Whether it is the excitement of live pari-mutuel horse racing, the thrills of the carnival and midway, the music, the displays of agricultural and home prod-ucts, livestock competitions or the colorful parade, the 120th Gillespie County Fair Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 21-24, offers activities and events for the entire family.
Set for the Gillespie County Fair Grounds in Fredericksburg, the “oldest, continuous county fair in Texas” is sponsored by the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association.
The four-day exposition opens on Thursday, Aug. 21, with free admission to the grounds. Gates open at 5 p.m.
The Wright’s Amusements carnival and midway opens on Thursday and con-tinues throughout the weekend. All day wristbands will cost $25 each day for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday wristbands are $20.
Also taking place on Thursday night on the outdoor pavilion at the fair grounds will be the Colgate Country Showdown beginning at 8 p.m.
The Country Showdown is presented by Colgate, Radio Station KNAF-AM 910, KNAF-FM, KFAN-KEEP, Fredericksburg Shell dealers and the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association.
There is no admission charge to the event, which features local and area musicians competing for a chance to advance to the next level of the contest.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, entries will be taken in the agriculture and home skills departments from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Judging gets underway at 6:30 p.m.
Floats, cars, bands and other individual entries from throughout Central Texas will be featured in the Gillespie County Fair Parade on Friday morning be-ginning at 10 a.m.
The annual parade will travel along Main Street in downtown Fredericks-burg.
From there, events shift back to the Gillespie County Fair Grounds where a variety of special activities for the entire family are planned.
The 2009 Gillespie County Fair Queen and her court will be crowned during ceremonies on Friday night beginning at 7 p.m. in front of the grandstand.
The catalog dedications will also be made at that time, and retiring directors will be honored. This year’s Fair Catalog is dedicated to two honorary lifetime di-rectors, Allen (Alley) Herbort and Bryon Schaetter.
Providing dancing music on Friday night on the outdoor pavilion from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. will be Justin Trevino.
Live pari-mutuel horse racing will be offered on Saturday and Sunday with post time at 1 p.m. both days.
A concert and dance featuring Jake Hooker and the Outsiders will be held on the outdoor dance pavilion from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday night.
The 2008 racing season at the Class III facility at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds concludes on Sunday.
Highlighting the racing program on Sunday will be the running of the 2008 Gillespie County Fair Futurity. Total purse for the race is $131,250.
Mutton busting for youngsters weighing under 75 pounds will be featured at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Each night, mutton busting is limited to the first 20 youth to sign-up, and there is no entry fee. Regis-tration opens 30 minutes before the event.
Throughout the weekend, the Exhibition Hall will be open for those inter-ested in viewing the agricultural and home products displays, educational exhibits and more. There will also be a number of commercial vendors.
The Hill Country Antique Tractor and Engine Club will be offering demon-strations and presentations during the fair.
Over in the Show Barn, livestock judging will take place on Friday and Sat-urday.
Plenty of food and drink will be available from a variety of vendors.
There is no admission charge to the grounds on Thursday night. However, there is a charge for the carnival and midway rides and activities.
In keeping with tradition, all senior citizens (those 65 years of age and old-er) and all students in kindergarten through grade 12 will be admitted free on Fri-day.
General admission throughout the weekend is $5 for adults, $1 for children six to 12 years of age and free for those under six.
After 6 p.m. on Saturday night, admission to the grounds is $8 for those at-tending the carnival and midway, the concert or both.
For the races, general admission seating is available in the biergarten, un-der the grandstand and in the grandstand. Box seats are also available for $9. Parking is free.
For more information on the 120th Gillespie County Fair activities, contact the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association at 830-997-2359 or visit their website at www.gillespiefair.com.
The Gillespie County Fair Grounds is located on Texas Highway 16 South (Kerrville Highway), about two miles from Main Street.