By Sharon Jennings | Special to The SUN
All are welcome to the Archuleta County Fair and encouraged to drop in and experience a county fair right here. Come country casual and have a good time perusing the creative entries in the Exhibit Hall, enjoying fare from a variety of food truck options, checking out the livestock and shows in the Hughes Pavilion, dancing to the live bands, and simply sharing time with family and friends.
The fair is a community event open to all and is for the benefit of the entire community and visitors.
Admission to the Fairgrounds is free again this year, with gates opening at 9 a.m. daily Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 3-6, and closing around midnight Friday and Saturday. Certain events and activities will have a charge to participate in, though many activities are also free. The fairgrounds are off Mill Creek Road and U.S. 84.
The Archuleta County Fair is a longtime tradition, dating back to a 1951 meeting of local ranchers and the county Extension agent where the group decided to initiate a county fair. Ray Macht was elected chairman and the first fair was in September 1951 geared toward providing a showplace for locally owned, registered cattle and 4-H animals. The fair was deemed a competition and celebration of community while also offering a time to relax and share.
The “Timeless Tradition” of the Archuleta County Fair continues for its 72nd year fulfilling the mission to unite the community and preserve our history while embracing growth. We support that by building memories, encouraging community involvement, creating learning opportunities, providing entertainment, and developing healthy competition for all Archuleta County 4-H/Future Farmers of America and for Open Class competitors of the fair.
In addition to 4-H competitions, the fair has grown through the years to include rodeos, live music and dancing, games, exhibits and demonstrations. Our Friday night rodeo is a collaboration with the Pagosa Springs Medical Center and the Tough Enough to Wear Pink organization.
Our 4-H members show their animals including rabbits, goats, steers, chickens, pigs and lambs during fair week, with the 4-H Dog Show happening July 22 in the CSU building and the 4-H Horseshow on July 29 in the arena, finishing with the Gymkhana on July 30.
A highlight of the fair is the 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner and Junior Livestock Auction Saturday evening. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased from 4-H.
Exhibits created by 4-H and county residents will include the work of crafters, quilters, painters, woodworkers, seamstresses, photographers, home beer and wine brewers, and more. Baked goods, canned foods, fresh flowers and vegetables can also be entered and displayed. All are encouraged to finish projects and enter them for judging prior to the opening of the fair.
The numerous divisions, complete rules and entry deadlines for exhibitors are listed on the fair website, archuletacountyfair.com under “Exhibits / Rules.” The Exhibit Hall, open daily 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, will be filled with their entries.
A grand opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting for the Hughes Pavilion will take place Saturday at 4 p.m. just before the Chuckwagon Dinner. Speakers will give a short history and share the future of the fairgrounds/rodeo grounds. The fair’s daily schedule and activities are subject to change, so check the website often for updated schedules, events and other fair information.
Email email@example.com should you have questions, or leave a message at (970) 264-8424.