LEAGUE CITY — The League City Lions Club have served the city since 1952, but they’re known most for the Village Fair they’ve hosted for the past 60 years.
To Dale Hardy, who sits on the board of directors, the fair is more to him than just an event. It’s a place where the community can get together.
“It’s about as close to small-town America as you can get,” Hardy said.
He has served as fair chairman and president. To Hardy, 63, the Village Fair is what convinced him to join in the first place, especially the Special Kids Day on Friday.
“It’ll put a lump in your throat when you think about what those kids have been through,” he said. “It’s a very special opportunity.”
According to Hardy, the fair has evolved over the years, but the message of community and the small-town feeling remains the same.
“There’s not a whole lot of things that last 60 years anymore,” Hardy said. “This year is just a milestone that we’re proud of and that the community can be proud of.”
Even though he’s been a member for 20 years, he still enjoys going to the lunch meetings, the camaraderie and the Village Fair, which is the only yearly fundraiser that supports the club’s charities.
“I can’t imagine not being involved,” he said.
Hardy said he believes people stay involved because of the opportunities the Lions Club gives members to give back to the community on a large scale.
“Most people do not remember when we did not have a fair,” said Ray Williams, 81, a member of the Lions Club for 52 years.
According to Williams, the fair started out very small and people adopted it as an event to bring their mothers to for Mother’s Day.
He remembers the clowns, the Shriners’ in the small cars and the local dance groups that participated in the parade when he first joined the club in January 1962, and he’s happy to see the parade being brought back to this year’s Village Fair.
Part of the club’s proceeds from the fair go to Texas Lions Camp for children who are physically challenged. Williams said he’s been to the camp at least twice a year since he joined.
“I’ve been really blessed all my life, and I feel I owe some rent on the space I occupy on this Earth,” Williams said. “I feel helping others is a way I can pay back rent.”
At a glance
WHAT: 60th annual Old Time Village Fair and Texas Music Festival
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday
WHERE: Walter Hall Park in League City