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Rural values and the county fair

If you want to understand the values that define a rural area in America, you need to know its people and their heritage, and nothing provides a better stage for a display of fundamental country values than a good old fashioned county fair.

And there is an extra benefit to attending a traditional county fair: You’ll have the time of your life!

The 59th annual Archuleta County Fair takes place Aug. 6-8. This community event is a highlight at the end of the summer season, providing entertainment and education for everyone who participates and attends.

Entries in the open classes for the fair must be delivered to the Fair Building on the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 4, between 1 and 8 p.m. The entries are then judged on Thursday, Aug. 5, and the Fair Building is reopened the morning of Friday, Aug. 6.

A fair carnival will be open for business Friday through Sunday with all your favorite rides. Pre-event discounted tickets are now on sale at the CSU Extension Office. For $15 you can purchase a wristband to use for one day — and ride unlimited times. What a deal.

Once again this year, the Archuleta County Fair will have a beer garden and it will be open throughout the fair.

Fair days are full of entertainment, games, exhibits and demonstrations, with gates opening at 9 a.m. Shows including horses, dogs, rabbits and goats are among the fair shows offered this year. Try your hand at the Cowboy Fast Draw competition or check out the B-2 Stealth Bike. The Market Beef contest held Friday evening is anxiously awaited by ranchers and spectators alike.

Saturday’s schedule is jam-packed. Check out the Horseshoe Tournament and Ranch Rodeo. Work up an appetite for the Chuckwagon Dinner and then head on over to the Livestock Tent. The Junior Livestock Sale is the culmination of lots of hard work by 4-H members, and serves to link Archuleta County with its roots, providing support to the 4-H youngsters who have worked hard and dedicated themselves to their projects. After a full day, boogie on over to hear some live music with Tim Sullivan and the Narrow Gauge Band.

Exhibits and demonstrations, as well as games and entertainment, continue from Saturday into Sunday with several highlights. A pancake breakfast and a gospel worship service will be held during the morning. The Kid’s Rodeo and Lee Sterling Chili Cookoff will vie for your time on Sunday afternoon. Don’t forget to take a walk through the 4-H and Open Class Exhibits before you leave.

The Archuleta County Fair is a multifaceted affair, loaded with shows, demonstrations and games going on simultaneously at the fairgrounds located just south of town on U.S. 84. There is no such thing as boredom at the fair, just not enough time to do everything available during the three-day event. Everyone is invited: young and old, residents and tourists, old-timers and newcomers. Let’s all go to the fair and enjoy some Boots, Buckles, and Barrels of Fun on Aug. 6-8. Enjoy some of the best things this small part of rural America has to offer.

For more information about the Archuleta County Fair, call the CSU Extension office, 264-2388.