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West Texas Fair and Parade

By Joe Starkey



After spending over $40.00 for some food and 6 rides at the fair , I was beginning to feel that the fair had lost sight of the folks who come out. Then I talked to a local barber who spent almost $200.00 as he walked in the gate. He brought his wife and 5 children and bought a block of tickets for the wife and each kid so now he had spent $155.00 and was still waiting for the supper bill. At $8.00 a haircut – he had 20 haircuts to make up the initial cost of the fair.Talking to another couple where the wife just lost her job last month, they said they were going to skip the fair this year but a friend serving in Iraq asked them to escort his wife and 3 children and he would pay for their going. All in all, I think we have forgotten that fairs were to be a community exhibit of craft and skills and farm animals for the families of the community to enjoy.Off the platform and on to what I enjoyed about the fair. The parade was absolutely the best part. Families started lining up on Cedar and Cyprus streets about 9AM for a 10:15 parade. The parade had enough entries that it went 6 blocks up, 2 blocks over and 6 blocks back and the 6 White Horses from HSU could lead off the parade and still get back in time to lead the Cowboy Marching band around the route. Great music, foster grandparents, fancy cars, politicians, floats from festivals in the West Texas area, lots of horses, more great music, martial arts teams jumping and doing katas as they marched, the Patty Harper little Strutters and to end the parade – the “World Famous Cowboy Band” and their performance. On to the fair. We started by going into the display buildings. The farm hall was very informative and many children got a firsthand look at where their food and clothing come from. Then on to the buildings with craft and food displays and we admired the work of the people who quilt, who work in wood, collect those items necessary to our grandparent’s lives and dreamed of eating some of the food displays . The photographs by local amateurs were great as usual and as usual, I disagreed with some of their choices but not very much this year. We saw a landmark and rite of passage. Our friends from the 501st daughter went on the spinner by herself for her first ever ride without a family adult. Daughter Sarah said the girl came on bravely, lost a little courage and started off but regained her courage and stayed on. Afterwards she was a little unhappy but warmly congratulated by the family for this first solo ride and went off to more adventures.Back on the box. These rides take 20 to 50 people and 4 tickets is $4.00. They give about 5-10 minute rides which is bottom line at least $80 and it can’t possibly be nearly that expensive to run these rides. I think the Taylor County Commissions should look into the pricing for both the rides and the food. A serving of French fries for $3.00 is not right.

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