Record sale sparks Rockdale Fair
Area businesses and organizations, bidding in a pair of auctions to benefit area FFA and 4-H youth, dug deep and contributed $382,351, much of which will end up paying for college educations.
That total represents $235,851 in the market sale livestock auction and $141,555 in the commercial heifer sale. Both those totals are records and the heifer sale is more than double the previous mark.
When you add in the $5,050 from the baked goods sale and $2,475 contributed to ag mechanics winners, the overall total climbs to $389,876.
“That’s just amazing and we’re so grateful to everyone who helped make this event such a success,” Billy Moreland, Rockdale Fair Association president, said.
“It’s a community that comes together to do something like this and we certainly had support from the entire Rockdale commu- nity,” he said. “And, of course, the tireless volunteers of the Rockdale Fair Association, and the area businesses who contributed so much made it happen.”
IT’S FALL—The 2013 Fair was notable in another way. It had “sure enough” fall weather unlike many previous events, which say the air-conditioned New Salem Clubhouse get lots of “stop and rest” visitors.
This time the air conditioning was outside. A series of cool fronts dropped temperatures into the 40s a couple of mornings and the 80-plus barbecue cookers kept aromatic fires going through the night.
“ It was fall weather for a change” Moreland said. “ We thought that was perfect for a fall fair.”
EVENTS—The familiar events were back for the 2013 Fair and there were a couple of new wrinkles.
A kids rodeo clown contest in the arena Saturday afternoon (above) was judged by legendary clown Leon Coffee.
There were new metal pens and lighting fixtures in the sale barn, the latest in a decades-long series of park improvements by the Fair Association.
Miss Texas, Ivana Hall, was on hand for a number of events, including the Saturday morning parade downtown, the only Fair weekend event not held at the park.
The home economics show, held a couple of days early this time around, drew 573 entries, 140 more than last year’s.
Headliners Aaron Watson (Friday), Earl Thomas Conley and the Casey Donahew Band (Saturday) drew large crowds to the “cooledoff” park.
SALES—The livestock sales continue a long tradition of the Fair’s support for youth involved in agriculture.
The market show eclipsed the previous record of $227,415 set last year and is the fourth straight year for the total to eclipse $200,000.
RFA’s commercial heifer show expanded from 12 to 24 entries this year. Old record was $64,345, also set last year.
The 37-year total of the market show sale—there wasn’t one until the second year of the Fair in 1977—is now $4,333,780.
Commercial heifer sales total $469,570 over nine years.
“We didn’t really know what to expect this year but, once gain, the community and the entire area came through,” Moreland said. “It was definitely a Fair to remember.”