Countdown underway for TVE rodeo and fair
Very few things highlight the rural experience more than the eight days of the Trinity Valley Exposition Rodeo and Fair in October.
The fall tradition dates back to the early 1900s. Most who have lived in the county for any length of time has stories to tell about their experiences growing up with the TVE and their participation in some form or fashion.
Every year about this time, the Liberty-Dayton Chamber of Commerce invites the TVE officials to come and share their story and recruit businesses for their support.
“My perception of the TVE is the county fair and it encompasses both Chambers and Liberty County,” said Phil Fitzgerald, outgoing president of the TVE.
“To me, it’s the one event for 100 some odd years that has drawn this county together,” he told chamber members.
Fitzgerald is in his second and final year of his presidency and has served as a director for 12 years. His experience began in the early ’70s showing animals and scrambling like most young people.
The Chamber itself dates back to 1903.
“The TVE began in 1909 and we’re celebrating our 109th anniversary this year. So, I guess for the last 106 years y’all have hosted us to speak,” Fitzgerald said.
The board president pointed to the makeup of the directors, the cross-section of the two counties, the volunteers, and the participants that brings the county together.
“It has a tremendous heritage and I welcome you to come and get involved,” he asked.
Fitzgerald has served as a director on the board for 12 years and during that time, he said the mission has never changed.
“It’s all about education and our youth. We still uphold that standard highly, but at the same time, we’ve tried to make the TVE a multi-functional venue for our county,” he said.
The facility now hosts Trade Days every month, birthday parties, weddings, reunions and much more.
“We’ve tried to make the facilities multi-purpose and you should come and look at the façade that has changed over the last few years,” Fitzgerald said.
He thanked the community that has really supported the venue and rodeo with sponsorships.
They meet once a month on the second Tuesday and the meetings and financials are open to the public.
“Most importantly, we’re a volunteer organization and we’d love to have you,” he said.
“We can plug you into just about anything here,” he encouraged the chamber membership.
He also reminded them that there will be some openings on the board.
“I will be leaving this year and there and there will be three spots open on the board. Go online and fill out an application. There’s a place for everybody,” he said.
Linda Rusk, vice president of special events, reminded everyone of the big events.
“This year we have lots of new surprises,” Rusk announced, “but everyone’s favorites are also back.”
Among them are the kickoff dance on Oct. 13 at 8:30 p.m., the nation’s oldest baby parade on Oct. 13 at 10 a.m., and the wine tasting event at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12.
The barbecue cookoff lasts all day Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13.
Downtown Liberty will be filled with people for the annual parade on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m.
The PRCA Rodeo will be Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 18-20.
“Carnival passes are already on sale at Boot Barn and are flying out the window. They sold 50 the first day,” she said. They are also available at the TVE Office and all Cowboy Cleaners locations.
For more information and schedules for the TVE Fair and Rodeo, go to their website at www.tvefair.com.