MONTROSE – Celebrating Montrose County’s rich agricultural history, its promising future and the people that make Montrose a unique Colorado destination, the Montrose County Fair and Rodeo has arrived for its 128th edition. This year’s theme: “Vintage. New. You.”
Highlighting much-loved rodeo and fair activities from the past, while including a host of new events including a dirt-biking Enduro X event and a bacon-eating contest, the Montrose County Fair Board has planned what promises to be one of the most fun, eventful and exciting events of the summer for the entire family.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Montrose County Fair Board President Doug Kimberlin says. “It’s going to be fun for everyone from kids to people who are a 100 years old.”
While some fair events already got underway last week, the Montrose County Fair and Rodeo gets a jolt of excitement on Friday, July 18, with the CPRA Rodeo beginning at 7 p.m. Rodeo events include bareback riding, breakaway roping, bull riding, steer wresting, team roping, and saddle bronc riding.
Launching right into its first full day of events on Saturday, July 19, the fair will feature a Pancake Breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. at the Cattlewoman’s Pavilion, followed by the popular Main Street Parade at 10 a.m. After that, the fair will go to the dogs with a dog costume contest, a dog demonstration and a safety dog demonstration.
The evening gets a spicy kickoff with the Olathe Credit Union Green Chili Cook-Off beginning at 5 p.m. and followed by what could be Saturday’s main event: Lawn games and a beard-and-mustache contest, starting at 6 p.m.
“The fair board decided to try some new things this year and the beard and mustache contest will be a fun and new event,” Montrose County Media Relations Manager Katie Yergensen says. “That will be coupled with lawn games including giant Jenga, lawn Twister, corn hole, and a Ping-Pong ball toss. This will all be free and fun entertainment.”
Saturday’s events conclude with a CPRA Rodeo beginning at 7 p.m.
On Sunday, attendees get back to their roots with a host of vintage fair events, including Cowboy Church by Cross & Spurs Cowboy Fellowship starting at 9 a.m. A fiddle contest takes place at noon, and a horseshoe tournament swings into action at 6 p.m.
New to the fair this year are themed weekday events; on Monday, July 21, the fair continues with Kids Day. Dedicated-to-youngsters events continue Monday with a cake demonstration at noon, a kids cupcake decorating event starting at 1 p.m., a puppet show at 2 p.m., a cutest baby contest at 5 p.m., and, for those parents whose kids are bursting with energy, a kiddie tractor pull, starting at 6 p.m.
Perhaps the most anticipated day of fair fun takes place on Tuesday, July 22, Bacon Day! Food-lovers can rejoice at 11 a.m. with a food art and marshmallow building contest, and again at 4 p.m. with the pork and Pepsi Garden at the Cattlewoman’s Pavilion.
“This will be a pork dinner and all the Pepsi you can drink for just five bucks,” Yergensen says.
The swine show starts at 5 p.m. and is, ironically, followed by the heart-stopping bacon eating contest at 6 p.m.
“The contest is to eat three pounds of bacon,” Yergensen says. “If you are the winner, you’ll win 30 pounds of bacon.”
Bacon Day concludes with the popular antique tractor pull at 7 p.m.
There is an entire lineup of events set for Wednesday, July 23, with its theme of Community Night, that everyone will be talking about. Beginning at 4 p.m. Community Night activities include the Chamber of Commerce Red Coats Barbecue, an old-fashioned carnival, a pie-eating contest, ag Olympics, calf dressing, mutton bustin’ finals and an egg-in-the-face event.
“Eggs will be sold for 50 cents a piece, and we’ve taken nominations for community leaders who will be sitting behind a screen and will be egged,” Yergensen says. “We have a really good list of people, and I am really excited about this one.”
The Montrose County Fair and Rodeo will focus on vintage events on Thursday, July 24, with its Throwback Thursday theme. The day will get started with a dairy show at 8 a.m., but will quickly move into hilariousness with the open cat show at 10 a.m. The Las Vegas-based comedic duo MindSurfers will have shows throughout Thursday, as will the country-clogging group Mama’s Wranglers.
The final weekend of the fair gets underway on July 25 at 9 a.m. with a kids goat show and the seniors coffee and contests event beginning at 9:30 a.m. The main event for Friday will be held at 6:30 p.m. when the fair hosts the Enduro X dirt bike race. At 7 p.m. Montrose County’s most talented country musician may just be found in the nationally organized Country Showdown.
“Contestants have the chance to advance to regional, state and national levels with an opportunity to win $100,000,” Yergensen says.
Saturday, July 26, is all about the Junior Livestock Sale at 1 p.m., with the ranch rodeo beginning at 6:30 p.m. All the two-steppin’ you can handle kicks off at 9 p.m. with the community dance.
The last and final event of the 2014 fair and rodeo takes place Sunday, July 27 with gymkhana at 1 p.m.
With over 900 open show classes, Yergensen emphasizes the many and varied opportunities for county residents to show off their talents at the fair. That, in combination with vintage events and new events, will lead, both Yergensen and Kimberlin agree, to this year’s fair being the best yet. They say it couldn’t have happened without the hard work of the Montrose County Fair Board, and the numerous fair sponsors who brought in over $30,000 is sponsorship money.
“Without them, we couldn’t do this,” Kimberlin says. “Next to the fair participants, the sponsors are the most important part of this fair. We have to have them and we appreciate them and all they do for the fair.”
See page 17 of this week’s Watch for a full schedule of events.