Livestock show grows horticulture exhibit

By Jessica Rodrigo - JRODRIGO@VICAD.COM
Feb. 23, 2013 at 5 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:23 p.m.

Months of planning and hard work will pay off for students, volunteers and businesses alike at this year's Victoria Livestock Show.

The countywide event is celebrating its 67th anniversary and is saying good-bye to some time-honored traditions as well as embracing some new ones.

This year's theme - Sew it, Grow it and Show it - will bring about a whole new meaning to the stock show. Everyone knows the stock show is the place to be for students who are learning how to raise animals, but it's also the place to be for those who want to show off other talents, including businesses that can grow plants.

One of the livestock show's newest additions is the horticulture exhibits. Traci Shadle, county fair chairwoman who is also in charge of the new program, said she hopes the green displays will spruce up the Victoria Community Center during the weeklong event as well as bring some exposure to area businesses.

"It's a commercial horticulture exhibit competition for area businesses that do landscaping and specialize in plants and nurseries," she said.

It's an opportunity for a handful of businesses to decorate specific locations on the stock show grounds and compete for recognition and trophy.

One stipulation is the exhibit must consist of plants native to South Texas that the business sells or grows.

"We wanted stuff that people could buy and plant them in their yard and do the same kind of display if they wanted to," Shadle said. "We didn't want exotic stuff that wouldn't grow down here in South Texas."

The idea came to Shadle when she and her children would travel to the out-of-town stock shows in San Antonio and Houston. Throughout the major shows, there would be displays from area businesses showcasing plants and trees arranged and decorated in a nice for people to duplicate at home, she said.

"We're really trying to improve the livestock show grounds and make it more appealing and have a nice entry whenever people walk in, and it's not just all the dirt that's been tracked into there," she said.

Since this is the first year with this program, she hopes it will expand into something larger alongside the livestock show.

"Hopefully, we can turn the show into a major show that will include other counties," Shadle said. "I want this to grow into something we can do every year."



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