FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo kicks off a 23-day run on Friday. And after 124 years, some people think there's nothing left to see -- they couldn't be more wrong.
The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is one of the oldest in the country. It's become synonymous with Texas and its western heritage. And this year-- with the addition of the new Dickies Arena-- organizers fully expect to wow the crowd.
"When they walk through the doors, before they even walk through the doors, that 'wow' factor just jumps out at them!" said Matt Brockman, the longtime communications manager for the FWSSR.
It's the first time in more than 75 years that "The World's Original Indoor Rodeo" will be held somewhere other than the Will Rogers Coliseum. And even though Dickies Arena can seat almost twice as many people, it's still an intimate venue -- and there's no bad seat in the house.
"A big part of that... is this center-hung screen," Brockman said as he gestured over his shoulder. "It's the nation's second largest 360-degree continuous display on one canvas. So it will just bring to life the energy and excitement of that action."
With its Art Deco architecture and artwork, and 21st century amenities -- such as the luxury restaurant and bars -- the arena might be a draw all by itself. But it also has a number of special touches that will make some nostalgic. From the replica gates to the bunting, there are lots of similarities to the coliseum... even the dirt!
"You know, it even gets down to the color," says Brockman. "That shade of red that you've been comfortable with all these years. So the dirt is some of that ol' dirt from Will Rogers. That rodeo dirt that we're real proud of."
So, what do you do after the rodeo? Just step outside onto the plaza and you'll find a different kind of entertainment.
"Over here we have cold beer and hot music," says Brockman as he points to the Bud Light Roadhouse tent. "And the Corkyard is right over here. It's our new wine destination; we'll serve wines by the glass."
More than one million people will visit the Stock Show over the next three and a half weeks, and it may be because this annual event really does have something for everyone.
In addition to the rodeo, there are livestock and horse shows, kid-friendly activities, a carnival midway, live music, great food, and four acres of shopping. And it's a big part of the reason Fort Worth is known as the City of Cowboys and Culture.
"We sit right here in Fort Worth in the Cultural District, and we have these big cutting horse competitions and rodeos, and you can walk right across the street and see a Renoir painting! Where else can you do that?," says Brockman.
Come see for yourself why they say: "This Thing is Legendary".
There are some rodeo tickets still available through the Stock Show's website, or you can get them at the ticket office. The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo runs daily through February 8.
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