Community Ag Alliance: Back roads and best friends — 104th annual Routt County Fair | SteamboatToday.com

Community Ag Alliance: Back roads and best friends — 104th annual Routt County Fair

An open invitation to all Routt County locals, neighbors and visitors. Entering its 104th 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." Enjoy one of Routt County's longest running traditions — the Routt County Fair Aug. 16 to 19 at the fairgrounds in Hayden.

While sometimes confused with the rodeo grounds in Steamboat Springs, the Routt County Fairgrounds are located in Hayden, south of U.S. Highway 40 on Poplar Street on the same tract of land for the past 104 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 said, "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 in 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 104 years ago to share laughter and stories.

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 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.

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 the 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. Aug. 10 to 12 will be the open horse show, horse shoe pitching contest and team sorting; Aug. 13 to 18 is 4-H shows and activities; Aug. 15 home arts entries are due; and Aug. 16 to 19 the fair is in full swing.

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Meet your friends and neighbors at the 104th Annual Routt County Fair! For a complete schedule and the latest Fair information, visit routtcountyfair.org or follow the Routt County Fair & Fairgrounds on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Text 2018rcfair to 888777 to receive Routt County Fair updates via text.

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