Community Agriculture Alliance: Power of agriculture on display

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Those of us who live in Steamboat know the secret that summer is just as much fun as winter — and that it’s just as busy. Now that summer is upon us, we find ourselves trying to coordinate calendars to figure out where every family member is at any given time. One date that is circled on many calendars is Saturday, June 9 — the date of the annual Cayuse Classic Barnyard Bash, a family tradition celebrating Routt County’s agricultural heritage.

Sidney Peak Ranch is family central as the Community Agriculture Alliance hosts this annual event where kids of all ages can take part in a day filled with activities and fun, from wagon rides to storytelling; races reminiscent of a time gone by — egg, sack and stick horse; and the animal section with baby sheep, goats, lambs, alpacas, rabbits and horses.

Adults can chat with representatives from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Routt County Riders and Routt County Weed Control, while kids make old-fashioned toys, take pony rides and work hand in hand with a local veterinarian. Bigger kids are invited to take on the Steamboat PowerSports obstacle course to show off their skills on motorized off-road equipment.

There will be plenty of interactive things to do, including the Poker Run Trail Ride (must supply your own horse) and the infamous Outfitter Race, which is fun to watch and even more fun to participate in. We provide all the equipment and you provide the craziness.

The Cayuse Classic family fun continues into the evening with games of all varieties, from our special version of bingo to horseshoes, darts, boot toss and wine walk. Tickets are necessary for the adult evening games, and winners walk away with great prizes including wine and liquor, a half side of beef, specialty packages and the grand prize trip to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Children’s evening games are free.

The highlight of the Cayuse Classic Barnyard Bash is the barbecue featuring the “Baron of Beef” from Steamboat Smokehouse and homemade cheesecake. There will be hot dogs and hamburgers for the little cowboys and cowgirls. There also will be a live auction featuring Rod Hanna photography, a Jackie Grimaldi quilt, a Steamboat Ski Area lift chair and a mystery package that’s not to miss.

What happens when? Here’s Saturday’s schedule:

■ 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Hunter jumper and Western horse competitions

■ 3 p.m. Poker Run Trail Ride

■ 4 p.m. Outfitters race

■ 2 to 4 p.m. Outdoor free games, activities and educational opportunities

■ 4:30 to 6:45 p.m. Indoor games

■ 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Barbecue

The cost?

Come watch, wander and play. Most afternoon games are free. Horse rides are $3, and the PowerSports obstacle course is $5. The barbecue dinner costs $30 for Ag Alliance members and $35 for nonmembers. Kids younger than 12 eat free. Indoor games are $5 (one free with dinner ticket). Entry fees for the horse events vary by the event.

The Community Agriculture Alliance believes in the power of agriculture and invites you to attend the Cayuse Classic Barnyard Bash to help us celebrate our vibrant heritage. More information is available by calling the Community Agriculture Alliance office at 970-879-4370 or visiting www.communityagalliance.org.

Katie Brown is the director of sales for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. and a member of the Community Agriculture Alliance’s board of directors.

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