The 81st annual Blanco County Fair & Rodeo starts this Thursday and runs to Saturday. Held at the Blanco County Fairgrounds on US 281 on the Pedernales River in Johnson City, the event has a storied past. For more information, visit the event website at bcfra.org.
Fair & Rodeo History
John Walton Smith, Sr. was born in the Walnut Community on August 18, 1879, one of twelve children. His parents were Rufus M. and Virginia Harrington Smith. His ancestors helped settle the great State of Texas. They were settlers of Washington-on-the Brazos, Wimberley, and the Walnut community (Walnut is located in the northwest corner of Blanco County). His father and uncles were Indian fighters in Blanco and Llano Counties. His longest trip was when he was a young man and he rode horseback on a Harrington cattle drive to New Mexico.
In 1930, Mr. Albert Moursund organized a bank picnic on the banks of Town Creek in Johnson City. Folks brought picnic baskets, and there were political speeches and lots of visiting. J.W. Smith removed the sunflowers, built the pens, and furnished the goats for the barbeque, all in a small field on Town Creek. This became the first Blanco County Fair and Rodeo eighty-one years ago.
Today the Blanco County Fair and Rodeo is a three-day event with livestock shows, exhibits for all ages, queens contest, youth rodeo, county roping, parade, carnival, and washer pitching.
J.W. Smith's influence continues with his grandson's and great-grandson's participation, leading the Parade on horseback, displaying our country and state flags.
On August 20, 2011, the Blanco County Historical Commission will be honoring all Veterans. Their special guests will be World War II-era veterans. There will be a reviewing area for veterans and their families adjacent to 106 East Main. Immediately following the parade, there will be a reception for all veterans and their families.