It has been a great week. At the George H Henderson Expo Center, youth and volunteers have just about wrapped up the 74th Angelina County Fair this week. You will read in other parts of the news about the placings, the livestock, agricultural mechanics, foods, crafts, and other activities that took place. Perhaps the highlights would include our “Reach for The Stars Show” for kids with special needs, and the generous support of the buyers at the auction in addition to the groups that have awarded scholarships to outstanding graduating seniors.
Yet as the auction gets underway late this afternoon, and the ribbons, buckles, and banners will be on display, we would be remiss not to say a special thank you to all the volunteers who make each year’s show a success.
Volunteers are truly the heroes behind the scenes who make our Angelina County Fair successful.
The first contests of the Fair started on Monday. Those were public speaking, shotgun, and ag mechanics. The public speaking event was led by Bo David Williford, a former participant in the Fair and currently an assistant principle at Central High School. Keith Spencer is the superintendent of the Ag Mechanics show. A local businessman, he finds judges to evaluate the wood and metal construction and refurbishing efforts done by teams of students.
New this year were two shooting sports competitions: archery and shotgun. Heather McCall chaired the very first shotgun competition that was held at the Pines Sporting Clays. The archery competition was set up on the east side of the Expo grounds and was led by Christi Grandgeorge and Ryan Merrel.
The Home Economics Division is such a large effort that Janna Brazil and Joel Redus are needed to lead this event. Additionally, there were over 30 judges required for all the organization and judging. Yes, the judges do get to partake in some of the best cakes, pies, cheesecakes, breads, and cookies around, but they also must test and quiz the students about the ingredients, preparation, and nutritional value.
Carrie Shockley is the Arts and Crafts superintendent and oversees the numerous volunteers and judges that help check in and evaluate the projects.
Superintendents for the livestock show divisions include Matt Clifton, Melanie Murray, Andy Gardner, George Wing, Stephen Shockley, Mike Whiteman, Saundra Renfro, Anna Lamb, BoDavid Williford, and Delbert Reynolds. Each of these men and women also have several folks who help with validation, check-in, opening gates and several other tasks for each show.
There are “open events” where you don’t have to be a 4-H or FFA member in Angelina County to participate. These include the ‘Buckle-Bash’ heifer show, a BBQ cook-off, the washer tournament, and
the ‘Reach for the Stars’ special needs show. For those competitions, the respective superintendents are BoDavid Williford, Charlie Gumbles, Melissa Wheeler, and Karen Stafford.
Anita Carraway oversees the Youth Ambassador program. If you watched any part of the Fair, you saw youth in blue vests helping. This youth volunteer program strives to provide high school aged youth fair participants the opportunity to develop and practice advanced leadership skills and become an advocate for their county fair division. Applications are due in mid-September and those selected are responsible for workshops leading up the Fair, helping during their assigned division, as well as generally helping whenever they may be needed.
The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce has numerous volunteers that give of their time for the Fair. The County Fair Board consists of Steve Milligan, Codie Jenkins, David Flowers, Bob Brown, Stephen Corley, Chad Murray, Chris Carraway, Anita Carraway, Greg Modisette, Scott Slusher, Sara Vest, and Preston Loggins. The Fair Board chairman is Todd Kassaw.
Kody Jenkins is the Executive Director for our Fair and does a phenomenal job year-round to ensure a successful event for exhibitors and families alike.
Finally, donors to the auction help reward the youth on Saturday evening. Brookshire Brothers is our presenting sponsor for the Fair. There are numerous, fantastic businesses and families that support the auction, and I also want to personally thank those of you who donated any amount to one of the buyer pools.
If you want to join the auction virtually, donate to the auction, or check out pictures of this year’s winners, go to www.angelinacountyfair.com.