HISTORY OF THE SHOW
In 1939, the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and
Agricultural Exposition, the forerunner of today’s Show, was organized as a
project of the Mercedes Chamber of Commerce. The first Show was held in 1940on the grounds of a local livestock sales
yard with make shift pens and lean-to sheds. The Show continued to be held on this same property until 1949 when it
moved to its present location at 1000 North Texas in Mercedes.
In 1947, the Show was incorporated and chartered as a
non-profit educational organization with a Board of Directors representing all
of the four southmost counties of Texas.
Up until 1955, all livestock was shown primarily in
tents. By 1979 all exhibits which were
once housed in some 12 tents were in permanent building located on slightly
over 100 acres.
In 2005, the Coliseum and Hog Barn were demolished and a
Multi Purpose Event Center was built with the help of grant monies received
from the U. S. Department of Commerce - Economic Development
Volunteers from all walks of life - bankers, lawyers,
accountants, farmers, ranchers, etc., and a dedicated Board of Directors, give
endless hours of their time to make the Show a success. Without them it would be impossible to
produce the Show as the cost would be excessive.
It is estimated millions of dollars have been paid to FFA
and 4-H exhibitors during the Show's existence.
The Show has continued to grow each year and now ranks as
one of the top ten in the State. People
from all over Texas eagerly anticipate the event and come to enjoy the many
activities including a parade, rodeos, competitive livestock events and the
many, many attractions which are scheduled daily.