The annual Lone Star Fair & Expo returns this Friday to the Brownwood Coliseum, and the Brownwood Jaycees are still looking for volunteers to help with the weekend event.   

The fair features food, vendors, rattlesnakes and alligators from Houston’s Gator Country. Event organizer Pat McLaughlin said that volunteers wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with the dangerous animals. “One of the misconceptions about volunteering,” McLaughlin said, “is that people think they’re going to be in the rattlesnake pit or handling the alligators and stuff. That’s actually not true at all.”   

McLaughlin said most volunteers will help in the food booth and the front gate. “Helping with getting tickets and taking money and things like that,” he explained. “That’s where we need the bulk of our help at — back in the kitchen and things of that nature.   

“So when you volunteer, you’re not going to be in the rattlesnake pit. Those are things we have trained professionals to do,” McLaughlin said.   

Those interested in volunteering can reach McLaughlin at 235-998-7340. He said the event needs volunteers on Friday from 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. He said the group will also need help on Sunday to disassemble the fair. “We bring out the pit and all the different larger things throughout the week,” he said. “When Sunday comes around, the event’s over and we have to get out of the Coliseum as quickly as possible.   

“We need volunteers to make that happen,” McLaughlin said. “You know, we feed people after it. We take them all out to dinner, and stuff like that. We make sure that you get taken care of when you’re volunteering throughout the event. And it’s a lot of fun. We have a fun group of people that help out.”   

The Fair & Expo is a project of the Brownwood Jaycees, a service organization that holds large fundraisers like the annual fair and uses the proceeds to benefit organizations like the Brownwood Senior Citizens Center and Brownwood public schools. He said volunteers will have fun working with the tight-knit group of young Brownwood professionals.   

“It takes a lot of manpower to make an event like this go on,” McLaughlin said. “The more volunteers that we have come out and say that they want to help, the better.”