Big Rockdale Fair weekend ahead

Cooler weather expected for 38th edition

Where can you go this weekend to see the country singer who recorded t he m ost N o. 1 h its during the decade of the 1980s?

To see a musical favorite making his third appearance, pro rodeo action, a parade, barbecue cookoff and a giant sale that has raised over $4-million for area FFA and 4-H youth?

It’s not a trick question, the answer is the 38th Rockdale Fair which will unreel at Fair Park under what’s promised as cool, possibly w et, f all w eather w ith highs in the 70s.

Headliners are Earl Thomas Conley—he had 18 top hits, more than any country star between 1980 and 1989—and Aaron Watson, who also appeared at the 2005 and 2008 Fairs.

SALE—Last year’s all time record sale of $227,415 lifted the 37-year total to $4,097,928.

Much of that went to the college funds of hundreds of young Milam County residents since the first sale in 1977.

Saturday’s sale gets under way at 6 p.m. in the Fair Park auction barn. It has surpassed $200,000 three years in a row.

HEIFERS— More records were set last year. A $64,345 commercial heifer sale lifted that event’s eight-year total to $323,070.

This year competition has a record 24 pens with the following breeds:

F-1, F-1 Angus, Brangus, Brangus Cross, Angus, Angus Plus, Charolais Cross.

This year’s commercial heifer sale will be at 1 p.m. Saturday. Another record sale is forecast.

GROWING—The Rockdale Fair Association continues to improve the grounds at Fair Park.

“We’ve had to make additional equipment purchases and electrical upgrades in the barns to facilitate the ever-growing number of livestock entries,” Billy Moreland, RFA president, said.

“We are always excited to see the large number of kids who participate and show off their hard work,” he added.

ENTRIES—This year there will be 487 animals entered in the livestock show.

Entries include 81 swine, 32 steers, 39 lambs, 84 goats, 69 turkeys, 126 rabbits and 56 broilers.

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

There are five junior entries, six senior entries and four senior team entries.

Projects will be on display all weekend.

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

Judging was held Saturday (see page 2A). .

PARADE—The Skeet Quinney family will serve as grand marshals for the 10 a.m. Saturday downtown parade.

Quinney, a longtime Rockdale Fair Association volunteer who traditionally drove Miss Texas down the US 79 in his classic convertible, died March 22.

Parade theme is “Saddle Up and Go.”.

Parade registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

Miss Texas, Ivana Hall, 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 6B).

TRACTORS—A crowd-pleaser 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.

NO PET SHOW—The Fair’s Pet Show was discontinued as of 2012.

CARNIVAL—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.

HEADLINERS—Earl Thomas Conley and the Casey Donahew Band will appear Saturday at the park pavilion with Haley Cole as opening act.

That dance is set for 8:45 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Kenny Orts opens for Aaron Watson on Friday, Hours are 8 p.m. to midnight.

Thursday night will feature The RAB Show Karaoke under the pavilion, 8 p.m. to midnight.

HOME ECONOMICS—Home economics competition has already been completed. Judging was Tuesday and Wednesday and results will appear next week.

Exhibits will remain on display in the park clubhouse all day Thursday through 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 2012 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.

There’s team roping at 7 p.m. Wednesday and open 4D barrel racing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

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 at 4 p.m.

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

Eighty 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.

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 events are Saturday only.

RINGERS— Champions in horseshoe and washer competitions will be crowned Saturday at the pits near the park clubhouse.

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 Street.

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