Fort Worth Stock Show

January 29, 2013

Thunderstorms drop in on Stock Show

Vendors and exhibitors were prepared for afternoon showers.

FORT WORTH -- The wind was gusting Tuesday morning at the Stock Show, but pre-kindergarten students from Holy Trinity Catholic School in Grapevine were delighted by the sun's morning visit.

"They said, 'We prayed really hard yesterday and look, God answered our prayers because the sun is coming out,'" teacher Debbie Phifer said.

The Stock Show is infamous for bringing bad weather to Cowtown, but that usually means low temperatures -- with an occasional side of snow and ice.

But on Tuesday, with temperatures in the 70s, afternoon thunderstorms had visitors and exhibitors breaking out raincoats and umbrellas.

A steady rain was falling by 3 p.m. -- accompanied by occasional thunder -- and Tally Amusement carnival ride operators took shelter among the bumper cars and wondered whether it would clear up before the midway opened at 4 p.m.

"At some point they'll call it," Larry Gibson said.

Until then, ride operators like him would be left waiting.

While he doesn't get paid when the midway closes, Gibson doesn't complain about rainy days.

"I love them because we get a little extra rest this way," he said.

Becky West, owner of Westland Ranch and operator of the petting zone and pony rides, spent Tuesday morning with her staff, tying down tarps and securing everything in sight.

"I'm watching the radar like every minute of the day," West said.

If things got really bad, West said, she would shut down the attractions and put the animals in barns.

"The animals are used to this," she said. "We're set up next to a carnival with a roller coaster, so they're used to anything that could happen."

After Tuesday's storms, the rest of this week is expected to be calmer, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s and 60s.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

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