The 73rd annual Nueces County Junior Livestock Show was by all accounts a resounding success, with record numbers of exhibitors and show ring sales.

There were 1,150 Nueces County youths that exhibited at the 73rd annual show, up from about 1,100 participants in last year's show.

Those youths had 3,586 entries, up from last year's entries of about 3,200.

There were 106 more livestock projects than last year, with 860 projects, not including homemaking and shop project divisions.

The add-ons from show ring sales were still coming in as of press time Tuesday, and organizers were optimistic a new record would be set for total livestock sales.

The buying went well past midnight during Saturday's Blue Ribbon Auction. Buyers paid $1,017,893 for livestock at this year's sale, up from last year's show ring sales of $1,014,000 during the livestock show's first year at the new Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds.

A quilt that sold for $23,750 near the end of the Blue Ribbon Auction brought this year's show ring sales to $1,041,643.

Kelvin Moore, general manager of Global Spectrum that manages the fairgrounds, said the fairgrounds had something for everyone last week, from swine exhibitors and serious barbequers to Tejano music and calf-roping fans.

"Overall, everything was a compete success," Moore said. "The kickoff weekend, we probably had in the neighborhood of 10,000 people attend the events over the weekend."

Moore said the kickoff weekend's concerts in the Central Pavilion and Grand Ballroom, the Holt Cat Nueces Classic Team Roping, the first event in the new Equestrian Center, and the carnival helped make the show bigger than ever.

"The kickoff weekend was a calculated risk to put it all on, but it was a risk that was worth taking," Moore said. "It paid off for the county and the livestock show. The team roping had over 900 teams participate and that went through until 5 o'clock the next morning.

"The concerts were a success. Everybody that attended the shows had a great time. The actual livestock show itself, the crowds definitely looked bigger than they did last year and the parking lots were full the whole time and it seemed like everybody had a great time."

The carnival in the Fairgrounds Field parking lot also seemed to do much better than last year's show, although figures were not available Tuesday. This year's carnival enjoyed good weather during kickoff weekend and Saturday, compared to drizzly conditions in the 40s last year.

"They seemed to be busy the entire time they were open," Moore said.

The Jan. 12 Grand Opening Parade also had largest number of participants ever, with more than 100 entries and about 175 vehicles.

Abby Ray Loessin of Agua Dulce High School, the winner of the 2008 Nueces County Junior Livestock Show essay contest co-sponsored by Wells Fargo and The Nueces County Record Star, was the parade marshal.

Les Brandes, former Nueces County assistant agriculture agent who was instrumental in growing the livestock show 50-plus years ago, served as the parade's grand marshal.

The seventh annual Livestock Show Alumni Cook-off had a record number of entries with 78.