Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The 2010 Starr County Youth Fair, which reached its peak from Thursday, Feb. 25 through Saturday, Feb. 27, has been called a strong overall success, and this is being evaluated as a remarkable achievement considering the continued shaky economy.

This year’s Fair featured a three-day format from Thursday through Saturday for the third consecutive year. For many years, the peak of the Fair took place during a three-day period from Friday through Sunday. The Fair Parade took place on Saturday morning, and the Parade of Champions and Auction both took place late Saturday afternoon.

The theme of the 2010 County Fair was “A Good Ol’ Starr County Roundup.”

The Grand Champion Steer, shown by Lilith Alvarez of Rio FFA, was purchased for a $7500 premium by the “Stars for Starr” sponsors. The Reserve Champion Steer, shown by Brittany Gonzalez of Rio FFA, was purchased for a $5000 premium by Stars for Starr. As in the past several County Fairs, the “Stars for Starr” group pooled funds together to purchase grand and reserve champion projects in numerous categories.

A full list of the Parade of Champions is printed elsewhere in this edition of The Rio Grande Herald.

Fair Association President Billy Canales told The Herald on Monday, March 8, “I think it went pretty well. The cold and windy weather slowed things down somewhat Thursday night. We had recordbreaking attendance Saturday night.”

Canales emphasized, “All in all, we had an excellent Fair…I think we did really well considering the shaky economic situation…Enthusiasm about the Fair seemed to be as strong as ever.”

“People seemed to be happy with the quality of the Fair,” he commented. “Baking and Art seemed to be enjoyed by everyone…There were quite a few livestock entries; the number seemed to hold its own with last year, as did the numbers of Baking and Art entries. Interest among the students seemed to be as strong as ever.”

Canales stressed, “The volunteers were tremendous this year, doing an excellent job in every respect…We thank all the sponsors and volunteers for their efforts. We look forward to an even better Fair next year.. We also thank all those who came out and enjoyed the Fair.”

The Fair Association president noted, “We did build and complete the new office complex within the Fairgrounds (during the past year). That’s where the baking competion took place.”

Among this year’s Fair features, indicated Canales, was that “we had the trailer from Texas Parks and Wildlife again with different stuffed animals on display.”

Canales contended that the Wild Game Dinner on Feb. 20 “went very well, considering the troubled economic situation.”

The president commented, “The talent show on Friday night was an excellent feature. Attendance and participation were both great. It was well received by the public.”

He noted that the Rio Grande City Police Department, the Starr County Sheriff’s Department, and the Rio Grande City CISD Police Department “all provided security within the grounds…The Border Patrol provided security and kept an eye on things outside the complex.”

About the coming years, Canales predicted, “I think the future looks excellent. I think the quality of the Fair gets better with each passing year. I look forward to a better economic situation in future years.”

Tissa Peterson, active with the Fair for many years, emphasized, “There were a lot of parade floats. The evening entertainment was very well received.The ranch rodeo for kids was well received and enjoyed. The weather was very good for most of the Fair. It was a ‘Good Ol’ Roundup’ in terms of participation and talent. Volunteers were plentiful in all aspects.”

Peterson pointed out, “There were a lot of entries in all categories, including Baking, Arts and Crafts, Educational Posters and Adult Arts and Crafts.”

She noted that on Thursday and Friday, “There were Public School Days in which more than 2500 students were bused in on Thursday and Friday, both morning and afternoon, for educational field trips. Oscar Mariscal did live demonstrations on how to shoe a horse…The Starr County Farm Bureau had a cotton gin demonstration.”

Peterson explained that the 2010 Fair featured “the petting zoo and pony show and the Super Comedy Show which included juggling and unicycling. A real crowd pleaser were the performances of the dance teams from Rio Grande City and Roma. This went on all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”

Peterson noted in conclusion, “The Trail Ride, dedicated to the memory of Roland Mancha, was the biggest and best ever.”

Emma Gonzalez served as the Parade Marshal for the 2010 County Fair Parade on Saturday morning, Feb. 27.

County Fair Queen Andrea Rae Noles presented trophies to the grand and reserve champions during the Parade of Champions late Saturday afternoon. Also honored during the Fair were Teen Princess Annike Karen Nunez, Pre-Teen Princess Eliza Briana Rodriguez, Petite Princess Ilani Solis and Precious Princess Jayda Vianey Garza.

Recipients of Fair Association scholarships were also announced. Crystal Lee Perez of San Isidro High School was awarded the $2000 Heraldo Gonzalez, Jr. Memorial Scholarship. The second ranking recipient was Jaime Requenez of San Isidro High School, who was awarded a $1500 scholarship. The other scholarship recipients at $1000 each were Stacey Garcia and Stephanie Saenz of Rio Grande City High School, Juan Escobar and Jorge A. Gonzalez II of Roma High School, and Oscar Longoria, Jr. and Jose Angel Valdez, Jr. of San Isidro High School.

In the Parade on Saturday morning, Feb. 27, My Sweet Home Home Healthcare, LLC won first place in the Youth Float category and was awarded a $100 premium. The first place float carried the theme “Roundin’ Up the Best Healthcare in Town!” Cactus Country Princesses won second place and a $75 premium. North Grammar Elementary and Rattler 4-H Club won third and fourth place and were awarded premiums of $75 and $25, respectively.

In the Commercial Float category, Rio Grande City Rehabilitation won first place honors. Primera Iglesia Bautista, Lacks Roundup and Mi Casita finished second, third and fourth, respectively.

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