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Burnet County fair celebrates 50th, seeks mementos of years past

A Burnet County fair queen from 1923. Courtesy photo

BURNET – While the Burnet County Area Fair is celebrated this year, organizers are delving into the past to keep the spirit of the event connected to its roots.

Along with this year's displays and entries, fair officials are asking folks to share any mementos or photos from years past.

"Over the past 50 years, people have shown quite a few things at the fair," said Lynda French, president of the Burnet County Area Fair. "We're hoping that some of the people who have participated, or their families have shown, over the years have photos, ribbons or anything from those fairs they would be willing to share with us."

The Burnet County Area Fair, which is June 10-11 at the Burnet Community Center and the Hill Country Foundation building, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this time around.

Fairs, a tradition across the country, celebrate the different craftspeople, gardeners, artisans and similar folks in a community. People show off their quilts, baked goods, canned foods, handmade clothing, woodworking among other things.

But it's more than a static exhibit.

"It's really a time to celebrate the community and the people who make it such a wonderful place to live," French said.

While ribbons are on the line, the Burnet County Area Fair offers attendees more than winnings. On Friday are several educational and fun programs, including learning about beekeeping and feral hog management. Plus, there will be a number of folks on hand who know the ins and outs of gardening and crafting.

One of the most popular events over the past several years has been Burnet County AgriLife Extension Agent Linda Wells' cooking demonstration. And she's back June 10 from 4-5 p.m. with another one. This year's theme is "Making Memories at Mealtime." It takes place at the foundation building, and she'll have some samples for people to try.

Throughout Saturday, along with the displays, people can enjoy street vendors, live music, a classic car show, a silent auction, a prize drawing, the Burnet County Gunfighters show and a lot more.

While the fair is celebrating 50 years, the roots of the event actually go back much further to the early 1900s. French has a program from 1926 that's about a half-inch thick. She also has a certified $1 stock issued in 1906 by a bank for the county fair. The bank no longer exists, but the stock shows some of the things out there that are part of past fairs.

"I know there's also a lady in Bertram who has rug shown in 1926," French said. "It's all framed up with the ribbon with it."

Those are the types of things the fair committee is looking for to celebrate the 50th anniversary, but it can also be something as simple as a ribbon someone won during a previous fair or photos.

"Anything that people have and are willing to share," she said.

People with artifacts, photos, old ribbons or other fair items can drop them off at the community center from 4:30-7:30 p.m. June 8 or 9 a.m.-noon June 9 as officials are setting up exhibits. The items can be picked up 4:30-6:30 p.m. June 11.

Call French at (512) 525-1289 for more information regarding the 50th anniversary display.

The Burnet Community Center is located at 401 E. Jackson St., and the Hill Country Foundation building is right across the street from it.

Go to burnetcountyfair.com for more information on the event, the different categories and how to enter an exhibit.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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