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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas -- For the 56th year the Montgomery County Fair and Rodeo kicks up a storm of events that includes not only a CPRA rodeo event, but livestock and non-livestock auctions, a Barbecue cookoff, and many other events that pay homage to Texas proud heritage.

The kick-off was the annual parade on February 16. Sponsored by the Conroe/Willis/The Woodlands Metro Go-Texan Committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and The Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce. Billed as a Go-Texan parade, it gets residents roped into thinking about the rodeo and is considered the official start of the rodeo season. (Go to Rodeo Parade hits the trail through Conroe )

This year s festivities not only include a carnival and midway, a Kid s Day will feature a petting zoo and a pet parade; Senior Citizen s Day will include meals and bingo. As with any Texas rodeo there will be no shortage of country and western entertainers, which the teen dance on April 11 will have the opportunity to experience.

The first couple of days are some of the most entertaining, said Scott Golemon, one of the Lifetime Executive Committee members. That s when we hold the stickhorse races and the Mutton Bustin event.

But the auctions are the rodeos stock and trade. That s where the scholarship money begins to pile up. A Special Education Auction will take place Monday Night, immediately followed with the Jr. Non-Livestock Auction. Last year s 60 junior non-livestock auction items raised $161,410. A Country Store will be set up during the Fair where adults who enter the adult division may sell their handmade items. Youth organizations who have entered the fair like 4-H and FFA, can also sell items as groups.

The highlight of the Fair is the Livestock Auction which will take place Wednesday night April 10. Last year s Livestock Auction's total for 140 animals was $875,525. Over the past twenty-eight years, just the Livestock Auction alone has brought in $13,713,418.

The Montgomery County Fair s livestock auction is the largest among county fairs in Texas in terms of money raised for scholarships, said Golemon, who is the officer in charge of the Livestock Auction. We have some very benevolent people in our county who get involved because it s for a great cause.

Students don t have to participate in the rodeo and auctions to receive a scholarship either.

Annually $100,000 is given out in 40 $2500 scholarships to students from CISD, private schools, and students who are home-schooled. Through the years over $1 million dollars has been given out in scholarships to the youth of Montgomery County, added Golemon.

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