Since March, the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo, presented by H-E-B, has been monitoring COVID-19 guidance released by the CDC, City of Waco and McLennan County health officials to determine operating plans needed to produce the largest annual event held in Central Texas. After careful consideration and due to the continued uncertainty of conditions come October, the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo will modify its plans to move forward with its tradition of the Heart O’ Texas Livestock Show and One HOT Rodeo.
“We waited as long as we could, hoping the numbers would take a turn and we’d be able to continue with our planning for a full fair and rodeo, but when considering how to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible we recognized the need to adjust what we offer our community this year.The decision is being made now to mitigate expenses for an event that likely would not be able to open as normal,” stated President and CEO Wes Allison.
The decision to adapt this year’s fair was based on the following: safety and health of fairgoers, vendors, competitors, volunteers and staff; current COVID-19 statistics in the County; and, the long-term financial health of the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo.
The Fair has always been and will continue to be committed to its mission to promote agriculture and provide scholarships to the youth of Texas.To stay true to that commitment, we will be holding our Heart O’ Texas Livestock Show, presented by Bar None Country Store, as well as a unique, one-year show “The United” in partnership with the State Fair of Texas. By spreading the livestock show out over 19 days, we will be able to host a show that allows for proper social distancing and health guidelines recommended by the County and CDC. The Heart O’ Texas Livestock Show will be held from September 30 – October 18.
One HOT Rodeo, presented by AIP Energy, will be held in the Extraco Coliseum which has been approved for 50% capacity. All tickets for both the box and balcony seats will be reserved for all five (5) performances to ensure that we maintain proper social distancing and do not exceed our allowed capacity nightly. The rodeo is scheduled to happen on October 10-11 and 15-17. Additionally, One HOT Bullfight is making a return to the Extraco Coliseum on Sunday, October 18.
Additionally, fairgoers will be able to come out and enjoy some of their favorite fair treats such as corn dogs, funnel cakes, turkey legs, chicken-on-a-stick, cotton candy, and much more.However, carnival rides, games, interactive displays and concerts will be suspended for this year.
The planned activities on the grounds will comply with CDC guidelines, and will adhere to any health and safety orders enacted by local, state, or federal agencies.Health and safety for all involved remains the top priority for the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo.This includes, but is not limited to, requiring face coverings, additional sanitization of high-touch areas, and social distance precautions.