Community Agriculture Alliance: Fair built on locals’ participation

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— When it comes to history and tradition, few entities in Routt County can compare with the Routt County Fair. Celebrating Aug. 13 to 16 at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden, the annual Routt County Fair is “Alive at 95.” A great variety of opportunities are available for participation in old and new events, including Freestyle Reining, Karaoke, homemade wine and beer competition, You Be the Judge and a Demolition Derby for locals.

The Routt County Fair is built on locals’ participation and entries. Thanks to this exceptional involvement, the Routt County Fair is among the best in Northwest Colorado, possibly the state, for open-class entries, making for a jampacked (pardon the pun) and beautiful Exhibition Hall. Routt County residents can enter just about anything they’ve made or grown, including decorated cakes, Lego creations, scrapbooks, photographs, hay, jelly, muffins, lettuce, petunias, artwork, beer and so much more.

It’s easy to partake. Gather your goods and head to the fairgrounds from 1 to 8 p.m. Aug. 12, fill out an entry tag and cross your fingers. Open-class judging is Aug. 13. The hall is open during judging, and it’s always exciting to see the red, white and blue ribbons start popping up all over with great anticipation for the much-coveted purple ribbons presented to the grand champions in all categories.

Then get ready for some metal crunchin’, engine smokin’ fun at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14. Demolition Derby is a generation-binding, intense, nonstop, heavy-metal mayhem of collisions. If you really want to get it on the action, build your own derby car. Entries are due July 28.

New to the fair this year is Freestyle Reining at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 15. This increasingly popular event is mesmerizing for audiences. The maneuvers performed in a reining pattern are based on moves needed while herding and roping cattle on the range and include fast and slow loping circles with flying changes of leads, sliding stops, spins and rollbacks. It has been compared to freestyle figure skating.

Also new this year is a contest to benefit the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Program. “You Be the Judge” is a contest where fair-goers can participate and vote on their favorite. You are invited to make a pink scarf to be donated to the Pink Scarf Campaign. Only one entry per exhibitor may be entered in the contest, but more scarves will be accepted for donation. All entries should be pink and about 8 inches by 60 inches. Enter from 1 to 8 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Exhibit Hall.

You can’t really call yourself a “local” until you’ve experienced the fair, so pull on your boots or strap on your sandals and be part of this valley’s rich tradition and heritage at the 95th annual Routt County Fair.

Look for all the latest fair information at www.routtcountyfair.org or contact Fair Manager Jill Delay at 970-276-3068 or jdelay@co.routt.co.us.

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