Crunch time: Come crash the final days of the 2021 Garfield County Fair |

Crunch time: Come crash the final days of the 2021 Garfield County Fair

Kids ride the YoYo swing flyer ride at the Garfield County Fair carnival on Wednesday evening.

A parade, carnival rides and vehicles smashing into each other, among more fun-filled activities, mark the end of the Garfield County Fair this weekend.

So, if you missed the earlier action, there’s still plenty of time to simply come check out your favorite barnyard animals live in person.

A round-robin showmanship contest is slated for 2 p.m. Friday, while all 4-H events are given a final hurrah with the livestock awards announcements and junior livestock sale slated for midday Saturday.

“I think one of the best things that you can do — and something that I’ve done with my kids for a long time and even back when I was a kid — is go to Sonic and get a (blast), then take your kids to the fair and just let them go around to see the animals,” Pollard said.

But it’s just no fair without a parade. This year’s parade, themed Roaring ’20s, is slated for 10 a.m. Saturday, and with Railroad Avenue now open to traffic (there’s construction downtown), the procession of floats can smoothly run through the heart of Rifle.

“We haven’t had the parade in a while due to COVID, so expect that to be pretty busy,” Alpine Bank Rifle branch Vice President Larry Stewart said.

A sneak peak, Stewart said Alpine’s float will be adorned in “speakeasy” style decor.

“Right before the break here on the fairgrounds, we’re gonna have a strongman competition,” Stewart said.

That’s right. If barn animals and Saturday’s action-packed demolition derby don’t catch your fancy, come check out the Strongest of the Strong competition slated for 9 a.m. Saturday at the outdoor arena track.

Meant for both men and women, the competition will be highlighted by quirky events like the axle press, farmer’s deadlift hold and the odd object carry, among other barometers of physical and mental aptitude.

Later on Saturday, the outdoor fairgrounds arena will fill with motor heads banging into each other at top velocity. According to the county fair website, the goal is simple: the last operating vehicle wins.

“Vehicles are equipped with seat belts, rollover bars and cages inside to protect the drivers,” it states online. “When a vehicle can no longer move, its flag goes up and it’s all over until the winning driver extricates out to celebrate on top of the vehicle. Watch as daredevil drivers crash and smash their way to glory under the lights.”

Being it’s the first live derby at the Garfield County Fair since 2019, Stewart said it should be a big event. Meanwhile, Sunday will mark the end of the fair with the monster truck rally.

“A lot of people are looking forward to it,” he said of Saturday’s demo derby. Sunday, a good way to kick it out would be going to the monster truck event.”

The Monster Truck Insanity Tour comes equipped with a tough truck and UTV racing championships event, a monster truck ride experience and quad wars, where riders go handlebar to handlebar on their fully-built race quads, it states on the fair website.

Finally, catch a ride at the carnival, which will be open all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Asked what he looks forward to the most, Stewart couldn’t help but highlight the parade.

“We put a lot of time and effort into it,” he said. “And when you’re walking down the parade float and you’re seeing all the kids on the side happy, I think that’s a pretty cool event.”

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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