HITCHCOCK — Senior Day at the Galveston County Fair & Rodeo drew hundreds of senior citizens to the Entertainment Pavilion on Monday.

The day is a tradition at the fair and rodeo and is a tribute to that demographic, Fair Coordinator Melondy Bender said.

Nearly 600 people preregistered, and even more showed up to watch or participate in the dance competition and Bingo games.

“It’s great that they put this on every year,” Charles “Popeye” Bazelle said. “Half the people I know are gone.”

Bazelle, 75, was one of several members of the Santa Fe VFW Post 5400 who attended.

Several area adult day care centers and senior citizen organizations bused members to the fairgrounds at Jack Brooks Park where they were greeted by golf carts driven by volunteers and escorted to the pavilion.

It was the first year a full shuttle service was available, transportation chairman Gary Cotharn said.

“They’re so pleased they don’t have to walk,” Cotharn said. “We have a blast talking to them on the way and hearing all their stories. It’s a lot of fun.”

Members of the Red Hat Society of Galveston applauded the event and its volunteers.

“Those high school volunteers were so good,” Carla Sanborn-James said. “They were polite, knowledgeable and good representatives of what the rodeo is all about.”

About 90 members of National FFA Organization and 4H volunteered to help with the three special days at the fair and rodeo, which began with Senior Day, followed by Special Kids Day and Schools Day.

Bender said the volunteers had to be high-achieving students and have permission to miss school to earn community service credits.

Leonora Mendez, who works at the Nessler Center Senior Citizen Program in Texas City, said the event was the perfect excuse for a change in scenery. About 30 people from the center signed up for Senior Day.

“They’d be playing dominoes or exercising at the center otherwise,” Mendez said. “It’s fun and entertaining. They look forward to this. We take a shot at every opportunity to participate in a community event.”


Events

Today

Special Kids Day

  • 9 a.m.: Special children’s day
  • 4 p.m.: Gates open
  • 5 p.m.: Carnival rides, country store, youth project and student art shows open
  • 6 p.m.: County team roping challenge
  • 6:30 p.m.: Youth project and student art awards ceremony
  • 7 p.m.: Steer show
  • 7:30 p.m.: County team roping challenge

Contact reporter Whitney Hodgin at 409-683-5236 or whitney.hodgin@galvnews.com.

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