OURAY COUNTY – The all-new Ouray County Fairgrounds are the place to be for the five-day celebration over Labor Day Weekend, combining ribbon-cutting ceremonies, traditional fair events and an outdoor dance with Opal Moon, the Ridgway Ranch Rodeo and the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association Pro-Rodeo.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are planned for the brand-new grandstands on Thursday, Aug. 28, at 4:30 p.m. and for the all-new Preifert arena and stock pens on Saturday, Aug. 30, at 4 p.m.
All Open Class Entries for the Ouray County Fair must be registered on Thursday, Aug. 28, from 9 a.m. until noon. Everyone is invited to enter and win a ribbon. Open Class contestants can compete in categories such as baked, canned and dried food, needlework, fancy work and crafts, arts and photography, floriculture and produce.
After Thursday’s grandstands ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Antique Tractor Pull (sponsored by the Thunder Mountain Flywheel Club) begins at 6 p.m., complete with the spectacle of over 30 picturesque vintage tractors from 1955 or earlier.
The Ouray County Fair continues on Friday, Aug. 29 and Saturday, Aug. 30, with traditional 4-H livestock events in categories, including horse, beef, swine, poultry, dog and sheep. This year’s 4-H Junior Livestock Sale takes place at a special time, starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 30. The money from the Livestock Sale supports Ouray County’s 4-H kids and programs. For more information on how to participate in the Livestock Sale, please refer to the 2014 Ouray County Fair Book.
This year’s fair also features a very special Pie Baking Contest and all-new Cookie Baking Contest, with generous cash prizes donated by Mountain Market. Best of Show Senior Division offers a cash award of $50. Best of Show Junior Division (under 15 years of age) offers a cash award of $25. For a list of categories and rules, please see the 2014 Fair Book.
The “Big Outdoor Dance,” featuring live music with Opal Moon, takes place Friday, Aug. 29, from 7-11 p.m. is The dance, which will be held in the Fairgrounds racetrack between the new grandstands and the new arena, s a fundraiser for the new grandstands project. Opal Moon, featuring Evelyn Roper, is a well- known and very popular western and rock band.
A portable planetarium, new this year, will be set up Saturday, Aug. 30, from 9 a.m to 1 p.m., in the 4-H Event Center’s Exhibit Hall, with tours on the hour and half-hour. Each tour lasts approximately 20 minutes, complete with a program focusing on comets and on the September sky. There will also be presentations on NASA’s research programs, and multiple solar telescopes set up outside the 4-H Event Center by members of the Black Canyon Astronomical Society.
The Ridgway Ranch Rodeo kicks off on Saturday, following the 4 p.m. Arena Ribbon Cutting ceremony – the first official program to be held in the new Fairgrounds Arena!
The action starts with a Calcutta, followed by a wild and wooly Mutton Bustin’ competition for 5-to-9 year olds, a mounted shooting competition and exhibition, and a series of team events including Doctoring, Branding, and the great crowd pleaser: Trailer Loading.
Mutton Bustin’ for 5-to-9 year olds will also be featured during the next two days of CPRA Pro-Rodeo events on Sunday and Monday Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 starting at 1 p.m.
The two-day CPRA Rodeo will feature classic crowd-pleasing rodeo events – barrel racing, bull riding, mixed team roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling and team roping – plus steer-packing, a relay race, a bed roll race and a rescue race for local competitors.
The Ouray County Rodeo Association is sponsoring this year’s dance, ranch rodeo and CPRA Pro-Rodeo, with all profits going toward the Ouray County’s Grandstands Phase I project.
Advance-sale passes, providing entry to all four great events, are being sold for $20.For more information, contact Susan Long, Fairgrounds Manager, at 970/626-3304 or Erin Stadelman, Ouray County Rodeo Associaion President at 970/275-6051.
The new grandstands at the Ouray County Fairgrounds were built by Southern Bleacher Company, and have been made possible by generous grants from the investment partners Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) and the El Pomar Foundation, as well as local donors. Ouray County has also committed a large contribution to the grandstands project. The new grandstands seat 1,468 spectators, plus a VIP/Press Box for another 20 folks.
The newly replaced rodeo arena, featuring all-new bucking and roping chutes, stock pens, and reconditioned arena footing, was made possible by a generous donation from an anonymous “angel donor,” along with money, time and expertise from the Ouray County Rodeo Association.