DENTON, Texas — The North Texas Fair and Rodeo kicks off Friday in Denton.
The 92nd annual event, that includes concerts and rodeos, runs October 16-24.
“I think people are ready to get out, and I think we've learned to respect each other’s space and safety,” North Texas Fair and Rodeo Executive Director Glenn Carlton said. “I honestly believe that the event can be held safely.”
Carlton said the on average the annual event attracts around 200,000 people. But they’re only expecting about 50% of that this year.
Here’s what they’re doing to keep event-goers safe:
Only 877 people allowed in front of concert stage
“We turned our COVID plan into the City of Denton and they did the mathematics on that area. That's where the number 877 came from,” Carlton said.
Carlton said there will be security in front of the stage who will count people in order to maintain the appropriate capacity.
In addition, there will be an overflow area where people can sit and watch the concert on a video board.
“We have set up a big lawn area. People are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets this year. You'll be really close to the main stage, but you'll have a big video screen and quality sound," Carlton said.
Rodeo will be at 50% capacity
“Our normal capacity for the rodeo ring is 4,000, so we'll have to stop at 2,000. First come, first serve. If you get here late, you can watch the rodeo on that same big video screen and still enjoy the fair and rodeo there," Carlton said.
Hand sanitizer and face masks
“We've always had hand sanitizers out, but there's a hundred additional hand sanitizers out this year,” Carlton said. “Just about every time you turn around, you can find a hand sanitizer.”
In addition, Carlton said they have thousands of face masks to give away.
“We've actually posted Governor Abbott's executive order on face masks. That’s still in effect for this event. Even though it's an outdoor event, if you can't social distance, you need to wear your face mask,” Carlton said.
You can read more about the North Texas Fair and Rodeo's COVID-19 plan here.
The opening day of the North Texas Fair and Rodeo comes following a week of COVID-19 developments in Denton:
MONDAY: Denton County Judge Andy Eads begins quarantining at home after potentially being exposed to COVID-19.
TUESDAY: Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell tests positive for COVID-19.
WEDNESDAY: Bars in Denton County are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, per the governor's order and Judge Eads' decision.
THURSDAY: Judge Eads tests positive for COVID-19. So does a polling worker at the Fred P. Herring Recreation Center in Lewisville, which shuts down the early voting location at 1 p.m.
FRIDAY: The North Texas Fair and Rodeo opens for the first day.