Mountain Fair brings people together through competition
Fly casting: Kenny Riley
Men’s woodsplitting: Aaron Stevens
Women’s woodsplitting: Olivia Pevec
Adult limbo: Justin Woelfle
Singles horseshoe: Gilberto Loya
Pie: Jasmine Liddington (cream), Jeff Liddington (exotic), Terry Rogers (fruit)
Cake: Vanessa Gilbert, Cholla Nicoll (exotic)
Some results not available at press time
For race results, see sports
You might not think of competition as a means of fostering unity, but that’s exactly what happens every year at Mountain Fair.
“It’s all about challenging and supporting everyone,” said Betty Hoops, who runs the hula hoop contest. “I try to make it about finding your power and playfulness and reaching your personal best.”
That’s an unusual attitude from a Guinness World Record holder, but she’s not alone. Blacksmith and four-time women’s woodsplitting champ Olivia Pevec had a similar perspective.
“There’s so many tough chicks, so the competition is fierce, but the mutual support is every bit as strong,” she said. “It’s a really intense bonding experience.”
Not all of the events are athletic. Among the most coveted prizes are those awarded for baking.
This year saw the birth of a dynasty with Jasmine Liddington taking best in show and the cream category while her father, Jeff, nabbed the exotic prize.
“I loved seeing the look in his eyes when I won,” she said. “He was really proud.”
An Aspen native, Jasmine grew up baking with her grandmother and father.
“It’s something very family oriented, and I think the way Mountain Fair does it is really special.”
Now on the front range, she makes the trip back for the fair almost every year, and took several category ribbons in the past before clinching the top prize. While her father’s banana rum pie came from a traditional Irish recipe, she usually has to tweak things to accommodate dietary restrictions. Her own intentionally simple pie used yogurt and fresh Palisade peaches.
“You can always find another way,” she said.
Of course, while it’s fun to participate, it’s particularly nice to win.
“Everybody knows who won the competitions,” Pevec said. “It’s sort of how you become queen or king of the fair.”
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