Inaugural Williamson County Fair & Rodeo begins Thursday

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By Rachel Madison

TAYLOR — After years of planning and another year of delays due to COVID, the Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo is finally happening this weekend in Taylor at the Williamson County Expo Center.

Mackenzie O’Connell, events coordinator for the Expo Center, said the fair and rodeo are a big deal for the county, because so many people have been working on putting it together for years.

“With everything going on last year and having to cancel, it’s been very exciting to be able to put it together this year,” she said. “It’s been really cool seeing it all come together.”

In December 2019, the Williamson County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with the Williamson County Fair Association to fund $100,000 for the county’s first fair and rodeo in October 2020. In July 2020, the association decided to postpone the event until October 2021 due to COVID.

O’Connell said the fair and rodeo will have something for everyone. There will be a farmer’s market with fresh, local produce and artisan foods, as well as an arts and crafts vendor fair inside the main expo hall. More than 60 artisans are set to attend and will be selling everything from handcrafted jewelry to holiday decorations.

“We also have pig races planned multiple times a day, which I think will be so fun for everyone to see,” she said.

The rodeo itself will be a lot of fun, O’Connell added, as there will be riders from all over Texas coming to compete for cash prizes. There will also be mutton busting and calf scramble events for kids, as well as a “mustang show down” featuring a previously-wild mustang from the Bureau of Land Management. Teams of horsemen and women will compete in different categories with the mustang, like grooming and riding, for cash prizes and belt buckles.

Big names in Texas country music will be performing in the arena on two different nights. Roger Creager will perform Friday, and Tracy Byrd will perform Saturday.

“It’s going to be very cool to see our arena turned into a big concert stage for those performances,” O’Connell said.

O’Connell added that there will also be a local talent stage that will showcase several different artists in The Corkyard, which is a place for guests age 21 and older to relax and enjoy wine, beer and charcuterie boards or cheese platters.

The fair also includes a youth sheep and goat show, a carnival and a petting zoo.

O’Connell said over 1,000 tickets have been pre-sold for the fair and rodeo, and she is expecting to see up to 6,000 guests in attendance at peak times.

“We really want all of Williamson County to come out and see it, even if it’s just for a couple of hours a day,” she said. “It’s going to be really fun.”

The Williamson County Expo Center is located at 5350 Bill Pickett Trail in Taylor. The fair will run Oct. 21 from 4 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 22 from 4 p.m. to midnight; and Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to midnight. Ticket prices range from $5 to $22 for children and adults, based on the activities attendees choose to do.

Visit the website to learn more about the event, including an event schedule, map and to purchase tickets.

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