 — Wade Bowen. A Waco product who found his musical calling while in college in Lubbock, Bowen this year made his major-label debut with The Given. He counts Denton’s Eli Young Band among his friends, and his hits include “God Bless this Town,” “You Had Me at My Best” and “Matches.”  Aug. 19 — Emilio Navaira. A Tejano superstar who found top-40 country success with “It’s Not the End of the World,” Emilio enjoys first-name recognition. The night before his Denton concert, he’ll be performing at the 32nd annual Tejano Music Awards at the Alamodome in San Antonio.  Aug. 20 — Jason Meadows. Meadows is a team roper and bull rider from Oklahoma whose music

career includes an appearance on the third season of Nashville Star. His most recent album is called You Ain’t Never Been to Texas.  Aug. 21 — Max Stalling. A true Texas storyteller, Stalling’s smooth style complements clever lyrics. His 2010 album Home to You includes the standout tunes “I Ain’t Drinking Alone,” “Fantasy Dinner” and “6x9 Speakers: Revisited.”  Aug. 24 — Stoney LaRue. This Red Dirt mainstay has been a top draw for a decade, and his newest record, Velvet, is simply outstanding. Signature songs include “Oklahoma Breakdown,” “Idabel Blues” and “One Chord Song.”  Aug. 25 — John Anderson. This year’s finalnight headliner has decades of stardom under his hat, chalking up hits such as “Black Sheep,” “She Just Started

Liking Cheatin’ Songs,” “Would You Catch a Falling Star,” “Seminole Wind,” “Money in the Bank” and “Straight Tequila Night.” Anderson’s voice is unmistakable — a true instrument. His career and his songs continue to hold influence, with LeAnn Rimes recording a version of “Swingin’” in 2011. Bud Light Stage Scheduled to perform on the Bud Light Stage are: Kyle Park (Aug. 17); Scotty Thurman & the Perfect Trouble Band (Aug. 18); Mariachi (Aug. 19); Brian Burns, Brian Houser, Tommy Alverson and Sonny Burgess (Aug. 20); Ryan Ready, Cody Chance and Austin Cunningham (Aug. 21); George Dunham & the Bird Dogs (Aug. 22); Luke Kaufman (Aug. 23); Matt Slovacek, Joey Green, Zach Edwards and No Justice (Aug. 24); and Justin McBride (Aug. 25).



Burns, Hauser, Alverson and Burgess have a wealth of memorable songs to swap, and Cunningham shoots straight on “15 Songs” and “Guns and Religion.” No Justice has Red Dirt roots that hark back to the days of The Great Divide.

World champion bull rider McBride returns for yet another year closing out the fair. Before sharing this year’s final night with John Anderson, McBride supported Tracy Lawrence and Mark Chesnutt the previous two summers.

From the Past...

To the Present.

• Rugs • Furniture • Mattresses • Cowhides • Home Decor Items 5-Pc. Rustic Queen Bed Set $995 (Bed, Dresser, Chest, Nightstand & Mirror)

Styles and times may have changed, but Smitty’s Floor Covering has remained the same.

Flexible Layaway Plan Available!

Serving Denton with quality and service for 6 decades.

SMITTY’S FLOOR COVERING & Carpet Cleaning “Family owned since 1958” (940) 230-1045 DENTON

(940) 382-3232 or (940) 382-6633

3801 N. I-35 #146

1815 N. Elm • Denton, TX 76201

(SW Corner Hwy 380W & I-35N) Next to QuikTrip


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22 North Texas State Fair

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Find fun on the midway

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CLASSIC OF DENTON Proud Sponsor 2012 Here’s to another great year!

CLASSIC CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE MAZDA 4984 I-35 East Denton, Texas 76210 • 940-498-9800

M – F 8am – 8pm Sat 8am – 6pm Sunday Closed HO

North Texas State Fair & Rodeo 2012  

Yearly magazine of the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo.

North Texas State Fair & Rodeo 2012  

Yearly magazine of the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo.