Steamboat Springs The 2000 Routt County fair is on its way and local residents will have plenty of opportunities to participate.
The fair officially runs from Aug. 19-26 but the buildup begins Aug. 5 with 4-H exhibit and a fashion revue at Hayden High School.
For 4-H and Future Farmers of America club members, the fair is their time to cash in on all the hard work they've put in on projects whether it was raising livestock or creating arts and crafts.
"It's the biggest event of the year," 4-H extension agent Jay Whaley said.
Last year, 110 head of livestock were sold for $135,000. The average price for steers was $2,700; lambs went for an average of $890; and pigs rang up $1,180, on average, Whaley said.
Many of the 4-H and FFA members have been raising animals since last November in hopes of having a winning showing at the fair and bringing in a good price when it comes time to sell.
Numerous prizes are given, including best of show, best herdsman, best showmanship and best overall.
Other 4-H categories include poultry, horticulture, cloth making and photography, just to name a few.
The biggest day for the young ranchers will be Aug. 26. At 4 p.m. the pre-sale barbecue starts. It's a key fund-raiser for 4-H. After the chow, at 6 p.m., the junior livestock sale begins. It's at that event that participants find out how much money they will get for their livestock.
"This is going to be the best fair ever," Whaley said.
Because membership in both 4-H and FFA are up this year, he's expecting to have one of the best turnouts in recent memory.
The deadline for signing up for 4-H events is Aug. 4.
Of course, the fair isn't restricted to events for young people; adults can show off their hard work, too.
The open-beef competition, in which anyone can have their cattle judged, begins at 11 a.m. Aug. 26. The deadline to enter the competition is 10 o'clock the morning of the event.
A wide variety of arts, crafts and foods will be on display and will be judged during the fair.
"That's a Routt County tradition," Deb Alpe said. "It's a pretty amazing display of all the talents in the county." Alpe is helping organize that part of the fair.
At 8 a.m. Aug. 26, the exhibit hall at the fairgrounds will be packed with canned goods, vegetables and crops, fleece, clothing, photographs, cut flowers, needlework, leatherwork, home-brewed beer and just about every other example of home hobbies, Alpe said.
"We're encouraging entries from people who have never entered before," she said.
The fair book shows the different types of categories in which people can enter. But don't let that list limit you.
"If folks don't see it in the fair book, we'll work it out," Alpe said.
Each display will be judged and the public is welcome to observe the judging process.
For people whose talent is apparent on top of a horse, there's an open event for them, too.
At 7 p.m. Aug. 25 the Ranch Rodeo begins. It's a fair tradition in which teams of amateur riders can test their skills in a relay race, a barrel race, team sorting and the cowboy luge. In the luge, a cowboy on a sled is pulled behind a galloping horse.
"That's a lot of fun," Jean Marrow said.
Marrow works at the extension office and is one of the main organizers of the fair.
The entry fee is $100 and sign-up opens at 5 p.m. the day of the event. Ten teams of five people will be allowed to compete. If more than 10 teams sign up, there will be a drawing to determine who will compete. Winners get their entry money back plus prizes.
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