It’s Fair time in Rockdale

By MIKE BROWN Reporter Editor

‘Welcome to the Fair,’ says Ashley Melnick, Miss Texas 2010. ‘Welcome to the Fair,’ says Ashley Melnick, Miss Texas 2010. The 2010 Rockdale Fair is putting the “youth” in youth livestock sale.

Rockdale Fair Association directors dropped the age limit for participating in the fair’s market division from nine (third grade) to five (kindergarten) this year.

Market division entries are up 35 percent over 2009, although not all of that figure is attributable to the age limit change, according to Monica Garrison, RFA secretary.

“It’s been up across the board,” she said. The 35th annual Fair unreels Thursday through Saturday with all the old favorites— rodeo, dances, parade and pageants.

There are more events than ever for youngsters with three competitions set for Thursday evening at the rodeo arena.

SALES— Since the first Fair livestock auction in 1977, the effort has raised $3,368,415 for Milam County 4-H and FFA youth and organizers are hoping for another big total at the park’s auction barn at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Last year’s sale raised $189,934, the third highest total in fair history.

ENTRIES UP— This year there will be 491 animals entered in the livestock show, up 150 from the 341 entered in 2008.

Entries include 44 turkeys, 323 steers, 56 lambs, 106 swine, 109 goats, 33 broilers and 81 rabbits.

The sixth commercial heifer show has drawn 17 entries. That compares to 11 last year. sale at 1 p.m. Saturday.

YOUTH MOVEMENT— There will be stick horse races in the Fair Park arena beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“These are for children young enough to ride stick horses and they need to bring their own stick horses,” Garrison said.

“At 6:30 p.m. there will be mutton bustin’ (lamb riding) for the first 50 children under 40 pounds and at least age three,” she said.

Entry fee is $10 and winner receives a pair of chaps and vest.

Mutton bustin’ is followed by a 2D barrel race, for 11-year-olds and under, then a 2D barrel race for 12-year-olds and over.

Entry fee is $20 per horse.

MORE COMPETITION— The agricultural mechanics competition, in its fourth year, will be held between the show barn livestock pens and the pavilion with judging at 11 a.m. Friday. Projects will be on display all weekend.

Also in its fourth year, baked goods prepared by 4-H and FFA members, aged eight through 18, will be sold during the Saturday livestock auction.

Judging is at 10 a.m. Friday and grand and reserve champion items will be auctioned between the end of the livestock auction and the beginning of the pig scramble.

PARADE— Ruth Johnson, longtime Fair volunteer, will be grand marshal for the 10 a.m. Saturday downtown parade.

Route is from the Green-Cameron (US 79) intersection down the highway to Wilcox, left on Wilcox to Mill and right on Mill through the park’s main gate.

Parade registration begins at 7 a.m.

Miss Texas, Ashley Melnick of Fort Worth, will be on hand for the Fair weekend but she’s already been to Rockdale during the past week.

She emceed the Miss Rockdale Fair Queen Pageant Saturday at the high school auditorium.

The Fair children’s pageant was also held on Saturday. (See photos, page 8B.)

TRACTORS, PETS— A crowdpleaser in recent years, the garden tractor pull starts at 11 a.m. Saturday on the Fair Park horse track. It’s being held under the supervision of the statewide Lone Star Garden Tractor Pullers Association.

Tractors are measured on how far they can pull a weighted sled.

The popular Fair Pet Show is at 2 p.m. Saturday underneath the park’s majestic oaks near the show barn.

Basset hounds will participate in the parade and be at the park Saturday afternoon.

CA R NI VA L— The carnival midway is up and rides, games and food booths will open at 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 12-noon on Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.

“Ride all you want” armbands specials are available for rides on all four days.

Carnival contractor is Moore’s Greater Shows.

SLICK PORKE greased pig scramble, one of the Fair’s liveliest events, follows the youth livestock auction at the show barn, beginning immediately after the new baked goods auction.

The Fair will feature music headliners The Bellamy Brothers (Saturday) and Easton Corbin (Friday).

Texas Unlimited opens for the Bellamies and Chris Brade for Corbin.

Thursday’s musical headliner is Southern Roots.

Home economics check-in is already under way at the Fair Park clubhouse and ends at 9 a.m. Thursday. Judging in both the home economics and livestock divisions begins Thursday.

Baked goods division judging is from 10 a.m. to 12-noon Friday.

Browsers may view the exhibits during “non-judging” hours Friday and all day Saturday.

