HOME ARCHIVE 2017

October means it is time for the Brazoria County Fair

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

If it’s October, it must be time for the Brazoria County Fair.

We put out another special section on the fair, which I really think is one of our most comprehensive specials since we started the paper in 1994.

Save our fair section for future reference. You’ll be glad you did. It is a lot easier to look up events, highlights and schedules by flipping through it than clicking on websites that may or may not lead you to what you need.

Unless, of course, it is our website, www.mybulletinnewspaper.com, which will lead you right to our fair section and previous issues also. Sorry about the long address. All the shorter ones were taken when we bought it.

The short, easy cyberspace real estate goes fast, so we searched for something years ago that was still available and reflected The Bulletin.

The more words you string together, the better the chances that the address is unclaimed. Luckily, we were able to stop at three. The Brazoria County Fair Association got lucky because it was able to land bcfa.org. Everybody around here knows what that stands for, and it is easy to remember.

I have been writing advance articles about the fair for a very long time, longer than I want to admit it. I started at the Bay City Tribune in 1979 and continued with the The Brazosport Facts and the Houston Chronicle.

Just about every county around here has a fair this time of the year, so as a young reporter I had to think of something that would stand out among the rest to have a chance of getting published in the Chronicle.

I needed a twist for the story unique enough that it would be interesting to people in the Chronicle’s circulation area who may not plan to come down here, but liked to read a good story.

I found it pretty quickly. It was right in front of my eyes. At the time, the fair promoted itself as “the largest county fair in Texas.”

The news peg was that the Fort Bend County Fair, just next door, occupies a larger area than the Brazoria County Fairgrounds, and had in the past disputed that claim, although it had not received all that much publicity.

When I pitched the story to the editors, they liked it. Then I got an interview from both sides and created a light-hearted, friendly competition-type story that also included some other information, like when the fairs started, ended and main attractions and entertainment.

Then there was the year when Pct. 3 Commissioner Billy Joe Plaster remarked that if it’s fair time, expect rain because it always rains during the fair. That made for another good story peg. I do remember that it has rained during the fair parade and the fair a lot, but not always. Billy Joe just tried to cover all the bases, just in case it rained that year.

Being raised in big cities, I always liked going to the fair and working on articles. My first chance came in 1979 when I worked for the Bay City Tribune and as a cub reporter just out of a big city college. Jay Jacobs, the city editor, dumped on my desk a box full of papers and designated me as the Matagorda County Fair Section editor.

I worked long hours on that section and got an education in agriculture in the process. I also met a bunch of nice people and attended my first rodeo.

“Not bad for a city slicker,” Jay said after the section came out. I did find some mistakes after it was printed. Fortunately, Jay didn’t fret mistakes. He was just glad that he didn’t have to do the section himself.

Enjoy the Brazoria County Fair, dear reader. It has something for all ages and interests.
Unplug the computers and turn off the cellphones. Smell the fair aroma and take in the sounds and sights of the fair.

You’re at the biggest county fair in Texas, as we used to say. Don’t forget your umbrella.