2023 Garfield County Fair and Rodeo scheduled for last week in July
The 2023 Garfield County Fair and Rodeo has been scheduled for July 23-30 of next year, a Monday news release states.
The 2022 Garfield County Fair ran from July 31-Aug. 7, which means the 2023 is running a week earlier.
With the new schedule passing 2-1 by the Garfield County commissioners, Garfield County Fairgrounds and Events Manager Chris Floyd said the dates struck the best balance between all aspects of scheduling the annual event.
“It’s like trying to align the stars to best meet everybody’s needs and availability,” Floyd said in the release. “For 2023, the fair board recommended moving the fair back into the last week of July to accommodate a carnival, which is an important aspect of the event.”
Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson voted against the new fair schedule, saying it should be held later in the year to allow more time for 4-H and open class projects to come to fruition, and for produce and livestock to flourish.
“We used to have the fair in September, and that gave the kids more time with their animals and allowed their vegetables to grow until harvest,” Samson said. “Cattle, lambs, hogs, chickens, now they all have to show them about five weeks earlier than they used to.”
Commissioners Tom Jankvosky and John Martin supported the dates recommended by the fair board, the release states.
“Times have changed, businesses have changed and practices have changed,” Martin said in the release. “The fair is now driven by economics and scheduling the rodeo, carnival and other offerings outside the county that we depend on to raise revenue.”
Jankovsky agreed with Samson, but said the “carnival is an important piece of the fair.”
FAIR BOARD MEMBERS SELECTED
The commissioners also voted to fill four open seats on the fair board, the release states.
Oliviya Daugherty, Levy Burris, and Leah Bergener were unanimously reappointed to seats on the board after all expressed the desire to remain in those roles after their terms had expired. Six additional applicants submitted interest in joining the board, and after deliberation, the commissioners appointed Blair Bracken to fill a vacated seat for the remainder of a term ending Oct. 15, 2023.
“We have some really good people who applied to be on the board, so this is a really tough decision,” Samson said in the release. “I want to say thank you to our fair board. Our events continue to be very successful, and I put that on the shoulders of our fair board.”
The commissioners implored the other applicants who were not appointed to apply again in the future if more vacancies become available.
Rounding out the appointments, Duston Harris was named royalty committee chair for next year and Bracken was again selected as the open class chair in 2023.
“Blair has done an admirable job as open class chair, and I know the public service she has given to the city of Rifle, as well as to the fair, has been outstanding,” Samson said. “It’s a great problem to have an overabundance of talented people applying.”
Information regarding the 2023 Garfield County Fair and Rodeo will be published on the fair website as planning continues for the 85th anniversary event.
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