TICKETS— It’s not too late to save on a season ticket, good for all Fair events over the big weekend. They are on sale at a variety of locations through Thursday.

Price is $20 for adults, $15 for children 8-12 and senior adults 55 and over. Children 7 and under are admitted free.

If you don’t buy a season pass, adult ticket prices Friday and Saturday at the gate are $15, while children and senior citizen tickets are $10.

RODEOS— Cadillac Rodeo Company of Mexia, owned by Johnny Hoyle, is stock producer for the 2010 fair rodeo.

Rodeo action begins at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday with slack at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Events include bareback and saddle bronc riding, calf roping, bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling, calf scramble, women’s barrel racing and women’s breakaway roping.

ARTS & CRAFTS— The park pavilion will turn into a “crafts mall” from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with hundreds of items for sale.

Exhibitors may begin setting up at 7 a.m. and all are reminded to start cleaning up spaces promptly at 4 p.m.

POWERFUL BBQ— Fair Park’s “barbecue alley” will be the most aromatic around noon Saturday.

Dozens of cookoff teams will converge on the park Friday to prepare everything from brisket and chicken to more exotic delicacies.

Judging begins at noon with trophies to be awarded at 4 p.m. and the 2010 cookoff represents a milestone.

“We’ve got permanent power for the cookers now,” Moreland said. “No more generators.”

CAR SHOW— One Fair event that’s really taken off in recent years is the classic and antique car show which last year drew hundreds of browsers to the park’s northeast corner.

There will also be an antique tractor competition and exhibit near the Fair Park Clubhouse.

Both of those events are Saturday only.

R I NGER S— Champions in horseshoe and washer competition will be crowned Saturday at the pits just north of the Fair Park clubhouse.

Junior competition in both events begins at 11:30 a.m. with senior competition at 1:30 p.m.

Those little legs under Basset hounds will get a workout Saturday in the morning parade and then with afternoon races at the park.

PARKING— Free public parking will be available across Walnut Street from the park and parking lot attendants will be on hand.

Handicapped parking is designated along Walnut St.

Rockdale Fair Schedule

Thursday, October 14
7 to 9 a.m. Commercial heifer check-in
12 noon-3 p.m. Home economics judging
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. All market animals must be in place, no exceptions.
5:30 p.m. Judge market broilers followed by market turkeys
6 p.m. Stick horse races; carnival opens; books open for youth
6:30 p.m. Mutton Bustin’, followed by 2D barrel race, ages 18-
younger; judge market lambs
8 p.m.-midnight Dance, pavilion, Southern Roots
Friday, October 15
All day Food booths and commercial exhibits
8 a.m. Judge market rabbits followed by breeding rabbits; judge
market swine
8-10 a.m. Home economics baked goods check-in
10 a.m.-12 noon Judge baked goods
11 a.m. Judge ag mechanics; judge dair y goats and meat goat
breeding classes
11:30 a.m. Judge commercial heifers; judge market goats
12 noon Carnival opens (wrist band from 6 to 10 p.m.); judge
market goats
3:30 p.m. Judge market steers
4-5 p.m. Pick up baked goods
8 p.m. Rodeo, Cadillac Rodeo Company-Johnny Hoyle
8 p.m.-midnight Dance, Pavilion, Easton Corbin with Chris Brade opening
Saturday, October 16
All day Food booths and commercial exhibits
7 a.m. Parade registration begins
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ar ts and crafts show
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Home economics exhibits
9 a.m. Rodeo slack
9:30 to 11 a.m. Registration for classic car show
10 a.m. Parade (downtown); carnival opens
11 a.m. Lone Star Garden Tractor Pullers Association tractor pull
11:30 a.m. Commercial heifer buyers reception, (civic center); junior
horseshoe and washers pitching; classic and antique
car and antique tractor exhibits; basset hounds
12-noon Barbecue judging
1 p.m. Commercial heifer sale, show barn
1:30 p.m. Senior horseshoe and washer pitching; classic car show
2 p.m. Pet show
4 p.m. Award barbecue trophies; livestock auction buyer’s
reception, (civic center)
6 p.m. Youth auction sale; baked goods auction follows sale
8 p.m. Rodeo, Cadillac Rodeo Company-Johnny Hoyle
8:30 p.m. Pig scramble event, show barn
8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Dance, Pavilion, Bellamy Brothers with Texas Unlimited
Sunday, October 17
2 p.m. Fair Park cleanup
2-5 p.m. Home economics checkout and pickup
Monday, October 18
9 a.m.-12-noon. Pick up home economics exhibits

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