Gregg County Fair talker draws folks in - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Gregg County Fair talker draws folks in

Vanell Carter shows them how it's done. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV. Vanell Carter shows them how it's done. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.

When it comes to the fair, everyone has their favorite activity; there are riders and eaters...and some people who are both. There are also gamers, and non-gamers, but whether or not you’re actually attracted to the challenge of a simple game can really depend on one thing: The Carnival Game Talker.

You might want to check one out at the Gregg County Fair in Longview.

You can almost hear him from the fair parking lot. He talks a good game, and can back it up with his performance. People stop when he talks up his game, which is called “Bottle Up.” Vanell Carter was from Bakersfield California, but now it seems he’s from everywhere.

“Check it out, bottom of the lip and straight up about two inches. Take your time. Round bottles roll, so take your time. Let it settle, take your stick, follow through. Commit,” Carter said to a potential customer.

He travels the country with several carnivals. He works year 'round. He shows you exactly how to sit the bottle up.

“You go two inches right here, and take your stick and push,” Carter advised. “It only takes one bottle to win. Okay guys real quick, watch this, watch this. Two games, five bucks."

People who stop can’t resist a challenge. You can see it on their faces.

“Two shots for five dollars,” Carter stated.

Suddenly five dollars appears and the game is on.

“Really guys, take your time, take your time. No time limit,” Carter advises.

But inevitably.

“We don’t close for another six hours guys. We got all night,” Carter said.

Players rush it.

“So push that stick straight out guys. Any prize you want,” Carter revealed.

As the stuffed animals watch, gravity rears its ugly head. One more try, slower the second time, but with a similar outcome.

I’d like to interview Vanell Carter, but he’s too busy talking to talk to me. Some people try again when they see him tip up a bottle with the stick stuffed down the back of his shirt, or putting the bottle up and down, or using his teeth. Carter enjoys the show, but says it’s the people who keep him doing it, especially when there’s a winner.

Carter did tell us it took him eight tries to stand his first bottle, and he still doesn’t do it every time.

The Gregg County Fair runs evenings through Saturday.

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