LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It has made its way back into town! The Gregg County Fair is back at the fairgrounds in Longview. Organizers say that there's so much to take in, it may take two trips to do it all.
Billy Clay has been at the fair for a while.
"Thirty-five years running the Gregg County Fair," Clay said. While sometimes he thinks about retiring, there's always an experience that makes him think twice.
"I see one kid walking down the midway with a smile on his face, I'm happy. I may want to quit the fair and retire, but when I see one of those little kids smiling, I've done something right. And I'm still here," Clay stated.
And he probably did it right once again since it looks like there's plenty to smile about setting up. And Clay has made sure it's not much in doing the right thing.
"Clean family fun. That's my motto, we want good clean family fun," Clay clarified.
Food vendors were getting into place and rides were being moved by truck to be set up, including what could have been Johnny Cash's favorite, the Ring of Fire.
After the zooming and spinning, you may want to come back down to Earth and cool off in the exhibit building or commune with nature or at least some funky animals. Tim Emerson provides just that with his menagerie.
"You get to actually reach out and touch them and pet them. Some of the stuff that can bite, it won't but we keep it backed off to where nobody gets hurt, but they can still see it or they can throw feed at it," Emerson revealed.
You can get much closer to these animals than you can at most zoos.
Emerson even has some new animals this time around.
"Yes, sir we've got a Z-donk," he replied.
And that's a horse of a different color, although it's not a horse, and black, white and grey technically not colors.
Emerson says that just about everybody can enjoy his menagerie.
"Everybody from 8 to 80. Everybody loves to feed the animals, and see something different," Emerson said.
And Emerson does it for the same reason Clay does.
"I mean that's what it's all about: putting a smile on a kid's face," Emerson added.
And don't forget to ask: Como te llamas, llama? Although you probably won't get an answer.
The sixty-ninth Gregg County Fair kicks off Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. and runs through Sept. 15.