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West Texas Fair and Rodeo

By Joe Starkey



The Fair does not start with the Parade. The Fair starts when people start showing up in downtown Abilene with their pickups and vans with chairs in the back. They start taking up the parking spaces more than an hour before the parade starts. Many take out {{more}} chests and serve a tailgate picnic. A fortunate few ever take reserved places at the tables placed in the parking places for the Cypress Street Café and are served by the waiters from inside. The Parade features bands from all over the Big Country and horseback riders from way too many groups to count. Floats singing “Sell My Monkey” and featuring civic groups slide by while the people on the curb enjoy and visit with their friends and neighbors. Actually showing up at the Fairgrounds is a long term ritual for many here. You can wander the many exhibits of our talented friends and neighbors who show off everything from antiques to quilts to photography and good things grown in their gardens and those prepared by hand to look good and taste better. Everybody from babies in carriages to grandparents with canes go down for at least a look at the rides. We went on School Night when you could ride for as long as you could stand in line for just $18.00. Daughter Sarah stayed till she had her money’s worth. She does, however, sincerely recommend that you NOT ride the Star Trek 2000 THREE STRAIGHT TIMES!!!! After the first two, she was smiling and laughing. After number three – she wanted to go home. It’s a great place to see family and friends. Wylie football players past and present were noted as one group enjoying themselves. A past graduate of Wylie HS, Specialist Fourth Class Travis Cabasal has returned to the area as an Army Recruiter for the National Guard. Other groups and families strolled the grounds. Often one mother would shepherd the children thru a ride while another mother or father stood in line for the following ride so the grade school youngsters did not have to wait so long between rides.

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