Evolution of the Amarillo Tri-State Fair, Day One to the Last Day
The Amarillo Tri-State Fair just wrapped its 99th year.
This year's fair saw its challenges. I personally attended the fair twice this year. I went on the very first day and I went on the last day of the fair.
A big change happened from Friday, September 16th to Saturday, September 24th.
On the first day, we entered through the main gate, the line wasn't bad at all. The guy scanning tickets scanned our tickets and asked my fella to raise his shirt. That of course was to make sure he didn't have a weapon. Truthfully, I get it, but, they didn't check me, I'm not sure they checked any other female. How many women could have walked in with a weapon?
We went about our way, enjoyed the petting zoo, enjoyed some indulgent fair food, and then went to the Wade Bowen concert. It was a pretty normal fair night.
Fast forward to Monday night, September 19th, the fair, and all the fun and future fun was tainted because some person chose to pull a gun and start shooting. The male suspect opened fire on off-duty deputies, striking one and also a firefighter. A bystander was also injured in the shooting.
The incident is still under investigation, and the Potter County Sheriff that was injured was Deputy William "Jake" Snyder, a 6-year veteran of the Potter County Sheriffs. The deputy was shot several times. He was treated and released and is still currently recovering. Both the firefighter and bystanders are currently recovering at the moment, and their names have not been released. As of last Friday, September 23rd, the suspect was still being treated at a local hospital and his name has not been released.
Amarillo ISD, chose to move the rival game between Amarillo High School and Tascosa High School, to the WTAMU Stadium from Dick Bivins. I believe was due to traffic issues, because that is a huge game. I'm almost positive it was due to safety issues as well.
Saturday night September 24th the last night of the fair, it's our second visit. We decided to attend the PRCA Rodeo at the fair. We walked up to the gate, this time using the entrance by the Amarillo National Center. As we walked up it was a completely different vibe and feel. This time, we were wanded walking through the gate. Plus, a Sheriff's Deputy armed with a very large rifle was also present at the gate as I'm sure all gates had high security.
We entered the fair, indulged in more fair food, enjoyed the rodeo, and then left. As we were leaving a group of kids were trying to enter through the exit gate and that Sheriff's Deputy wasn't having it. I'm pretty sure that group turned around and walked back to their car.
The fair is supposed to be fun, but the incidents that took place earlier in the week tainted the excitement and fun. Now attending the fair, in the back of everyone's mind "will I get shot?"
Hopefully, next year as they celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Amarillo Tri-State Fair it will bring joy, laughter, and fun. However, I'm sure that from here on out we will all walk through metal detectors or be wanded as we walk in the gates, forever reminding us of the world we live in these days.