Walker County Fair and Rodeo wants student involvement

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The Walker County Fair and Rodeo wants more involvement of SHSU students at the fair and rodeo.The first step taken to draw students out to the fair grounds is the opening concert on March 28. Cory Morrow, a popular singer/songwriter, will be performing the opening concert, an event that the board hopes will attract students.”We brought Cory in here last year, and we had a pretty strong showing,” said Sam Moak, vice president of the fair. “Hopefully we will have Sam students come out and have another big crowd this year.”Bringing in Morrow for the opening concert was a good move according to SHSU student Chris Herrera.”I think the rodeo itself is fun to watch; I grew up on that kind of stuff, so it’s cool to watch,” said Herrera.”I also think guys like Cory Morrow, Jerry Jeff Walker and Robert Earl Keen, that we all know, get more college students there. So I think that having Cory Morrow come should get some students to go out there.”The opening concert is just one of several events throughout the year that the fair has set up to get students to the fairgrounds.”The Texas Outlaw Music Festival, which we started a few years ago when we brought in Pat Green and Cory Morrow had two meanings. One was to help revive the Texas prison rodeo and the other was to do something for the Sam Houston State students,” said Moak. “One of the things you hear from Sam students over and over is that there is nothing to do in Huntsville, so we have a perfect facility out there for trying to bring in things for the students to do and the music festival works just right.”SHSU student Erin Kny said the efforts by the Walker County Fair and Rodeo board are a positive sign for students and the board.”Anything that they do for students is good,” Kny said. “We are a resource for the Huntsville community, and getting us involved is good for both groups. We (students) may not be the biggest resource in the area, but we do make up a large number of people who have time and money to spend. I’m glad they want to involve us.”Moak said the music festival has been a good start for events at the fair grounds, but they are continually trying to think of new ideas to bring students out and keep them in town on the weekends.”Each year we’re going to have a music festival, but we want to expand that and do things similar to that several times a year,” Moak said. “Part of that is doing something during the fair. There’s more out there than animals and projects, but we have to get the students out there to realize that. We built a huge stage in the back, in the barbecue area, that looks up the hill, so we can do things throughout the year.”Moak said the board is always looking for ways to draw the college crowd to the rodeo, and they want to get ideas from students so they can get something people are interested in.”We are going to have a lot of different music acts out there this year,” Moak said. “Bluegrass music, folk music, country music, rock music and Tejano music are a few of the types of music. We’re trying to hit a broad base and we need ideas for what else we can do in the future to bring people in.”The fair will also have a closing event on April 6 that will boast a local band that might draw students out.”For our closing dance we have River West performing. They’re a local band that’s pretty big,” Moak said. “I’m hoping we get some of the college students out here for that. (College students) know them; they’ve played at Shenanigan’s and played around here so that has a possibility to get the Sam Houston students out there. Most of the guys in the band are from Sam so hopefully that will bring out some folks.”