By Leslie Wustrack
Special to The PREVIEW
Founded in 1951, the first Archuleta County Fair was initiated by local ranchers as a two-day event to showcase registered cattle and 4-H animals and as an opportunity for families to join together to relax, share and have fun.
Sixty-seven years later, the fair has evolved into a four-day event that holds true to its beginnings while reflecting the changing demographics and interests of the local community.
“The Archuleta County Fair is a fun-filled event that truly has something for everyone,” stated fair board president Jason Cox.
The fair will be held Thursday, Aug. 2, through Sunday, Aug. 5, at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds, 344 U.S. 84. Free parking is available on site, with special disabled parking accommodations.
The daily gate entry fee is $4 for adults, $3 for children ages 4-12 and free entry for children 3 and under. All live music, children’s activities, live animal showmanship and exhibit-viewing is free. There are additional entry charges for laser tag, and airsoft. If you were ever wondering how to get into airsoft, a fair like this is the place to do it. Chuckwagon Dinner, the Ranch Rodeo and the newest event: Bares, Broncs, ‘n Bulls. More details are available on the fair’s website, archuletacountyfair.com.
Cox added, “The fair’s centerpiece will always be our 4-H youth. But the fair provides a full calendar of fun and exciting activities for everyone in our community.”
In addition to Friday night’s new Bares, Broncs ‘n Bulls, the fair now offers seven free live music shows, laser tag for all ages and celebrity tug-of-war in the mud.
Dates, times and more information for each of the following activities can be found on the calendar page of the fair’s website, archuletacountyfair.com:
• Fly-casting: Avid fishermen, this is your chance to show off your fly-casting skills.
• Pie-eating: Whether you’re interested in winning or just watching, this fun event will put a smile on your face.
• Horseshoes: Bring a partner or we’ll find you one.
• Open Class exhibit entries: Everyone can enter. If sewing, cake decorating, beer-making, fossil collecting, woodworking or floral display don’t fit your skill sets, there’s more than likely another contest category that will. Rules and regulations are on the fair’s website.
• Petting zoo: This all-ages area is sure to give comfort and fun.
• Live music shows: Seven different musical acts, all free.
• 4-H Chuckwagon Benefit Dinner: Always a sell-out, the Saturday night barbecue dinner tickets can be purchased from a 4-H member or at the fairground’s information booth.
• Saturday night dance: The High Rollers will play rousing sets of country, rock, blues, western swing and bluegrass.
• Junior Livestock Auction: This event is showtime for the 4-H’ers. The dollars their animals earn will ensure the following year’s work. Open to all bidders.
• Ranch Rodeo: the traditional rodeo of teams.
• Wild Man Phil and his exotic animals and Dr. Barb Shaw’s Wacky Science Fun: free shows for all ages.
• Celebrity Tug of War in the Mud: watch the town police, the county sheriff’s deputies and the fire department battle and get dragged through the mud.
• 4-H showmanship and exhibits.
• Educational booths, vendors (ranging from food to tractors) and a beer/wine tent.
Volunteers are needed for the annual event. Each volunteer receives a free t-shirt, gate passes, training and an invitation to the annual Thank You Volunteers lunch. Signing up to volunteer is easy by visiting the fair’s website, archuletacountyfair.com, or by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.
The 67th annual Archuleta County Fair will be held Aug. 2- 5 at the fairgrounds, 344 U.S. 84. The fairgrounds are located just southeast of the U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 intersection.
For a full calendar of events, sponsorship information, exhibit forms and vendor information, visit the fair’s new website: archuletacountyfair.com.
By Leslie Wustrack