HITCHCOCK – Cowboy boots were swapped for rubber boots for fairgoers who braved the rainy skies early Sunday afternoon.

Ernie Ivey, father of three, brought his children to the Galveston County Fair and Rodeo even though the weather wasn’t ideal.

“They’ve been looking forward to it all week,” he said.

Annabelle Ivey, 8, was scared she wasn’t going to be able to go to the fair Sunday because of the weather. But she’s not worried about a little sprinkle.

Neither is Patricia Urbani.

Urbani and her family came to the fair from Galveston to get out of the house and let the kids run around.

Ticket sales were slow when the fair opened at noon and fairgoers slowly trickled in.

But Urbani said she prefers the smaller crowd as that means shorter waits for the rides for her two children, Isaiah, 2, and Eli, 4.

“I like it when it’s just a little bit of people, not overly crowded,” she said.

The Garrison family also traveled from Galveston.

“We’ve been wanting to come to the Galveston County Fair and Rodeo for a long time,” Catherine Garrison said.

Garrison’s daughter, Hannah, 5, is interested in animals and Garrison said she thought it would be a good chance for her daughter to get up close and personal with the livestock.

“With the weather being like it is, you can get a different experience with the crowds not being real big,” she said. “I think especially when your kids are younger, sometimes it’s a little easier.”

Attendance rose as the day went on as people came for the Market Swine show.

“The pig show is the largest livestock show that we have,” fair coordinator Melondy Bender said.

This year, the fair has more than 200 pigs entered.

Tejano Day is also expected to bring a big crowd.

“Today’s weather shouldn’t scare anybody off,” Bender said. “We’ve had much worse.”

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