A gathering about an hour southeast of Dallas is causing controversy on social media. That’s because the three-day event in Van Zandt County drew a large crowd, most of which did not wear a face covering.
A 250-acre field along Farm-to-Market Road 47 just outside Mabank city limits was the location of the event organized by a riding club.
The event was promoted as a three-day, annual "campout and trail ride."
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Professional photographer Sherlitha Caldwell captured the event.
People have their horses, their four-wheelers, they have party wagons, things of that nature,” Tamika Green said. “Just a big, fun event. Like a family event.”
The Fort Worth resident said she and her riding group went to the trail ride, where for the most part face masks were nowhere in sight.
Criticism has poured in after hundreds of people gathered amid a health emergency that has nearly overwhelmed hospitals in Texas.
Green insisted her club did take COVID-19 precautions, including wearing face masks and ensuring anyone who was sick did not attend the event.
Another attendee who spoke with NBC 5 questioned the thousands of people who gathered at Texas Motor Speedway over the weekend.
However, faces masks were required to enter the track and inside, if attendees could not maintain social distance from those not in their party.
When asked if it’s concerning to see a sea of people and no one wearing a facemask, Green responded: “I mean, that’s on them. As long as I know my group is doing what it’s supposed to do to protect ourselves I don’t really have an opinion on other people.”
Green said organizers had signs asking attendees to wear face coverings.
She said there may have also been a mask vendor on sight.
NBC 5 reached out to three people who appeared on a flier for the event but had not heard back Monday afternoon.
The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office also did not respond to NBC 5’s request for comment.
As of Sunday, Van Zandt County had reported 251 cases of COVID-19/
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.