Record sale, crowds at Fair
Those are among the many highlights of the 35th annual Rockdale Fair which wrapped up Saturday night with a whopper of a livestock sale to benefit Milam County FFA and 4-H youth.
The sale netted an all-time record $218,200, well above the old record of $201,766.75 set in 2007.
Headliners Easton Corbin and the Bellamy Brothers packed the park pavilion and beyond for Friday and Saturday night “dances” that became concerts since dancing space was hard to find between the park and Forest Grove.
Fair officials estimated a two-night crowd of 15,000, including 8,000 for Corbin’s Friday event and 7,000 for the Bellamies on Saturday.
“I’ve heard many Fair old-timers say the Friday crowd was the biggest since George Strait drew 13,000 at the 1983 Fair,” Billy Moreland, RFA president, said.
“When you take a step back and look at this, these business people have given $603,624 to these youngsters in the past three sales,” James Birkhead, sale chairman, said.
“Now that’s since Alcoa’s closing, since the national economy’s problems,” he said. “And yet our businesses keep coming out here, filling up this arena and supporting these kids.”
For t he t hird consecut ive year Luminant Buyers Group purchased the grand champion steer.
LATE-COMERS— This year’s headliners proved so popular that gate keepers reported a steady stream of Fair-goers clicking the turnstiles at midnight both Friday and Saturday.
“This has been one of the most financially successful Fairs ever,” Moreland said. “We had tremendous crowds for the rodeos, probably the best crowd ever for a Fair on a Thursday night.”
In its sixth year, the Fair commercial heifer sale set an all time record, raising $47,445. Old record of $41,135 was set in 2007.
NEW BUILDING— There’s a new building at Fair Park, a 4,000-square-foot stock pen structure which went up in a hurry this fall, located just east of the main show barn.
“ The Fair A ssociation has donated many thousands of dollars worth of buildings to the city of Rockdale over the years,” Birkhead said. “We plan on continuing that.”
Persons and businesses who aided in the building effort were recognized prior to Saturday’s auction.
New Salem HD Clubhouse hosted almost 500 entries in home economics competition.
There were pet shows, antique tractors, an afternoon long tractors show, carnival, classic and antique car shows, a parade and more.
“We had the biggest arts and crafts turnout in a decade,” Moreland said. “And we had perfect weather. It was just a record-setting Fair in a lot of ways.”
AT THE FAIR Event-by-event results: BBQ cookoff, tractor pull, horseshoes and washers, parade, pet show, pig scramble, ag mechanics, auto show, and breeding meat shows, 5A.
Rodeo photos, results, 8C. Livestock show/sale, 6B, 7B, 3D. Home economics division, 4B. Photo pages 1B, 8B, 7C, 5D, plus more throughout this issue!