Burnet County Area Fair
Burnet, Texas - Thank you for your interest in the Burnet County Area Fair, we have exciting news for the 2017 Fair. Due to the fantastic interest and participation in the 2016 Fair we will again be at the Burnet Community Center, 401 E. Jackson St., Burnet, Tx. The 2017 Burnet County Area Fair will be Friday, June 9 and Saturday, June 10.
The Burnet County Area Fair Committee is currently working hard to provide a family fun event for citizens of Burnet and surrounding counties. The Burnet Area County Fair is a nonprofit organization. We have members representing some of our sponsors as well as members of Texas A&M Agrilife Extension of Burnet County, Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association, the Texas Extension Education Association of Burnet County, the Highland Lakes, the Highland Lakes Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, the Bluebonnet Button Club and Burnet County Fair and Rodeo Association.We will continue to pay cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Cash prizes will also be paid to the winners of the Sweepstakes Awards. These popular awards will be given to an exhibitor in each age group who enters exhibits in three or more divisions and earns the most points. We will also have vendors on Saturday and the car show will return due to popular demand along with other fun events. Our theme this year is "Hill Country Proud ". We look forward to all the wonderful exhibits our participants will enter in 2017. As in the past, there is no charge to enter and we invite citizens from Burnet, Bell, Blanco, Lampasas, Llano, Travis and Williamson to enter. Our Divisions for 2017 include Aprons; Arts and Crafts; Baked Goods; Clothing; Fine Arts; Needlework; Patriotism; Photography; Porcelain Arts; Potted Plants; Preserved Foods; Quilting; Storyboard Display; Vegetables, Fruits & Herbs; and Woodworking. 2017 Burnet County Area Fair President, Lynda French has served on the Fair Committee since 2010. Her roots are in Burnet County and with her leadership, the 2017 Fair will be outstanding. We will continue to update Schedule of Events as things change so please check back. The Rules for Exhibition for 2017 have been updated and will be posted on the website by February. The Rules for Exhibition will also be available upon request at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension office of Burnet County after February 24, 2017 and Burnet Farmers Market, which opens on May 1st. The Vendor Information and Contracts are updated and available by clicking on Vendor Info on the Homepage.
History of the Burnet County Fair
The first Burnet County Fair was held in 1903 in the community of Bertram at the site of what is now the city's baseball field. The fair was held annually in August, and lasted for three days. By 1910, the fairgrounds featured a large wooden grandstand and by 1928, over 6,000 people were in attendance at the festivities.
According to Burnet County History, Volume 1, "agricultural exhibits and competitions included sheep, goats, cattle, horses, mules, jacks, poultry, hogs, and produce from the farmers' fields and gardens. Textiles, culinary (baked goods), preserves, and canned goods and flowers made up the Women's Division, though all might participate. Bands from neighboring towns came in to play on different days. There were also speeches by politicians and baseball games were played every day. There was also a baby contest, a fiddlers' contest, and a carnival."
Highlighting the fair were trot and pace horse races. In 1928, 24 horses competed for $1,130 in prize money. A parade featuring "decorated floats and pretty girls" (Bertram Centennial Celebration, 1882 - 1982) was also an attraction of the fair in its early days.
The Burnet County Fair continued to be held in Bertram until the late 1930s, after which time the fair moved to the city of Burnet, the county seat. Carole Goble, author of a history of the area entitled Burnet, noted that while she had not been able to document the reason why the fair was moved, she remembers that the property in Bertram on which the fairgrounds were located was sold and that some homes were built there, with the area being called the Fairground Addition. The remaining property was later used by the Bertram Schools, becoming the site of the city's sports fields, including football and baseball. It is now the J.O. "Chief" Wilson baseball complex.
Goble stated that beginning in the 1940s and continuing until 1967, the Burnet County Fair's livestock exhibits were held on the Burnet town square, while all other exhibits were held in a variety of available buildings, including the school cafeteria and the VFW hall.
In 1950, a group of citizens started working to establish a permanent home for the Burnet County Fair. Land near the airport was donated for the fairgrounds by the City of Burnet and Houston Clinton. Eventually, a $68,000 loan was obtained from the Farmers Home Administration to erect the facility that is being used today. In 1965, the fair association and the rodeo association merged to form the Burnet County Fair and Rodeo Association. In 1967, the Burnet County Fairgrounds were opened at Houston Clinton Drive in Burnet and the fair began to be held there.
In 1990, the fair ceased to operate due to a lack of manpower. The Burnet Fair & Rodeo Association simply didn't have the capacity to handle both events and the rodeo continued on separately.
In 2010, the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association, Texas Extension Education Association of Burnet County, and Burnet County AgriLIFE Extension joined forces with the Burnet Fair & Rodeo Association to bring back the fair. Since 2010 with the help of our sponsors and friends the Burnet County Area Fair has grown by leaps and bounds. Because of this growth other organizations have joined our forces. They include Marble Falls Quilt Club, Highland Lakes Sewing Guild and the Highland Lakes Texas Chapter of Master Naturalists. With this increased support and participation the fair moved to the Burnet Community Center in 2014.
The Burnet County Area Fair Committee gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Carole Goble in preparing this information. Her book, Burnet, can be purchased at various local businesses and on Amazon.com, and can also be found at the Herman Brown Free Library.Contact:
Lynda French, Chairman
Cody Orman, President
Burnet County Rodeo Association