Fair to celebrate anniversary

Board wants public's logo, design ideas for 90th birthday

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Though the theme for the Routt County Fair has varied over the years, the concept of supporting the area's agricultural roots has remained the same.

"We want to stay as traditional as possible," said Byron Dean, president of the fair's board of directors. "We never venture away from the reason that we're having the fair, and that's typically for the youth exhibits."

This year, in mid-August, the Routt County Fair will celebrate its 90th anniversary.

Such a big milestone warrants a professional theme and logo, Dean said. In past years, youths in the 4-H program have designed the theme and logo.

This year, the board is soliciting ideas for a theme and logo from the public. The winner of the contest will receive $250, a pass to the fair, a T-shirt and the publicity of winning. The theme and logo will be displayed on the fair book, awards, T-shirts, posters, a Web page and more.

The fair's schedule has been drafted and includes traditional and new events, such as a carnival with rides and games that will run from Aug. 18 through 22.

Other newer events include an ice cream social and talent show, working ranch dog and ranch horse events, and appearances by Abbie the Clown.

Youths involved with 4-H will organize a youth volleyball tournament, an educational scavenger hunt and a stall decorating contest, said 4-H agent Jay Whaley.

"It's a great educational event for our community and really shows off agriculture in the valley," Whaley said. "It's great to see the success of our kids and all the hard work they put into raising their animals."

A highlight will be performances by the Western Aires, a mounted horse-riding group that does precision riding.

"We have quite the lineup this year," said Terry Doherty, fair board coordinator.

The fair will begin with open horse shows Aug. 14 and 15; fair exhibits will be checked in by Aug. 18, and the fair will come to a close Aug. 22.

The fair started as a celebration of the area's heritage in agriculture and was a social event, Doherty said. Those purposes and values have continued through the years, she said.

"It kind of epitomizes the pride and heritage, and what the whole valley is trying to do. They're trying to preserve that heritage," she said. "This is just one more piece of the tradition that we're trying to preserve."

All theme and logo designs should be submitted by Feb. 5 and can be dropped off in the County Commissioners Office or the Routt County Extension Office in the Routt County Courthouse Annex on Sixth Street. They also can be mailed to P.O. Box 1000, Hayden, CO 81639. The fair's board of directors will choose a design at its Feb. 11 meeting, Doherty said.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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