They call it a “Cash Mob,” but the promotion the First National Bank of Central Texas plans Saturday at the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo revolves around so-called Magic Money Bands.

Starting at 2 p.m. at the fairgrounds’ main gate off Bosque Boulevard, bank employees will pass out $500 worth of the bands in $10 denominations. Visitors can use them to pay for rides, games and food, according to a press release from the fair.

“As a bank, we strongly believe in supporting businesses and events that help our community grow and prosper,” First National spokesman Dan Ingham said in the press release. “The Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo has been enriching lives in this community for decades, so we are thrilled to be hosting our next Cash Mob at the fair.”

The bank started its Cash Mob events in 2016, and staffers have shown up at locales and events including the Downtown Farmers Market, Jubilee Food Market, Simply Delicious Bakery and Prosper Waco.

Ingham said he receives inquiries from nonprofit and for-profit businesses wanting a visit from the Cash Mob.

“It has become very popular, which is what we wanted,” Ingham said. “Our main goal is to promote locally owned businesses and nonprofits, and anything else we can accomplish is a bonus.”

Support from sponsors, including First National, make the fair and rodeo possible, fair spokeswoman Charva Ingram said.

“We love the idea of this promotion because it is all about giving back to the community, which fits our mission statement perfectly,” Ingram said.

The Magic Money Bands are an electronic token system that uses radio-frequency identification chips, she said.

“Magic Money Bands are reusable and reloadable, so they can be used throughout the fair this year and for years to come,” she said.

The bands can be reloaded using the Magic Money app or stations located throughout the fairgrounds.

Asked if the convenience of the bands could mean more spending during the fair’s run, Ingram said that is a possibility.

“If you drop off several teenagers and they run out of money on their bands, and if you’re feeling generous, you could use your Magic Money App to provide more funds for rides, food and attractions,” she said.

The Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. Close to 186,000 people attended the event last year.

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