By Terri Lynn Oldham House
The 70th anniversary of the Archuleta County Fair will bring together people to celebrate what is unique about living in Archuleta County.
The 2021 Archuleta County Fair officially opens at 9 a.m. today and runs through 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8.
To welcome you back, general admission will be free this year, which includes the Livestock Tent, Exhibit Hall, Activity Tent and food vendors. There will be a charge for the Friday and Saturday rodeos, with tickets available at the gate.
A limited slate of fair events was held virtually last year, with most festivities canceled due to the pandemic. We urge everyone attending this year’s fair to exercise common sense when it comes to public health.
A staple at every year’s county fair is 4-H livestock. Contests are held to reward 4-H participants for the care they take in raising and presenting their steers, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and turkeys. These are animals that the kids have raised and cared for since the spring. New this year is the alpaca show.
The Chuckwagon Dinner is Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by the much-anticipated annual livestock auction, which gets underway at 6 p.m. This event will be the payoff for 4-H livestock projects.
4-H has been one of the leading youth organizations in the nation for more than 100 years. The program helps youth enhance their communities and their lives.
The learned experience of the older 4-H members is shared with those who are following in their footsteps. Considering that some of those youngsters are handling steers that average some 1,300 pounds, safety is of utmost importance.
4-H Coordinator Becky Jacobson shared that one of her favorite moments of the Archuleta County Fair is watching high school senior 4-H participants assisting the first-year 4-H members, who are as young as 8 years old, during the master showman contest.
“It is the culmination of all the years they have put into 4-H and they are giving back,” she explained while attempting to hold back her tears. “They are being patient, careful and watching out for the safety of the younger participants.”
The fair is the time for those 4-H’ers to show off the culmination of a year of dedication to completing their many 4-H projects and discovering what ribbons they have been awarded.
You will have the opportunity to check out 4-H members’ work in a variety of projects including rocketry, clothing, scrapbooking, woodworking and more.
Open class entries are back at this year’s fair. You will find items such as quilts, sewing, baked goods, photography, fine arts, beer/wine/spirits, woodworking and more. You might even find your neighbor’s prized pet rabbit, turkey or pet goat in the open class division.
There will be painting, pie-eating contests, dancing, Wild Man Phil and his exotic animals, Aikido martial arts demonstrations and more at the fair.
Rodeos are another highlight of the Archuleta County Fair.
The exciting Bares, Broncs and Bulls Rodeo kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday night in the rodeo arena. The evening closes with live music by Tim Sullivan from 9 to 11:30 p.m. There will be a Saturday rodeo and the Kid’s Rodeo on Sunday, too.
We salute the Archuleta County Fair Board, CSU Extension staff and the many community volunteers that are making this year’s event “A Timeless Tradition.”
Be sure to check out the calendar of events in this week’s paper