Happy trails: Rodeo sets attendance record despite rainy weather


A family sought shade under the brims of their new cowboy hats, an aunt took her out-of-town niece to try deep-fried Oreos, a couple prepped their son for his Mutton Bustin' debut and a mom-and-daughter team strategized to use up their carnival tickets to win as many giant plush prizes as possible. That wasn't the only record this year, with the Go Tejano Day performers La Arrolladora Banda El Limon and La Quinaria Nortena bringing in the most ever in paid attendance at 75,357, and six other musical acts this year drawing crowds that made it onto the list of top 20 ever in paid attendance. [...] the records go on, including the most paid for a Reserve Grand Champion painting in the student art auction and world records broken in the lamb and goat auction and junior market poultry auction. Johan Parada, 5, wearing a fire engine red cowboy hat, was in line to be one of the more than 3,200 kids to try Mutton Bustin', his parents counseling him to hold on tight as he pressed a finger to his lips and said his victory plan was a secret. College student Tia McGraw and her mom bought 100 tickets each in their quest to bring home a giant Teddy bear, one of the thousands of plush toys awarded at the carnival. "Not-a-cowboy-type-of-guy" Erick Martinez bought his first cowboy hat, finally giving into his wife who had owned one since she was their daughter's age, and figuring he wouldn't wear it again until next year's rodeo.

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