"An American Tradition" is the theme of this year's Montezuma County Fair, and the annual event is shaping up to be a summer classic.
From July 31 to Aug. 3, everyone who is anyone will be enjoying the fair events, rodeos, car races and carnival while chowing down on a traditional Navajo taco, cheeseburger or slice of pizza.
Groups of youngsters wearing flannel and blue-jeans and arriving in pick-up trucks are sure to be the "in" crowd at the fairgrounds. But there will be no alcohol, and to further avoid the inevitable late-night rowdiness of wide-awake youth in the throes of a hot summer, events will close down at dusk this year.
"The carnival will be more for kids and it will shut down earlier to get away from a late night scene," said Kathi Marler, fair organizer.
But not to worry, there will be plenty of opportunity for reckless, smash-mouth behavior during the demolition derby on Friday night, August 2 at the fairgrounds race track.
If all goes as planned the bleachers will be packed with cowboys sporting Tough Enough to Wear Pink attire, a symbol of the fight against breast cancer.
The other main events for this year are the Junior Livestock Sale, chuck wagon dinner on Saturday at 5:30 p.m., a ranch rodeo, and plenty of 4-H animal showings and a pet parade.
"This year the ranch rodeo will be more open to the public and adults, not just youth," Marler said.
Another highlight this year: more prize money. An additional $2,000 was added to the ranch rodeo, and $2,500 more was added to the pot for the demolition derby. Tune into Red Rock radio 92 FM for a free ticket giveaway for the derby.
Bust out your best habanero peppers and chop up your best salsa for a Friday Chips and Salsa contest, a first for the fair.
The semi-finals of "The Voice - Sing Out For Families" competition will take place Friday, July 26, at the fairgrounds at 7 p.m.
The creative fundraiser benefiting the Pinon Project is the kick-off event for the fair. Contestants at the semis will perform a 90-second piece and can use a musical instrument.
"We decided to partner with the fair as a way to draw more of a crowd," said event organizer Wanda Martin.
A classic country dance takes place in the main barn for 4-H members on Saturday night. And there will be plenty of Americana, from rifle and archery contests, to cake decorating and corn shucking, to mud volleyball and red-neck horse shoes.
"It will be fun for all ages," Marler said.
For more information, go to www.montezumacountyfair.com or pick up a schedule at the CSU Extension office downstairs at the county building.