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Fort Bend County Fair: Chita Craft forecast as fair parade grand marshal Sam Magee hired as fair manager



A familiar face will help kick off parade action for the 80th Annual Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo.

KHOU meteorologist Chita Craft will serve as the Parade Grand Marshal on Friday, Sept. 23, at 9 a.m. Craft will lead almost 200 parade entries along the parade route.

“I am looking forward to meeting people,” she said. “I am usually in the news studio, so I’m not usually meeting people. And I can’t wait to see the parade. I danced all growing up, and I’ve performed in countless parades. Such fun memories.”

She joined KHOU 11 News in July 2011 and can be seen each day on KHOU 11 News This Morning. Craft quickly rose to be one of Houston’s favorite media personalities.

Recently Craft became a rancher’s wife with her marriage to Lane Craft, a landman and longhorn rancher.

“Our wedding was so much fun! I wish I could re-live it one more time,” she said. “Married life is great … we are starting to redecorate the house, and that is fun.”

She then shared big news.

“Well… … I literally got pregnant on the honeymoon! And we found out recently … it’s a boy! So Lane and I are so excited… even though everything is happening fast… I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Craft encourages children wanting to get into meteorology to focus on science and math classes.

“Meteorology is fun, interesting, and a science that is always evolving. I mean who doesn’t want to know what the weather will do,” she said.

Craft has a miniature schnauzer named Doppler and in case you were wondering, her name Chita – pronounced Cheetah – is a family name. In fact, there are five generations of mother-daughter Chitas in her family.

The theme for this year’s parade is “Tipping our hats to 80 years.” The parade begins at Hwy. 90 near 5th Street (near the Old Courthouse at 301 Jackson Street). The parade route will stay on Hwy. 90 from Richmond into Rosenberg.




A cowboy hat, belt buckle, button down shirt and starch jeans is every-day wear for Sam Magee. The East Texas native has been selected to be the fair manager for the Fort Bend County Fair.

He has been on a long and blessed road that traveled through several Texas towns before landing him here in Fort Bend County. For the past 10 years, Magee served as fair manager of the Rio Grand Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo. As incoming fair manager, Magee will work with Interim Fair Manager Cindy Schmidt for the 2016 fair activities and the 10-day run to maximize a smooth transition.

“The people here are fantastic, so welcoming and nice,” Magee said. “The staff is top notch; I am looking forward to working with them.

“It’s a fast moving train and my whole philosophy is to jump on and let’s go. I will follow Cindy and see how it runs. I will see through this first fair. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Magee is the father of two children, his son Chance, a Tarleton State University student, and his daughter Gentry, a Needville High School senior.

“Both my kids showed livestock and have been raised around it,” Magee said. “I wanted my kids to be around the fair. You can always count on the fair to be family fun.”

Magee and his daughter moved to the Rosenberg area and are already getting settled.

Growing up in Lumberton, Magee found himself playing football for the local high school. However, the thrill of riding bulls for eight seconds caught his spirit. Magee rode bulls and competed in sanctioned Texas High School Rodeos and later in the Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association. For several years Magee worked as a law enforcement officer in several Texas towns including Marble Falls and South Padre Island.

It started with a cough. Five years ago, Magee found himself in a doctor’s office getting results of spots found on his lung. The tough cowboy choked back tears and shared, “About five years ago I had been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer, it had metastasized into my lungs, my liver, and my brain. A lot of prayers and here I am cancer free today. When I was diagnosed, my doctor said I had about two years to live. But thanks to the good Lord I’m still here.”

Several Rio Grand Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo members close to Magee lost their battles with cancer around the same time he was fighting his.

“I don’t know why I am here, I think about that every day, why I am here and they are not,” he said. “It has been a journey with family and friends, people praying for me; it has been phenomenal. Unbelievable how blessed I have been.”

Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night or Cowboys Kicking Cancer events have always and will always be unique to Magee.

Magee woke up one morning during his cancer treatment and was looking in the mirror, when he thought he had a rash. For about 45 minutes Sam could see an image across his chest. “That’s a hand. That hand is bigger than mine. That day I felt better. You can’t convince me that is not the hand of God…a healing hand of God. From this day on- I knew, without a doubt that everything was going to be ok and to never give up. God is always doing miracles,” Magee said.

Magee is looking forward to getting to know and meeting fair goers and supporters.

“We have a great entertainment lineup that I am looking forward to, a turkey show I want to see since we didn’t have one in the Rio Grand Valley, and all the extra events, just looking forward to it all,” he said. “I love seeing the kids get their checks, and when you know they are getting to go college – it is a great feeling.”

Bull rider, fair manager, police officer, and cancer survivor are all ways to describe Magee.

“These livestock shows all have a manager that steers a ship, but it is a team effort. There is no way that you cannot do it without your staff and the 100’s of volunteers. It just a big team effort,” the 53-year old said.

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