Montezuma County Fair starts with Celtic Day fanfare

Monday, July 31, 2017 3:19 PM
Chuck Thacker heaves a stone during the Celtic Day games Saturday as part of the Montezuma County Fair.
Derrick Haisman tosses the sheaf during the Celtic Day games Saturday.
Amita Crowley learns to throw the weight at the Celtic Day games Saturday as part of the Montezuma County Fair.
Gypsyfire entertains with Irish music at Celtic Day Saturday as part of the Montezuma County Fair.

The first full day of the Montezuma County Fair focused on kilts and cabers.

Saturday was christened “Celtic Day” by the Fair Board, which added the event as part of an effort to attract fairgoers on days with fewer scheduled 4-H events. Celtic athletes from around the Four Corners came to the Indoor Arena at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds to give demonstrations of eight traditional Scottish Highland Games. Bagpipers and other Celtic musicians played on the indoor stage from 10 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m.

Several Celtic groups were represented at the fair, including the Celtic Festivals in Aztec, New Mexico, and Moab, Utah. Dale Rutledge, of Bloomfield, came with members of the Scottish-American Military Society, who performed a color guard ceremony at noon. He also brought some of his children, dressed in kilts to match his.

“We’re to celebrate Celtic heritage,” he said.

The athletes showed fairgoers of all ages how to toss sheaves, throw weights and perform other feats of strength, while others advertised the Celtic festivals in new Mexico and Utah at nearby booths.

While many of the athletes and musicians came from outside the county, a few Montezuma County residents helped out as well, like Assistant City Engineer Nicolas Stoker, who played the bagpipes Saturday morning.

Fair organizers said they hoped to make Celtic Day an annual part of the County Fair.

“You don’t have to be Scottish to have fun,” Fair Board President Don Janz said.