Frisco, TX – If you lived in the area in the 1990s, you may remember when Frisco was considered a small country town.  When Stonebriar Mall was built in 2000, it brought with it a host of growth that turned this quaint little country town into a big time suburb.  While the small town feeling may be long gone, there is still a strong country influence within the city.

DSC_4843Toyota Stadium, Frisco’s sports stadium and concert venue, has hosted various country artists over the years, including most recently Sam Hunt, Eric Church and Blake Shelton in the Off The Rails festival last month.

This month brought two big events simultaneously – the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which is now part of the Toyota Texas Fest.  The 3-day festival benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife and its youth and urban outreach programs, offered activities for the entire family – 10 live concerts from top country music artists on the main stage, hands-on activities and educational exhibits, obstacles courses, inflatable slides, interactive games, a rock climbing wall, and food, beer and wine samples from some of North Texas’ best brands.

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Festivities kicked off Friday morning with the start of round one of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Ray Roberts State Park.  The field of 38 top professional anglers from the world’s top bass fishing leagues launched from the banks of Ray Roberts in the order of their ranking.  On the line is a $100,000 cash prize, a Nitro Z20 boat with dual Power-Poles, as well as a guaranteed spot in next year’s competition.  Last year’s champ Brent Ehrler is hoping for another big win this year.   And with the heavy rainfall recently, anticipation was high for plenty of lunkers.  Anglers expressed concerns with the full moon and the decreasing water levels as it affected their strategies.  While many were disappointed with day one catches, Chris Zaldain claimed the top spot with 21 lbs 4 oz.

The evening brought live music from Eric Pasley and Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy.  Fans were able to get up close to the artists and had plenty of space to sing and dance along with the show.

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Round two of the Bass Classic began Saturday morning, with Chris Zaldain hoping to retain his top spot.  Anglers were not only competing for the big bass prize, but one of 10 spots in the final round on Sunday.  At the end of the day, Zaldain ended up in 5th place with Matt Herren taking the lead and securing his place in Sunday’s final round.

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Live music continued on the main stage at Toyota Stadium.  Southern Slang, Dee Jay Silver, Ray Johnston Band, and Roger Creager, with Lee Brice wrapping up the evening. Attendees were able to try new foods and play games and even test drive a Toyota at the expo.

The last day of the festival ended an exciting weekend of fishing.  At the end of the tournament, it was Matt Herren that took home the title and the grand prize.

Music by Breelan Angel, Chase Bryant and headliner Kip Moore closed out the weekend of festivities.

Check out more photos in slideshow below: