October 6, 2021

 

 

Wilco hosting inaugural fair

 

October fair and rodeo to celebrate agricultural history 

By Kate Thurmond 

Williamson County will host a County Fair and Rodeo from October 21-23 for the first time in the Williamson County Expo Center. 

The fair will include a collection of local vendors and performers, along with family-friendly opportunities to enjoy everything the county has to offer while celebrating the area’s agricultural roots. 

The upcoming fair has been in the works since 2019, when president of the fair board Scott Heselmeyer began discussions with Clint Chitsey, general manager of the Williamson County Expo Center, and former Judge Dan Gattis. 

“It was something we’d been talking about for a long time,” Mr. Heselmeyer said. “Williamson County has a strong agricultural heritage, and we have some great events in the county — rodeos, livestock shows —  but what we have not had is something that brings the country together to celebrate our history.”

In December 2019, Wilco Commissioners Court approved an agreement with the Williamson County Fair Association for funding the county’s first fair and rodeo in 2020. The 2020 event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 surge around that time. 

Since then, Mr. Heselmeyer said they have been looking forward to the day that the group can hold the fair as planned, especially in light of the isolation caused by the pandemic. 

“There have been so many times when we questioned whether we’d be able to have this event at all,” he said. “But we’ve heard from a lot of people that they’re excited, and maybe appreciate it even more given what we’ve been through the past two years.”

The fair will combine elements of agriculture and livestock with a mustang makeover presentation on the opening Thursday, October 21, with the help of ROCK and the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Thursday is also Veteran’s Night, with events created to honor retired and active duty personnel. 

That night will also feature a livestock show of goats and sheep, open to kids from across the state. The show is organized by the Chisholm Trail Group. 

The nights of October 22 and 23, a rodeo will take over the event space, with two opportunities to watch the fun. Live music will also be featured across the whole event, with headliners including Roger Creager and Tracy Bird, and local artists as well. 

“We are really looking forward to highlighting local talent,” Mr. Heselmeyer said. “It’s been a challenging year for those artists, getting people out recently.”

In addition to event planning, The Fair Association was also formed to develop a scholarship program. A portion of the proceeds from the fair along with donations will be used to fund scholarships for local students. This past year, despite the fair being cancelled, the board of the fair still presented four students with scholarships based solely on donations. 

Going forward, applications for the scholarships will be available in the spring, for students who are both involved in agricultural clubs or not.

“Hopefully as the fair grows, we can grow that program as well,” Mr. Heselmeyer said. 

The three-day event will be held at 5350 Bill Pickett Trail in Taylor. Foods and drinks from local vendors will be available onsite. 

For tickets and a full schedule, visit www.wilcofair.com