Last year’s popular ATV Rodeo and Lawnmower Race will be back for its second year at the 2019 Montezuma County Fair, which will run from Friday, July 26, to Sunday, Aug. 4.
“People had a great time last year, and when it ended, everyone said, ‘You should do it again,’” said Kelly Comisky, a member of the county fair’s board of directors.
The event will have three divisions, 50cc, for 6- to 11-year-olds; 70-90cc, for 12- to 15-year-olds; and 90cc-plus, for 16-year-olds and older.
Four categories will feature barrels, poles, flags and a team competition. Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded.
A $35 fee will be charged to entrants, but the event, which will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, at the Outdoor Arena, will be free for spectators.
Upgrading concertsComisky said fair organizers are planning to improve the musical offerings annually, and that effort began this year when organizers were able to schedule Reckless Kelly, a country-rock band from Austin, Texas, that calls its style “Americana.”
Fair officials are looking to bring in 1,000-plus to the concert, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday, July 26. Gates open at 5 p.m.
During the fair, alcohol will be sold on the premise for the concert only. Attendees are not permitted to bring in their own alcohol. Healthy attendance will help the fair bring in other big names in future years, Comisky said.
Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. Bleacher seating is available first-come, first-served, and the surrounding dirt area also will be open. Children ages 4 and younger can enter free.
Tickets are available at the Montezuma County Fair website – https://montezumacountyfair.com/ – by clicking on the “Get Concert Tickets Here” link at the top of the website.
Ranch RodeoAn annual favorite is the Ranch Rodeo. “Area ranches compete in everyday tasks you need to run a ranch,” Comisky said.
The event features team competitions composed of ranch hands from across the county. Each team member will be given a certain task to perform.
Last year, for instance, teams had to rope a steer and guide it into a trailer. Other teams had to pretend to brand a calf.
This is another event, slated for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, in the Outdoor Arena, that will be free to attend.
The special events for kids will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, with most events in the Main Barn or just outside the Main Barn.
Art lessons, storytelling, yoga sessions and show-and-tell featuring firetrucks from the Cortez Fire Protection District are all on tap. In addition, a free lunch is provided to kids. All events are free.
Connie Watkins, the fair board member who organizes Kids Day, said the event was moved to Friday to attract more families and children.
A hit every year, the demolition derby again should draw a crowd of more than 2,000 people eager to catch the bash and dash. Four categories will be on tap: a utility task vehicle race, tough truck competition, a truck demolition derby and a car demolition derby. Gates open for the event at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, and the show starts at 6 p.m. The entry fee for participants is $50, which will go to fund jackpots and cash awards.
Tickets for the event are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger.
4-H Club, FFA
Kacey Riedel, executive director of the Montezuma County CSU Extension, said 165 students, ages 8 through high school, are registered to compete in scores of livestock classes from poultry and rabbits right up to steers. “4-H is about building life skills, how to run a meeting, taking on leadership roles, keeping records, improving your public speaking,” Riedel said.
Building those skills is a component not only in the livestock competitions, where students will show animals they may have been raising for up to 1½ years, but in open class competitions with hundreds of categories.
“It’s an exhausting week but a rewarding one too. You’re able to watch these kids who have worked all year on their projects. It’s a lofty commitment these kids have made,” Riedel said.
Along with raising their critters, kids have been taking classes all year as part of 4-H Club’s mission to build life skills. For example, youngsters attended a workshop July 16 on the importance of financial planning and keeping accurate records. Judging for 4-H contests will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 29, and at 1 p.m. Monday, July 29, for open classes.
Livestock weigh-ins will be from 7 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, July 30.
Junior livestock show
After all the livestock shows, slated throughout the week, comes the Junior Livestock Sale at 2 p.m. in the Main Barn, where businesses and community members can show support for 4-H and the students.
Students who raised the livestock keep 94% of the sale price of their animal, and 6% goes to a 4-H stakeholder account to help all the kids with their livestock-rearing costs and to help 4-H with expenses. In addition, businesses or community members who don’t buy an animal can offer support by offering add-on donations to prices of the purchased livestock.
4-H kids are already visiting about town spreading the word about the fair. They are tasked to visit two businesses each to discuss their livestock projects and open class competitions and all the other fun available at the fair.
For tykes, ages 4 to 7, open classes and shows will be held for the “Cloverbuds” group as they prepare to enter actual competitions when they turn 8.
Open class competitions
In the open class competitions, Riedel said more than 1,000 entries are already on file, as county cooks, craftsmakers, quilters, gardeners, artists and photographers show their skills in hundreds of categories. Open class competitions will have two categories: a youth category for anyone 17 years old or younger, and an adult category for everyone 18 and older.
Thousands of open class competitions are grouped under Arts and Crafts, Fine Art, Community Open Flowers, Horticulture, Needle Arts, Pantry, Photography and Quilts. County residents known for their luscious cherry pie or killer salsa or who have captured that perfect sunrise in a photograph can still pre-register to enter hundreds of open class competitions online through midnight Saturday, July 27.
This year’s chili and salsa contests will offer $100 for first place, $50 for second place in four categories. The public can pay $2 to serve as tasting judges to cast votes for their favorites.
To register online go to the Montezuma County website, then click on the Departments & Contacts, then click Fair Board, then click on the “To enter Open and 4-H/FFA click here” tab.
Also, anyone interested in entering open class competitions can do so in person from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 28, and from 8 to 11 a.m. Monday, July 29, in the Main Barn at the fairgrounds.