By Jon Platt
Inclement weather resulted in the early closure of the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo on Thursday night. The event will reopen as scheduled at 4 p.m. today.
The event’s Twitter account announced the closing at approximately 5:30 p.m.
The fair and rodeo opened at Waco’s Extraco Events Center Thursday. The event will last until Oct. 11.
For over 60 years, the fair and rodeo has provided entertainment to the communities of Central Texas, according to the event’s website. This year, the fair and rodeo will bring in musical performances by Joe Nichols, Kevin Fowler, Granger Smith, Casey Donahew Band, Thompson Square and Cody Johnson.
“It’s great to bring this level of entertainment to Central Texas,” said Charva Ingram, marketing manager for the event.
Also at the fair will be thrill rides, a nightly rodeo, midway games, a kids activity zone, petting zoo, livestock shows, specialty food vendors and exhibitions from 4-H and FFA, which are student agriculture organizations.
“For me personally, I love the farm,” Ingram said. “We have a live birthing center, where baby lambs are born and you can see baby chicks hatch. Seeing how the kids faces light up is the best part.”
Over the coming days, the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo will see around 200,000 people come through its gates, Ingram said.
Starting the night of Saturday, Oct. 4, the Fair & Rodeo will host the All American ProRodeo Finals for all consecutive nights of the event, except Monday, Oct. 6. This rodeo event is the third largest in the nation for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the largest and oldest rodeo-sanctioning body in the world, Ingram said.
Ingram said a great reason for college students to attend the events is so they can experience community they might not find away from home.
“I know a lot of college students miss the interactions with their family,” she said. “This is a great way to experience a family atmosphere.”
There is a coupon for free parking in the booklet distributed to Baylor students at the beginning of the semester, Ingram said.
“If you use the coupon and stay for the rodeo it makes for a full evening of entertainment for an affordable price,” she said.
The fair and rodeo includes theme days, such as a Military Appreciation Day on Friday, a Faith & Family Day on Sunday, a Ride ‘Em Cowboy Day on Tuesday and a Ladies Day and Senior Citizens Day on Wednesday. Thursday is tough enough to wear pink night at the rodeo.
A schedule of theme days, coupon days and events is available on www.hotfair.com, the fair and rodeo’s website.