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Super Bowl A Hit With Thousands of Fans

It's Super Bowl and Party Time in Houston, Texas
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Kickoff is just around the corner for Super Bowl LI (51). The city of Houston, Texas hosts the big game, but for thousands of fans the sideshow to the spectacle of the Super Bowl is a way to spend family time without breaking the bank.

The Super Bowl is a show so big that fans of all shapes, sizes and… species can't help but get in the game.

"I think they have a lot of fun coming out here. I think they really enjoy just coming out of the house and doing something different. You know, getting the experience for them; something new, something different. It's really nice," said Esmeralda, a Houston resident.

Fans walk past a sign at the NFL Experience ahead of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game, Feb. 3, 2017, in Houston, Texas.
Fans walk past a sign at the NFL Experience ahead of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game, Feb. 3, 2017, in Houston, Texas.

It's also free to enter this fan festival, which likely sounds good to most families.

"Oh it's amazing. A lot of people are going to spend upwards of $5,000 on a ticket alone, so being able to come out in my community and actually experience it for a reasonable cost is great," said Baytown resident Patrick.

There's a street-party feel to all of this.

"You have to be in the atmosphere. You really do, because I'm not one that even would have ever went to a Super Bowl, but now, it seems like every city it's in, I want to go there, because it's exciting. It's nothing like being here," said Houston resident Tonya.

Tonya isn't going to the game, but Chris and his wife spent nearly $10,000 for their tickets to the Super Bowl.

"Just really the energy and the vibe… it's good.We like it.Just ready to experience everything. Tomorrow tailgating and then going into the game.It's kind of a compressed weekend, but we're excited," said Christ, who lives in Denton.

The game is now just hours away.But as anyone who's seen a Super Bowl can tell you, between multi-million-dollar commercials and spectacular halftime performances, there is much more to the Super Bowl than just football.

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    Arash Arabasadi

    Arash Arabasadi is an award-winning multimedia journalist with a decade of experience shooting, producing, writing and editing. He has reported from conflicts in Iraq, Egypt, the Persian Gulf and Ukraine, as well as domestically in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland. Arash has also been a guest lecturer at Howard University, Hampton University, Georgetown University, and his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Ashley and their two dogs.