132nd Fair to see big changes


Events scaled back or canceled amid coronavirus concerns

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Gillespie County Fair

A modified version of the 132nd Gillespie County Fair has been announced by the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association.

Many of the events originally planned as part of this year’s four-day fair Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 20-23, have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All changes and updates will be posted on the fair association’s website at www.gillespiefair.com and on their Facebook page.

Persons are encouraged to check the website or Facebook page for last minute schedule changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Canceled events

Canceled events include the carnival, evening concerts (Thursday through Saturday nights) and the parade.

In addition, there will be no vendors on the grounds, no goat roping, washer pitching or 42 domino tournament.

Also, the Hill Country Antique Tractor and Engine Club will not have its displays and demonstrations.

The queen’s contest has also been canceled this year and the current court will reign again in 2021.

The court includes Queen Brittley Bowers and Duchesses Ella Sanchez, Taylor DeLong and Lauren Beyer.


Horse racing

The final two days of the eight-day, live pari-mutuel racing season will be run on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22-23.

The Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association is able to continue with its scheduled horse race meets as “Rodeo & Equestrian Events” under Gov. Greg Abbott’s Open Texas plan, not as an “Outdoor Gathering Event.”

Post time is 1 p.m. each day.

This year, the GCFFA will be offering mobile betting. Through this service, bettors can place their wagers from their phones.

However, the service will only work on the GCFFA premises, so patrons will need to physically be on the grounds to use this option, explained fair association officials.



This year’s 132nd Gillespie County Fair is dedicated to honorary lifetime directors Larry Duecker and Korey Zenner.

They will be honored during the races on Saturday afternoon.


Exhibits, displays

A modified exhibit of products will be offered in the Exhibition Hall.

Classes that will be accepting exhibits for judging include Home Products, Wool and Mohair, Hay Show, Baking and Candy, Crochet and Knitting, Children 0-11, Children 12-18, Plants and Flowers, Special Needs and Junior Food.

Closed exhibits are Needlework, Sewing, Infant, Nursing Home, Handspun Yarn, Rugs, Quilts and Arts and Crafts.

Entries will be accepted from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20, and judging begins at 6:30 p.m. that evening.

In addition, the FFA and 4-H exhibits will also be set up for viewing.


Livestock shows

With the exception of the Junior Steer Show, all other livestock shows will take place as planned.

Shows include the Breeding Sheep, Open Cattle, Poultry and Rabbits and Angoras and Swine.

More information about the livestock shows can also be found by visiting the fair association’s website at www.gillespiefair.com and following the links.

Exhibitors can show off of their trailer this year if parked in the designated area (map will be emailed out and posted at the fair grounds).

Neither the trailer or truck can impede the road around the buildings as this is the route for EMS during the horse races.

No pop-up tents or trucks will be parked between the track and the flagged area.

It was noted that that livestock show officials want to allow as many people as possible to show off of their trailers, so camping next to trailers should be minimized until all trailers are in place.

All other empty trailers will need to be parked in the trailer parking area in the main parking lot.

The Breeding Sheep Show will be held on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21-22, with some changes to the show.

Arrival for breeds that will be judged on Friday, Aug. 21, is from 4 p.m. on Thursday through noon on Friday. Check in is at 2 p.m. and the show starts at 3 p.m. with the Dorper, White Dorper, Other Reg. Breeds and Southdown.

Arrival for breeds that will be judged on Saturday, Aug. 22, is from 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, through 5 p.m. on Friday. Check in is at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning with the Delaine, Rambouillet, Hampshire, Suffolk and Overall Champion Ewe and Ram.

Animals leaving Friday after the show are asked to pen on the north side of the barn and animals staying Saturday are asked to pen on the south side of the barn.

Persons are encouraged to ask for assistance on penning when unloading.

For more information, call Dan Vestal at 830-889-0028 or Brad Roeder at 830-889-4512.

The Angora Goat Show will take place on Saturday, Aug. 22. Angoras will be penned and shown in the Peddler Barn.

Arrival is Friday night by 6 p.m. and the show is Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

For more information, call Jennifer Jacoby at 830-889-2908.

The Breeding Cattle Show on Aug. 21-22 and Poultry Show on Aug. 21 will continue as printed in the Fair Catalog.

The Junior Steer Show has been canceled.

A change in the date has been announced for the Swine Futurity, which will now be held on Sunday, Aug. 23.

Swine will be arriving from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22. Weight cards are due by 8 p.m. on Saturday evening and the show begins at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23, with the showmanship classes.

For clarifications on the Swine Futurity, call Ernie Eckert at 325-656-0215 or Landon Rode at 830-456-4357.

Landon Eldridge will judge the show.



There is no admission charge to the grounds on Friday, Aug. 21.

Admission will be charged on Saturday and Sunday for the races, and only general admission seating is available for these located both the grandstand and in the Biergarten.

These general admission seats will take social distancing protocols into consideration.

General admission for the races is $10 for adults (ages 13 and up), $5 for children six to 12 years of age and free for children five and under.

Online ticketing for all Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association-sponsored events at the fair grounds is available through the fair association’s website at www.gillespiefair.com.