“Finally, it begins!” exclaims Jim Mazurkiewicz of the Brazos Valley Fair & Expo. Mazurkiewicz, a professor with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and director of the Leadership Program, has been a force behind the creation of major local agricultural event since the idea first took shape in 1986. “Before we could have the Fair, we had to have somewhere to have the fair,” explains Mazurkiewicz. When the Fair & Expo finally opens on September 6, it will be due to the hard work of many: the Commissioner’s Court; County Judges Al Jones, Randy Sims and Duane Peter; Jim McCord of United Way of the Brazos Valley; Hilton General Manager Barron Hobbs; and many others passionate about agriculture.
“We all believed the Brazos Valley could not only benefit from such an event, but deserved such an event,” says Mazurkiewicz of designing a Fair to highlight Brazos Valley ag industries while drawing visitors from all across Texas.
“The Fair & Expo will have competitive events, a carnival, live music, a rodeo and commercial vendors,” says Fiona Lockhart, Brazos County Expo marketing coordinator. The Food Challenge, open to any Texas youth between third and twelfth grade, is an Iron Chef challenge for kids where teams will compete to turn mystery baskets of ingredients it meals. “Each mystery basket will be like foods that a diabetic could eat, or that a person on a gluten free diet could eat,” explains Karl Hengst, BV Fair assistant manager. “We’re putting a different spin to come up with a way to educate children.”
Visitors will find a petting zoo, pony rides, pig races, mechanical bulls, clown act, Matt Sorensen’s Can Art show and a carnival. The Hightail’n It For Heifers 5K Fun Run/Walk will kick off at 8 a.m. September 8 and the registration fee includes a one-day pass to the Fair & Expo, t-shirt, raffle ticket and a local coupon. Cody Johnson, awarded “Male Vocalist of the Year” by the 2011 Texas Regional Radio Awards; Rick Trevino, whose Top 10 singles include “She Can’t Say I Didn’t Cry” and “Learning As You Go;” and Gospel Fest will all provide live music.
At the end of the fair, folks should connect farm culture with fun: “People need to get a better understanding of where their food and fiber comes from; hamburgers don’t just come from McDonalds, and ice cream doesn’t just come from BlueBell,” jokes Mazurkiewicz. “I love them both, but I just want to show people where those products come from.”
Brazos Valley Fair & Expo. will be held on September 6, 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; September 7, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.; September 8, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. and September 9, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The fair is located at Brazos County Expo, 5827 Leonard Road, Bryan.