HITCHCOCK — Several fan favorites have returned to the Galveston County Fair and Rodeo.

One of them mutton bustin’ is designed for the small set.

”It’s a very popular event; we have over 100 kids signed up” fair coordinator Melondy Bender said.

She had some simple advice for the 3- to 7-year-old participants.

”You tell them to grab some wool and hold on tight” Bender said.

Back by popular demand is the kids pedal tractor pull. Contestants ages 4 to 12 mount a mini-tractor with pedals and show off how much weight they can pull.

Another event is designed to show what life can be like for a cowhand.

”We’ll be doing a ranch rodeo (again) this year” she said. ”It shows you the workings of a ranch.”

In the contest teams of four compete in several events including cow doctoring and milking wild cows.

Bender said the event will get a bigger showcase this year.

”Last year we brought it back for the first time in a long while and we had a really good crowd” she said. ”That was on a Monday night so we decided to move it to Saturday night and see if we could get an even bigger crowd.”

The 74th edition of the Galveston County Fair and Rodeo runs through April 21 and is being held at Jack Brooks Park in Hitchcock. Patrons can enter from state Highway 6 or FM 2004.

Admission on Thursday through Saturday is $10 for ages 13-61. Seniors and children 6-12 get in for $5. Kids 5 and younger are admitted free.

Sundays are half-price and Monday through Wednesday are family nights when all tickets are $2 each.

Weekly passes for the fair are $40 for ages 13 to 61 and $20 for all others.

Proceeds from the fair go back into the community Bender said.

”Ultimately we do scholarships” she said. ”But kids also have the opportunity to sell their animals at the auction too. We usually generate more than $500000 for the youths of Galveston County.”

The fair generally draws between 60000 and 80000 folks. If the clear weather of late persists crowds could get quite large.

Bender isn’t thinking about attendance records though.

”We just hope we have good weather so that lots of people come out and have a good time” she said.

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