So here we are in late July again, and Texas County’s biggest annual event is back.

And this time, it will be back to being its old self, so to speak, because the 108th Old Settlers Reunion and 68th Texas County Fair will run simultaneously at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds.

Never mind why the two entities split for a while, the point is, it’s time to celebrate the fact they’re back together. I, for one, am just plain glad I’ll be able to enjoy hanging around about a million kids and animals on one side of the property, and then go to the side other maybe watch a really cool show or competition, or maybe eat some bad carnival food (bad as in good, you know what I mean?).

I have no doubt that the fair will – as always – feature many highlights during its four-day run from Wednesday through Saturday (July 25-28). Past fairs have always delivered major outbreaks of cuteness and numerous heartwarming and humorous sights, sounds and moments, and surely the Texas County Fair Board, its chairman Darren Ice, and everyone else involved in making the fair go will serve up another round of similar pleasure.

As I have grown accustomed to, I expect to be amazed by how big some of the rabbits are, how many pigs are shown and much, much more.

And I can’t wait to see the sheep and goat fashion show (which, by the way, is scheduled for Thursday after the goat show). It’s better some years than others, but that’s like saying your favorite food tastes better sometimes than others – it’s always good!

And who knows? There might be another epic battle during the Saturday afternoon junior livestock sale. I still tell people about that one from a couple of years ago, when watching auctioneer Rick Dixon help two men bid on a pig for what seemed like an hour was as much like a scene in a movie as an animal auction.

And now that the Settlers Reunion is really the Settlers Reunion again, it’s going to be great to have the carnival midway going strong opposite the fair from Thursday through Saturday (July 26-28), and it’s going to be a lot of fun checking out some of the competitions and activities on tap thanks to the Houston Chamber and its high-energy director, Angie Quinlan.

I kind of have my eye on the ATV Rodeo set for Thursday night. Mainly because I’ve never seen one (even though they’re often staged in Roby) and I’ve heard it’s a fun watch. And, of course, the combined strength, power and cuteness on display during the pony-pull competition on Friday night will be a sure source of many smiles.

And here’s to hoping the Hawk Nelson concert that will close things out on Saturday night goes about as well as possible, with good weather, a big crowd and no electronic snafus. These guys are one of the top Christian bands on the planet, tickets don’t cost much, and I can’t imagine the show being anything but memorable.

But you know what? It’s not any certain thing that always makes this such a great time in Texas County. It’s the combination of everything that goes on that creates such an enjoyable overall package.

And that’s really only possible when the OSR and the fair run concurrently.

And you what else? To me, this isn’t really all about “supporting the community.” Sure, that’s a big part of it (and a worthy part), but from a purely selfish standpoint, I wouldn’t miss this because I know how much fun it will be.

Anyway, Lord willing, me and my camera will spend many hours at the fairgrounds during next week’s big event(s). And I expect to be rewarded with plenty of good times.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald.

Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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