Community Agriculture Alliance: The gate’s open at the Routt County Fair | SteamboatToday.com

Community Agriculture Alliance: The gate’s open at the Routt County Fair

Jill Delay
For Steamboat Today

This is an open invitation to all Routt County locals, neighbors and visitors. Entering its 103rd year, the Routt County Fair is an event so rich with heritage and local lore that we like to say "you can't call yourself a local until you've experienced the Routt County Fair."

Experience one of Routt County's longest running traditions – the Routt County Fair Aug. 11 to 20 at the fairgrounds in Hayden. While sometimes confused with the rodeo grounds in Steamboat Springs, the Routt County Fairgrounds are located in Hayden just south of Highway 40 on Poplar Street on the same tract of land for the last 103 years.

We've come a long way since 1914, but the "feeling" of the fair remains the same, according to Sandy Boston of Hayden, who says, "Because no matter where you're from, a big city or a little town, the Routt County Fair makes you feel like you've come home."

The Routt County Fair was born of a time when "children did chores, arrowheads could be found on the back 40 and ice was cut from the river." Since then we've seen "the outhouse hauled away, the plow horse replaced by a John Deere and farm kids majoring in agribusiness." The fair honors the pioneers who gathered at the Routt County fairgrounds 103 years ago to share laughter and lies.

Since the grandstands were built in 1916, the Fair Advisory Board has hosted champion riders and legendary bucking stock. Since 4-H clubs were organized in the 1920s and a junior livestock sale launched in 1959, clubs are generating in excess of $100,000, which is used to purchase livestock or fund college tuition.

Since exhibits were added in 1929, the Routt County Fair has encouraged education and excellence in youth, production standards for cattlemen and woolgrowers and civic pride in visitors.

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The creative handiworks of local artists, cooks, photographers, gardeners, bakers, quilters, moms, dads and youth are displayed in the Exhibit Hall where you will find hand-carved furniture, quilts, baked goods, produce, flowers, canned goods, photographs and much more. Prizes are awarded to the best of best in each category, and everyone is encouraged to enter.

Don't miss out on one minute of all the excitement and tradition at the Routt County Fair. The fair will celebrate the community's heritage with several days of horse and livestock shows, home arts exhibits, demolition derby, live music, gymkhanas, bull riding, heritage arts demonstrations, funnel cakes, hearty barbecue, neighbors and family-friendly fun.

From Aug. 11 to 13, there will be an open horse show, cornhole tournament with a beer garden, horse shoe pitching contest and team sorting,. From Aug. 14 to 19, there will be 4-H shows and activities, on Aug. 16, home arts entries are due, and Aug. 17 to 20, the fair is in full swing.

For a complete schedule and the latest fair information, visit http://www.routtcountyfair.org or follow the Routt County Fair & Fairgrounds on Facebook and Twitter.

Jill Delay is fairgrounds manager and fair coordinator for the Routt County Fair.

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