From April 8th thru the 17th, the Montgomery County Fair Association will be celebrating 59 years of opportunities to build dreams. In 2015, the Montgomery County Fair Association awarded $1.3 million dollars to the youth of Montgomery County. This year they are expecting more record-breaking totals.
“We owe our success to the more than 2,400 volunteers and our sponsors,” said Erica Imhoff, fair manager. “Our volunteers participate in over 70 committees, as well as working hard to pull off all our annual shows.”
This year, the fair promises a weekend full of action, along with Ag Mechanics shows, two Rodeo performances, and complete events for all the kids, including the calf scramble and two nights of live entertainment. “In honor of our military personnel, we will be dedicating the first weekend as our military appreciation days. We will offer free admission for all military personnel,” Imhoff said. “During that first weekend, we estimate as many as 15,000 people in attendance.”
The following weekend leaves little room to have nothing to do. There will be kids tractor pulls, a magic show, and pony rides, all leading up to the Senior Citizens Day, which will award its own king and queen.
The last weekend is the Montgomery County Fair Bar-B-Que cook off. This year, 135 different team are expected to compete. “All our patrons can enjoy great food and fun for everyone,” continued Imhoff. “We’ll have horseshoe and washer pitching contests, and we will host the most decorated port-a-potty. We are also so proud of the Bud Light El Dia de La Familia Hispana. On that Sunday, we will celebrate Hispanic heritage with authentic food and live entertainment. Our attendance for the final weekend could reach as many as 40,000.” A free shuttle from two different locations will be provided to encourage folks to join in on all the fun.
This year, Ag mechanics will be highlighted through members of FFA and 4H. Participants will have a chance to display their projects that have been constructed in agriculture mechanics labs. The emphasis will focus on developing skills through competition, as well as recognizing individual and group accomplishments.
The two day rodeo is a CPRA sanctioned event, with seven standard events with greater payouts. Youth events will also feature mutton bustin, stick horse racing, goat ribbon pulling, and a boot scramble for children ages 3 thru 13.
Another new event for the Montgomery County Fair will be the Clash of the Counties Event. Five of the surrounding counties will put their best roping teams together to vie for the championship and lay claim to the fastest team roping time.
No fair would be complete without a fair queen. Those with poise and personality will compete for a scholarships that could total more than $6,500. The Queen’s Court will have a first and second runner-up, as well as (everybody’s favorite) Miss Congeniality.
A number of special programs will be featured this year, as well. The programs consist of activities that produce funds for scholarships, as well as buyer’s groups to be used at junior auctions. These go on to provide scholarships for the fair queen, calf scramble, and replacement heifer program.
In an effort to provide something for everyone, the Montgomery County Fair will deem its first Friday as Special Education Day. All children with any special needs are invited to attend a day at the fair and experience the animals, grounds, and shows, topped off with a hot dog lunch. On Monday and Tuesday, the grounds will be open to more than 1,000 area elementary school children to experience a day of fun and education with exhibits and tours through the livestock barn.
“There is a little something for everyone at the Montgomery County Fair,” Imhoff said. “It is a blending of the old and the new. It gives all our fairgoers a pleasurable experience, and they will want to always come back, year after year. It’s about giving to the child who doesn’t know where the chicken or the egg came from. It’s about teaching them that milk doesn’t come from HEB—it comes from a cow. It’s about giving the special education participant the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s about giving them something at which the world said they could never succeed. It’s about giving the ol’ timer one more chance to play bingo with his neighbor. It’s about giving a glimpse of hope to a senior student whose parents are unemployed, and the thought of having money for college was just simply a thought.”
The Montgomery County Fair Association feels it helps to shape leaders for tomorrow through the labor of today. They don’t guarantee a win every time, but they do guarantee you will be a stronger person tomorrow because of the life you experience with them today. The Montgomery County Fair has come a long way since its “Field Days” back in the late 1950s. Back then, it was literally a day out in someone’s field. In fact, it was not until the early 1960s that the “Field Day Events” would vaguely resemble anything looking the modern county fair. Today, this fair helps a number of area youth to grow up with sound East Texas values, along with funnel cake and cotton candy. The Montgomery County Fair hopes by investing in the area’s young people it will intensify an already deep resolve.
Everyone is excited about what they have a chance to accomplish through the Montgomery County Fair Association, along with great people and great sponsors like Bud Light, Wood Forest National Bank, Buckalew Chevrolet, DeMontrond Auto Group, and Waste Management. All indications point to a record-breaking year that will affect an even greater number of young hearts and minds, leading toward a future that can build on the past—going far beyond what those way back in the 1950s could ever imagine in their lifetimes—not competing with any other fair, only expanding to be the very best they can be.
April 8-17, 2016