Counties across Texas for many historical years have had a long tradition of having County Fairs for their communities. In short, for Harris County, Hurricane Harvey ended the long running 40-year tradition of Harris County Fair in Houston, Texas. Hurricane Harvey covered the facilities in 18 feet of water and was the second flood in 1 year which resulted in condemned fair grounds and the long-time Houston Farm and Ranch organization that created the Harris County Fair disbanding. (Zurawski, Karen, Harris County Fair Ends 40 Year Run, Houston Chronicle, 12 Dec 2017)
A lot of people will think, “Why do we need a county fair, isn’t the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) the biggest and best and many times better than just a county fair?“ Of course, the answer is HLSR is amazing and regarded as the best of the best major livestock shows in Texas! Since it is one of the best and also open to all Texas junior exhibitors, the competition is also the best of the best. For a new young livestock showman in Harris County, HLSR can a bit intimidating. Not having a local County Fair in Houston’s own backyard is like Major League Baseball with no youth baseball to fuel it. It’s like a first-time track runner skipping district track meets and going straight to the Olympic tryouts. Many, many youth in Agriculture start at their county fairs and grow wonderfully into Texas Majors like Houston.
County Fairs provide youth, senior citizens, and the community opportunities to expand their involvement and display their passion for arts, crafts, home goods, livestock projects, leadership, among many other opportunities. We are excited to offer the tradition to continue with a new Harris County Fair and Rodeo!