The 112th annual West Texas Fair and Rodeo has begun this week, and college students can get in free Friday to take part in the traditional slice of West Texas culture.
The fair and rodeo always begins the Thursday after Labor Day at the Taylor County Expo Center near Shotwell Stadium and is a major attraction for family and the Abilene community. According to the fair website, the rides may not as thrilling as those at the Six Flags, but they still give riders a feeling of breathlessness. Visitors of all ages can enjoy the Fair, since it keeps safety in mind and provides rides for children.
“It’s a fun job and I really enjoy it,” says Dot McNeil, a volunteer who has been working for the fair for 20 years. “A lot of people in town volunteer for it. I get to see different people coming in, bringing their livestock.”
This year’s West Texas Fair and Rodeo goes on from Thursday-Sept. 18, and rides are not the only tradition of the carnival. Exhibits of antiques, food and music of all kinds go on throughout the day. Local people show their talents by bringing self-made artwork like quilts and photos. Judges decide winners out of the craft. Blue ribbons reward the best-ranking talents.
On Friday, all college students will receive free admission with current college IDs. Friday will begin with the Planet Agriculture exhibit, which starts at 11 a.m. at the Big Country Hall. Students can attend cattle shows and the Queens’ Horsemanship Contest at the Coliseum. The activity that day ends with the Jason Thomas Concert at the HEB Entertainment Stage at the fairgrounds.
“I was once the sweetheart candidate of the Fair in high school,” said Susan Green, a local community member. “I did not win, but it was really fun.”
On Saturday, elementary and high school students can get in for free with the tickets received from their schools. On Tuesday, the gate opens free to all those presenting a Military IDs. And they can purchase the carnival armbands with their military IDs any day for $15. The following day, the Fair offers free admission to all citizens 60 years old and older.
Citizens can go to http://taylorcountyexpocenter.com for more detailed information.