NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Right now, fun is underway at the opening night of the Pineywoods Fair in Nacogdoches.
Through Sunday, agriculture exhibits, carnival rides and numerous vendors will entertain the crowds. East Texas News visited with some of the early participants and reports why public support is so badly needed.
The broiler show brought exhibitors to the Pineywoods Fair bright and early. With close to 40 competitors, judgment time keeps a tight schedule.
"We're always the lone rangers that come," one exhibitor said with a laugh.
"Y'all straggle in every time," a judge replied.
No scolding. Just a good laugh. These young people have strived for six weeks to raise the best pen of broilers in Nacogdoches County.
"Oh, yeah. Very high-quality show," said Jason Lee, a broiler judge. "Very good."
It was a high mark for the volunteers, parents, and expo staff who stand behind hardworking students.
"They put a lot of hard work, time into this. Money into this," said Arnie Kelley, the president of the agriculture committee.
The young people are polite, articulate, and it's not difficult to find some who are darn cute, too.
"I showed for the past two years and done really good," said Maddie Malnar with Martinsville ISD.
"She won Reserve Champion first and then ...," Jaycie Latham, another Martinsville ISD student said.
"Grand Champion second," both girls said in unison.
Those who don't compete receive a blue ribbon for supporting their friends.
"I just love how they just know how to do everything," said Madisyn Pleasant, another Martinsville ISD student. "And I mean, I sure wouldn't know how to do it unless they taught me day and night."
Madisyn, give it a try. A lot of others are according to AgriLife Extension Agent Ricky Thompson.
"We've seen at least a 20-percent increase in our 4-H numbers," Thompson said.
Expo manager Anita Scott is dealing with her own set of budget numbers after the expo housed hundreds of Hurricane Harvey evacuees.
"We took about a $25,000 hit when we had to cancel events for the shelter, and again I don't complain about it, but it is what it is," Scott said. "And so, we need to make that up."
The Pineywoods Fair continues through Sunday. Tonight is KTRE RIDE-A-MANIA night. With three can goods, you can save $5 and buy an armband for $15. Hurry down. That offer comes to an end at 9 o'clock tonight.
Online ticket purchases and a complete schedule can be found here.