By Lisa Vail
Archuleta County Fair Board
This year makes the 70th anniversary of the Archuleta County Fair. It is great to be back as a full fair this year. In addition to the popular livestock shows and competition, the Exhibit Hall will be open to the public to showcase 4-H and Open Class entries. There will also be rodeos, pie-eating contests, horseshoes, live music, food vendors and other fun activities.
The Archuleta County Fair Board is responsible for the overall preparation and logistics for the fair, but it is the many community volunteers that really make it happen.
One 4-H member, Makaela, age 12, encourages people to volunteer in order to support 4-H kids and all of their hard work. This is Makaela’s second year in 4-H and she is entering two goats and four chickens. The most important skills she has learned from her 4-H experience are responsibility (feeding, walking and caring for her animals) and the discipline to keep a regular schedule for them. Makaela loves science and her hero is Marie Curie. These skills will be important as she pursues her goal of being a science teacher. She said the fair is important to a lot of people and it can’t be done without our community volunteers. And an added benefit? Full admission to the fair.
We are also excited that Open Class entries are back this year. The Open Class includes Exhibit Hall items such as baked goods, sewing, quilts, photography, beer/wine/spirits, woodworking and fine arts. It also includes animals that are not in 4-H. So, bring your prized pet rabbit, turkey or pet goat to show off and be judged.
While the 4-H livestock shows and auction are a favorite of the fair, many 4-H kids do non-animal projects. Max, age 11, is competing for his third time in Rocketry and first time in Fly-fishing. Max won second place at the 2020 Colorado State Fair and is hoping to go back to state this year. He is putting together a tri-fold presentation with approximately 20 flies he has made and lots of facts about fly-fishing. His flies are made of elk, deer and rabbit hair, along with chenille, string and other components, and take five to 30 minutes to tie. His 4-H experience has helped him to become much more confident in public speaking and interviews.
Max’s sister, Nicoletta, age 9, is in her first year of 4-H. She will be entering an apron and a pillow in the Clothing Construction category. The most fun for her has been creating the apron with the fabric and thread of her choice, as well as learning to sew on a sewing machine in just a few months. She is very proud of her pillow as well, saying that when she saw the leaf-patterned fabric, “It called to me.” She hopes to earn a ribbon this year and eventually go to State Fair also.
If you would like to volunteer, please go to https://archuletacountyfair.com for a link to the Sign-Up Genius. There are a variety of four-hour time slots available for everything from driving the kid’s train to monitoring an entrance gate. Bring a friend to share the fun.
To enter in Open Classes, please go to https://archuletacountyfair.com and look up the 2021 Fair Book for the categories and rules. You can preregister online at FairEntry.com from July 10 to Aug. 3. Most entries will be taken Tuesday, Aug. 3, starting at 1 p.m. Perishable entries, e.g. flowers and baked goods, will be taken Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Judging will be Wednesday, Aug. 4.
Max said it’s a great opportunity to challenge yourself, compete and have fun.