Garfield County Fair crafts show draws multiple generations |

Garfield County Fair crafts show draws multiple generations

Alex Zorn

Karen Rhoades with some of the items she submitted in this year's fair.
Alex Zorn / Post Independent

This year’s Garfield County Fair drew record crowds as one of Garfield County’s signature summer events saw strong attendance numbers throughout the week.

Fair organizer Doreen Herriott said concert sales this year came in at $132,485, way up from $68,743 last year, and the first year the concert hit over $100,000 in sales.

She said attendance was up overall and she was especially pleased with the carnival this year, which sold out of the one-day unlimited passes this year. She said 1,000 passes were sold out.

While bull riding and rodeos may have drawn the biggest crowds, for the Rhoades family the highlights at the fair often take place in the South Hall at the Garfield County Fairgrounds where multiple family members have come home with first place ribbons from the crafts fair.

Karen Rhoades said she started competing in the fair again after she and her husband moved back to Colorado from Saudi Arabia in 2000. This year, she has 37 items submitted, including a variety of canned goods, vegetables and more.

“I started gardening for the fair in 2000 together with my daughter and her daughter would come help out,” she said.

With her granddaughter away at college, Karen said that only she and her daughter, Brenda Maes, submitted items this year along with Karen’s husband, Dick Rhoades.

“We’ve got a lot of vegetables this year,” Rhoades added.

She said she was impressed with all the new adult canners the fair had this year. One canning contestant who was not new to the culinary art, Jeanne Bottroff, submitted a total of 13 items to the fair, including marinated veggies, floral arrangements, even a tomato inside a ketchup bottle for the Grow Your Own Ketchup competition. But the one item that stood out was her gingerbread house, which ended up earning first place in its own category.

Bottroff said she has made a gingerbread house every year for Christmas for decades. This year, rather than throw out her masterpiece, she decided to save it and enter it in the fair. The house sat on display in the South Hall all week with the ribbon by its door.

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