By Leslie Wustrack
Special to The PREVIEW
Archuleta County Fair Board President Jason Cox just announced the Archuleta County Fair Board’s choices for the 2018 Archuleta County Fair honorees.
Cox stated, “With great respect, the fair board is proud that the 67th annual Archuleta County Fair will be dedicated to the memory of Elaine Johnson Nossaman for her many years of dedication and engagement.“
Annually, the county fair is dedicated posthumously to an individual who has made notable contributions to the fair.
Nossaman was a lifelong educator and volunteer whose significant 4-H efforts helped to establish the program in Archuleta County. The daughter of Charles and Elizabeth King Johnson, her early education began in Archuleta County country schools. Nossaman’s teaching career began with an emergency teaching credential in Arboles during World War II, the Bayles School District, and then after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and as a teacher in Alamosa and Dulce (New Mexico). After retiring as a paid teacher, Nossaman became a tutor for students needing supportive help. Additionally, she volunteered at Pagosa Springs Elementary School and the Summit Christian Academy.
Prior to the establishment of the fair in Archuleta County, as volunteers, Elaine and her husband, Royal, taught the principles of 4-H to children in Bayles. Eventually, her dedicated efforts aided in the establishment of the Archuleta County Fair in Pagosa Springs. Elaine became a 4-H leader in cooking, sewing, knitting and leather crafts. She exhibited and won many fair awards for her canned goods and sewing projects. Throughout their childhoods, she helped both her children and grandchildren with their 4-H projects. In 2005, Elaine was selected as the Fair Lady at the 2004 Archuleta County Fair. She passed away in 2015.
Cox added, “Every year, the fair depends on a hundred plus quality volunteers. The fair could not exist without their support thus every year one ‘Super Volunteer’ is honored by the fair board. This year, the annual award for the 2018 Super Volunteer will recognize Muriel Cronkhite.”
A Pagosa Springs resident for over 30 years, Muriel and her husband, Paul, have three children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Her many community commitments include preparing food boxes for St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and serving as a docent for the Fred Harman Art Museum. Muriel was a founder of the Loaves and Fishes community lunch program. She particularly enjoys volunteering at the Archuleta County Fair to interact with all the children, including the 4-H youth. Last year, Muriel staffed the fair’s front gate collecting entrance fees, passing out wristbands and providing information to fair-goers.
She has exhibited her needlepoint and won a prize for her submission of braided breakfast bread in the baked goods category.
of the Year
The last honoree award granted by the fair board is the Super Superintendent of the Year.
Cox stated, “This year, the award will be given to an amazingly civic-minded couple who have remained engaged and dedicated throughout their lives in Pagosa Springs: John and Jean Taylor.”
The Super Superintendent of the year is awarded to a volunteer(s) who has/have taken on responsibility of overseeing and managing a particular event at the fair. Both Jean and John served as superintendents for Field Crop Exhibits. In addition, John supervised the photography exhibition and Jean supervised the vegetable display. They also developed an important educational display on non-native noxious weeds.
John was honored as the Western Heritage Gentleman in 1997 and Jean was recognized as the Fair Lady in 2004. The Taylors have a long family history in Archuleta and Hinsdale counties that goes back to the 1880s and 1890s, when their families homesteaded in the area. For more information on the honorees, visit archuletacountyfair.com.
More about the fair
The 67th annual Archuleta County Fair will be held Aug. 2 through 5 at the fairgrounds, located at the juncture of U.S. 84 and U.S. 160, in east Pagosa Springs.
Daily live music, a ranch rodeo, a horse show, family entertainment and educational activities, games for kids, exhibits, 4-H animals/science, horseshoe and fly-casting contests, livestock showmanship, the annual livestock sale, and the annual Saturday night dance and 4-H chuckwagon dinner are just a few of the exciting features. Everyone is invited to participate; there is something for all family members.
For a full calendar of events, sponsorship information, exhibit forms and vendor information, visit the fair’s new website: archuletacountyfair.com.
By Leslie Wustrack