TVE board shares details of upcoming rodeos, county fair

TVE Board President Phil Fitzgerald shares the microphone with Sandra Sterling at the Sept. 12 Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Both are heavily involved in TVE events.

October is right around the corner. In south Liberty County, it would be hard to say what people anticipate the most — the beginning of the fall season or the Trinity Valley Exposition, considered by many to be the county fair.

“TVE is the one event that has drawn the county together more than any other event,” said TVE Board President Phil Fitzgerald at the Sept. 12 noon luncheon for the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. “TVE sees a cross-section of the county, from volunteers to participants. It has a tremendous heritage. I welcome newcomers to the community to get involved.”

TVE, in its 109th year, is among the oldest institutions in Liberty County. Over the years, the event has existed through seven major wars, the Great Depression, 20 presidents, and dozens of hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Countless children have benefited from TVE scholarships. While the organization’s mission statement is still to promote agriculture, youth organizations and activities, and to promote the education of youth in Liberty and Chambers counties, the TVE fairgrounds have become a multi-function venue for the county, according to Fitzgerald.

“Trade Days is hosted out there once a month. Gina [Worthy of TVE] can tell you that our calendar gets booked up with all kinds of events throughout the year,” he said. “If you haven’t been out there, come look at the changes.”

Fitzgerald, who is finishing his third year as president and his 12th on the board of directors, will soon be stepping down, along with Brady Hanson and Robin Lamb, all of whom have reached their term limits.

Linda Rusk is in her first year as a director for the Trinity Valley Exposition. This year she is tasked with organizing the special events that will take place during this year’s TVE. She and TVE Board President Phil Fitzgerald were the guest speakers at the Sept. 12 luncheon for the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“There will be three spots on the board that will be coming,” Fitzgerald said. “If you are the type of people we are looking for and you want to be involved, feel free to fill out an application. Don’t think that because you haven’t done as much as someone else that you can’t be a part of it, because you can be. There is a place for everybody. We want you to participate and be a part of it.”

Linda Rusk, in her first year on the board, is tasked with special events. She told the chamber guests that sponsorship packages are still available and range in price and level of support.

“If you are interested, I would love to visit with you and explain what getting involved as a sponsor would mean,” she said.

Businesses, organizations and individuals can be sponsors. Depending on the level of support, sponsors also get promoted at rodeos and other TVE events.

“You will get your name, business logo or business name on banners in the arena or outside the arena, depending on your level,” she said.

Jimmy Sterling, who chairs the TVE Wine-Tasting Event with his wife, Sandra, explained that 12 wines from around the world will be featured at the Oct. 12 event. Only 200 tickets will be sold and participants will also have the opportunity to sample barbecue and other foods from the TVE cook-off.

Extra perks, such as access to catered meals at the hospitality room on rodeo nights, and parking and rodeo passes, also are provided to sponsors.

Events kick off Friday, Oct. 12, with wine-tasting, team roping and a barbecue cook-off. Tickets to the wine-tasting are $30 each and are limited to 200 tickets. Cheese and crackers will accompany the wine tasting, and participants will also be welcome to sample barbecue and other fare at the cook-off.

The rest of the schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, Oct. 13 – TVE 5K run, baby parade, pageant, team roping and a concert dance
  • Monday, Oct. 15 – Broiler, rabbit, lamb and goat shows
  • Tuesday, Oct. 16 – Heifer, steer and swine shows
  • Wednesday, Oct. 17 – Opening day parade, rodeo slack, mutton bustin’, stick horse contest, PRCA bullfight and ranch rodeo
  • Thursday, Oct. 18 – Breeding beef show, old timers reunion, PRCA bullfight, PRCA Extreme Bull Riding
  • Friday, Oct. 19 – Youth livestock auction, freezer sale and PRCA rodeo
  • Saturday, Oct. 20- Livestock judging, crowning of the rodeo queen and PRCA rodeo

The concert and dance on Oct. 13, from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., will feature Cody Canada and The Departed, with an opener by Landon Dodd and The Dancehall Drifters.

The remaining concert schedule will feature Bobby Enloe and Texas Music on Oct. 17; Jeff Woolsey on Oct. 18; Jamie Bergeron on Oct. 19; and Rocky King Band on Oct. 20.

In addition to the rodeo and concerts, one of the much-anticipated parts of TVE is the carnival.

“Carnival passes are on sale and are flying out the door,” Rusk said.

The carnival passes are available at Boot Barn, all Cowboy Cleaners locations and the TVE main office at 321 FM 563, Liberty. The passes are $85 each and provide entry into the carnival and unlimited rides for the whole five-day period of Tuesday, Oct. 16, through Saturday, Oct. 20.

As the event nears, Rusk said updates will be provided on KSHN-FM Radio, the Liberty Gazette and Bluebonnet News.

For more information about TVE, go online to or call 936-336-7455.

To see the TVE events schedule, click here: Rodeo Poster 2018

By Vanesa Brashier,

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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