Goat clinic is Saturday, workdays are Oct. 13, 20

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

After a year of planning, preparations for the Jim Wells County Fair are entering the final three weeks.

There is still much left to do. There are animals still to be clipped and groomed, home economics projects to be finalized and fresh sand and paint still to be used at the fairgrounds. Officials said this year's fair should have larger participation than last year's event.

"We're compiling the master list for the home economic event, and we have a lot of entries this year," Barbie Wynmore, with the JWC extension office, said.

"We're getting ready and our kids are getting their animal projects ready."

Home economics isn't the only event that is seeing growth.

"Exhibitor numbers have increased. Rabbits, lambs, goats and poultry divisions have all seen increases this year," JWC Extension Agent Rojelio Mercado said

To lead up to the JWC Fair, Oct. 22 to 28, there will be a goat clinic Saturday at the JWC Fairgrounds beginning at 9 a.m. at the new arena.

All goat participants are asked to bring their animals, so the participants can work on showmanship and clipping of the animals.

Clipping involves sheering the animals, taking some hair off and getting their appearance ready for judging.

Wymore said there will also be clip days for other animals, such as steers, heifers and lambs as time for the fair draws closer.

Two days to put on the calendar are Oct. 13 and Oct. 20, which are fair workdays for parents and students. Those two Saturdays involve getting the pens ready for the animals, putting in fresh sand and sprucing up the surroundings in preparation for fair activities.

Mercado said county commissioners are actively preparing the fairgrounds in preparation for the event. One addition visitors should notice right off is a new fence at the front of the fairgrounds, built by the commissioners specifically to beautify the area for the fair.

"There are a lot of facelifts going on," Mercado said. "The open pavilion is getting a new paint job, and new sand is being brought in to replace last year's. Some of the roads are also getting seal coated."

Along with the commissioners' help, Mercado also said the JWC Sheriff's Department will continue to perform an invaluable service at the fair.

"Everything's been running pretty smooth security wise. The sheriff's department has been instrumental in providing security for the fair, keeping the peace and the traffic flowing. They do a great job and we appreciate their assistance with the event."

The official opening day, Oct. 24, will kick off with the Jim Wells County Fair Parade through downtown Alice starting at 4:30 p.m.