This past weekend the Hays County Civic Center played host to the second annual Hays County Fair. The three day event featured many local vendors, and a lot of citizens became competitors in events like a sanctioned BBQ and chili cookoff and bull riding. The Hays County Fair was organized by LULAC – or the League of United Latin American Citizens, and sponsored by many other groups.”Richard Anzaldua is the new president for 4876. We used to have the Chilimpiad, and so in place of that we went ahead and did this,” said Monica Alva of LULAC. “It not only helps us get high school scholarships, but it also brings an event to San Marcos for people in the community to go to.”
“We have several sponsors,” commented Alva. “We couldn’t have done it without the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, that’s one of our main sponsors. Our list is just huge, we’ve had so many sponsors even though the economy is so bad. We were so lucky to get the sponsors that we have. If they didn’t give us monetary donations, they donated some item for the raffle or helped with the auction.”
“We only charge for the events inside. The grounds are free, we don’t charge for parking or things like that. All the money and proceeds go to our scholarship fund for the high school,” she added, “plus any other projects that we do. If you go to our website, lulac.org, and check out council 4876 you can look at all the projects that we’ve done throughout the year – it’s been about thirty so far.”
This year the fair had a lot to offer. There was a petting zoo for the kids, with baby rabbits, piglets, goats, and plenty of other friendly animals. Outside was a small carnival, with a few of the classic rides and even a small ferris wheel.
“We’ll be doing it again next year. Next year will also be bigger,” said Alva. “Last year we didn’t have a carnival, this year we have a small carnival, and next year we’ll probably be getting a bigger one. It’s growing, little by little, and every year we’re adding on to the events.”
The first day of festivities was Thursday, October 9. College Night began at 6:30PM and featured music from Train Wreck, Cody Larson, and Texas FX. Beer wristbands could be aquired for $15.
The main events of the Fair took place on Friday and Saturday. The BBQ and Chili Cookoff was started at 5PM on Friday and the delicious smells were just a prelude to the sounds of the musical performances to come. Aniceto Molina, Super Bailongo, Mision Norteno and Nubes Del Norte all graced the stage that night and put on amazing shows.
Saturday morning saw an early start for the Cookoff participants. The competition for that day began at 8AM. As the last and busiest day of the fair, Saturday morning also included the Poker Run, which kicked off at 10AM, and a BMX Freestyle competition at 11AM. Saturday evening the schedule was packed, with the Cookoff winners being announced just before the Bull Riding and the dance. Emerson Biggins and Lonnie Key & the Texas Connection played to a crowded room.
The Bull Riding event was courtesy of the Lester Meier Rodeo Co. out of Fredericksburg. The risers were packed at 7:45PM when the competition began with a prayer and our National Anthem. The competition was heated as rider after rider was thrown, though luckily none was hurt. “A lot of them are local riders,” said Alva. “When they come to these bull riding events it also qualifys them to go to the main ones. The same with our chili cookoff. There are very organized sanctions.”
The Hays County Fair this year was a credit to the organizational skills of the members of LULAC. More than forty groups competed in the Cookoff, and the turnout for the Bull Riding and all of the other activities was commendable. There was plenty to do for the whole family from the vendors and the carnival to the excitement of the bull riding.
“We have some really organized members in our group that know what they’re doing,” smiled Alva. “They’ve run huge events before, like Cinco de Mayo events.”
When October comes around again next year, the Hays County Fair will be there. For any locals who couldn’t make it out to the fun this year, be sure to check it out. For more information on LULAC go to www.lulac.org or call 512-353-0306 to reach the local 4876 chapter.
by: Sarah Stevens
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