Cal-Cam Fair: 100 years of creating tomorrow’s memories today
Posted 6:26 a.m. on Sunday, October 9, 2022
To remember. What’s your all-time favorite Cal Cam Fair experience? No matter what comes to mind – that first bite of funnel cake or that first kiss atop the Ferris wheel, plan now to make new memories Thursday, October 13 through Sunday, October 16 at West Cal Arena and Event Center in Sulphur.
“It’s our 100th anniversary and we’re going big,” said Jan Nelson, who has served as secretary of the Cal Cam Fair Board for the past 23 years. “We have fun for all ages and our slogan embraces the past and looks to the future with its tagline, ‘100 Years of Creating Tomorrow’s Memories Today.’
Expect the best in musical entertainment with gospel music, school choirs, performances from Cal Cam’s Got Talent for big cash prizes and the sounds of Casey Peveto. Enjoy more exhibits than ever before. Regale cattle and livestock winners. Pay homage to the past and meet today the chefs of tomorrow, winners of the children’s cooking competition.
Sulfur resident Gerald Hansen, 87, remembers the first time he went to the Cal Cam Fair. It was his first date with his future wife Jeannette Bacque (June 1937-September 2014).
“It was October 1959, and it was love at first sight,” Hansen said. She said she would never marry a Yankee. I said that I had no intention of getting married.
Four months later, they tied the knot that lasted 54 years. As soon as their son was old enough, they took him to the fair, and he made his own favorite souvenirs, after he finished his favorite fairground food, a foot-long corn dog.
“This year’s fair is not a desire to have things the way they were 100 years ago, or even 20 years ago,” said Jody Barrilleaux, Cal Cam Fair Board. “My fairground memories are different from my grandchildren’s memories and in their minds, those memories represent good times at the Cal Cam Fair.”
The commitment to pull out all the stops to celebrate 100 years has resulted in a program of events not to be missed.
“It could be an old fair,” said Chuck Kinney, Cal Cam Fair Board. “But we have new tricks.”
“We’ve had more calls from people wanting to participate and display their artwork, quilts, crafts, preserves and flowers than ever before,” Nelson said. “The Cal Cam Fair was designed with farmers in mind. They had booths displaying crops and various farming tools. Today it is one of the few fairs that still invites the public to exhibit anything that can be canned, cooked, sewn or created.
“We’ve even selected a new carnival company run by a young dynamo who understands the importance of making sure it’s a memorable fair,” Kinney said.
On Wednesday, October 12, exhibitors will bring their wares to West Cal Arena to be judged. The public will not be permitted until the doors to the fair open the following day.
Thursday, October 13, doors open at 4 p.m. Rides begin at 5 p.m., and for the second year in a row, crowds can enjoy gospel music headliner Alfred Gibson. Other artists include Dennis Soileau. He will sing the gospel songs of Elvis Presley. Jody Barrilleaux will also perform.
“I have to give credit to a friend of mine who suggested a gospel night,” said Lillian Karr, Cal Cam Fair Board. “Some of us don’t want to jump on the Tilt-A-Whirl like we’ve done in the past. Now people can go out on Thursdays, get the fair food they’re hungry for, and listen to gospel music. .
Friday, October 14, from 10 a.m. to noon, is reserved for Special Citizens’ Day. At noon, Larry Carrol will perform. Registration for sheep, goat and pig farming is from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. At 2 p.m., the breeding show begins. The gates to the fair open at 4 p.m. The rides start at 5 p.m.
At 6 p.m., the Cal Cam’s Got Talent contest promises to please.
“We launched Cal Cam’s Got Talent in 2019,” said board member Jody Barrilleaux. “This year I had so many applicants that I narrowed the field with preliminary auditions. What remains is the best and the winner will receive $1,000, thanks to Tommy Boudreaux. As a tip of the hat to the past , we will honor his grandfather who was instrumental in building the sulfur mine houses and donated the railroad museum and one of these houses to the historical society.”
A new Jr. Bull Riding Association will debut at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s not just a bunch of kids getting together to ride bulls,” said Ryan Stutes, president of the Dirty South Bull Riders Association. “This event, and it’s a legit show with lights, smoke, and a ten-year-old rider who will jump through the flames, is invite-only.”
Invitations have been sent out to bulls ages 6-16 with national and state titles under their belts and the rough promises to be tough, according to Stutes.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 15, the 100 Years of Making Memories of Tomorrow Parade today rolls from The Grove to WW Lewis. Come at 9 a.m. to be part of it.
Gates open at 10 a.m. and rides at 11 a.m. The Bell City, Barbe and Sulfur choirs will perform and the children’s cooking contest will begin at noon.
“Last year was the first year we held our kids’ cooking competition,” Karr said. “We had 25 applicants, from fourth to eighth grade. This year, our young cooks will use a pound of ground beef and a cup of rice in their recipes.
American Freestyle Bullfighting is back by popular demand and nine fearsome and fast souls have been recruited as close as Hackberry – Sage Seay, returning world champion, will be there – and as far away as Brazil to indulge in this extreme sport.
“Salva Vidas Pessimo worked at PBR Brazil,” Kinney said. “He’s not fluent in English, but I don’t think that will matter to the bull. They are mean and they are bred to fight.
The crowd-pleasing Casey Peveto Band will perform after the bullfight.
Sunday, October 16, cattle show registration, entry and beef weighing begins at 10 a.m. Rides start at noon and at 5 p.m. the window will close on 100 years of making tomorrow’s memories today at the 2022 Cal Cam Fair.