ROBSTOWN, Texas — The All Star show returned to the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show after taking a one year hiatus. But that year break didn’t deter these children from trying their hand at something new.
Arnold Arriaga from Tuloso-Midway Primary, was an exhibitor for the show for the first time. Dressed in his cowboy out he exclaimed "Yes!" when asked if he was excited for the show.
He's one of the special needs children, of all ages, getting the chance to take part in a livestock show.
“This is something they don’t do often, so I enjoy being able to see them try something new," Julia Gilliam said, founder of the All Star Show. "A lot of them haven’t even seen a goat or a lamb. And even the volunteers, the volunteers love this."
The children get to show a goat or lamb with the help of a volunteer. They go through what you would in a livestock show. Talking to a judge and getting a ribbon.
Julia Gilliam was inspired to create the All Star Show as a freshman in high school.
"I saw a lack of kids with special needs in 4-H and participating in the livestock show.," she said. "And I really wanted them to get involved. 4-H has so many great opportunities for everybody.”
Her hope was to open more possibilities for children with special needs
"We’ve actually had a few kids start 4-H," said Gilliam They’ve showed a goat or a lamb. So, very impactful.”
It's not just the special needs children that have their eyes opened to a more possibilities.
"A lot of these volunteers get impacted," Gilliam said. "They want to start projects of their own in 4-H."
This will be Gilliam’s last year running the show as she prepares to graduate. Two young men will be stepping up to take the reins for next year’s All Star Show.