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Brazos Valley Fair ready for comeback
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Brazos Valley Fair ready for comeback

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The Brazos Valley Fair and Rodeo gallops back into Bryan the next two weekends as it celebrates its 10th year.

Kickoff weekend begins at 7 a.m. Saturday with a weld-off competition followed by a steak cookoff and agrobotics competition. Gates open at noon Sunday for a tractor pull event put on in conjunction with the Texas Truck and Tractor Pullers Association, senior manager Fiona Tizard-Meyer said.

“Those guys will come across the southeast United States with their rigs,” Tizard-Meyer said. “It will be a very loud but very fun show that will be held out on our tractor pulling track.”

The main fair weekend will run Oct. 22-24 featuring the rodeo, concerts, carnival rides and an abundance of other events. With a different show happening every 30 minutes, fairgoers should plan their events accordingly to see a little bit of everything, Tizard-Meyer said.

“We have a live dairy exhibit where they’ll milk a cow then you can jump on over and watch the extreme dogs in the dock diving competitions, and after that I suggest seeing the pig races,” she said. “Visit the carnival and be sure to stop by the AgLand barn where you can check out the petting zoo and mutton busting.”

Tizard-Meyer said an agricultural exhibit showcasing everything from cotton gins to different animal products is making its debut this year thanks to partnership with the Texas Farm Bureau.

“They’ll have huge interactive iPads and a movie theater where you can actually watch different things about agriculture,” she said. “There’s a lot of interactive things for adults and kids to see just how agriculture affects our daily lives and how we all rely on it so much.”

In an effort to expand the fair’s reach to students, a public speaking contest and a livestock judging contest were added to the lineup.

The pro rodeo kicks up the dust as it takes center stage Oct. 22, and will continue throughout that weekend.

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Broncos, bulls, barrel racing, bareback riding, steer wrestling and roping events will be held, according to Tizard-Meyer, as well as a new event. “We’ve added chuck wagon races,” she said. “They’re the same chuck wagon races that perform at the Fort Worth and Houston rodeos, so that will be very exciting.”

When the sun goes down, fairgoers can end their night rocking and grooving to one of four featured musical performances: Mike Ryan will perform on Oct. 22, Shenandoah the next night, and Los Tercos and Los Tigrillos will finish up the fair on Hispanic Night.

Youth can play with giant toy tractors and combines in AgLand, view cattle, goats, pigs, sheep in the animal exhibit, learn and play interactive games at the local 4-H Ambassador booth or hone their skills on dummies in the roping area.

“The other thing kids can do during the rodeo is the boot scramble, they don’t have to pre enter, the announcer will say kids 12 and under come on down,” Tizard-Meyer said. “They get to take their boots off, run on the arena floor, and they can win $100 by doing that. It’s just another free event we’d like for the kids to get involved in.”

Classical fair foods such as corns dogs, funnel cake, kettle corn and BBQ will be available.

“We will also have a full fried food booth this year, so you can get a fried Twinkie or Oreo,” Tizard-Meyer said.

Those looking to bring home a souvenir or a snack or just wanting to add some country flair to their attire can browse various vendors while checking out the many artworks and crafts highlighted in the art exhibit hall.

General admission tickets for ages 10 and up are $15 and include one day, while ages 9 and under are free. The tractor pull event this Sunday will cost $20 for ages 6 and up. A carnival ride pass good for all ages can be bought for an additional $20, which includes unlimited rides for a single day. Tickets purchased before Saturday cost $12 for ages 10 and older. Parking will be free to the general public.

Much of the event is outside, allowing the fair to return to full capacity. Masks are encouraged but not required. Hand washing stations will be set up around the fairgrounds and masks will be available, Tizard-Meyer said.

For more information about the Brazos Valley Fair and Rodeo visit www.brazosvalleyfair.com.

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