Fair and Rodeo

Fair and Rodeo

September comes every year and right behind it is the fair and rodeo. People work all year to produce quilts, photography and other crafts. Gardeners carefully select seeds and fertilizer to grow the very best fruits and vegetables. Cooks research and experiment to make their cakes, pies and cookies both tasty and attractive. Kids plan their assault on the rides with the care of a military offensive. Art walk on the second Thursday of September is also the kickoff of the rodeo as the cowboys, cook wagons and others parade thru town. The next night, the lights of the fair compete with the lights at Shotwell Stadium and the yells of the football crowd mostly drown out the screams of the riders at the fair. Children glance sideways to the fairgrounds and the Ferris wheel and hope to go to the fair after their team wins.{{more}} Our family always manages to get together one night of the fair to go and enjoy. Loretta and I went a little early to give her time to “smell” the quilts and tell me about some of the people that have entered so I can better appreciate the quilts. The photography competition is often in the same building and I can talk to her about the quality of the photography and how some of it is done. We go thru the crafts sections and enjoy both the modern work and the work done by Jonathan Castanedo Soli Williams Deandre Bone. Photo by Joe Starkeythose gone before. I really think the cookies, pies and cakes should have enough samples for everyone that comes thru but we enjoy looking at them anyway.Sarah came from school and we met at the midway for a supper of fair food. This year they managed to make great food for a vegetarian, a “grew up in a meat packing plant” meat and potatoes man and a college student that always wants to explore new foods. Leaving there we went to the rides. Loretta has been working long hours and was tired enough to pass on my offer of wrist band and unlimited rides. She gratefully sat and watched my gear as we went off to ride. I got more interested in photographing than riding just as a gentle rain started. Parents ran for shelter and the kids just put their joyful faces up to the rain and scrambled for more rides. Sarah stayed to enjoy more rides and I went over to the late round of the rodeo. I’m always impressed with the barrel riders and how they charge hard, spin a turn and charge for the next barrel. I missed photographing the rider whose horse turned over a barrel but she leaned out of the saddle, grabbed the barrel and set it back upright while the horse was changing directions. That is really great horsewomanship. It was Cowboys 0 and Bulls 6 for the bull riding but several riders got into the 7 second range.Regardless of age – it’s still a great family event.Horses are athletes too. Photo by Joe StarkeyTo see these photos and more visit the “Picture Stories Around of Abilene” section of the West Texas Tribune Online!!