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Garfield County Fair and Rodeo back to its roots

Ryan Hoffman
rhoffman@citizentelegram.com
Colby Hedberg, 4, holds on for dear life in the mutton bustin’ event during family rodeo night last year.
Ryan Hoffman / Citizen Telegram |

2016 Garfield County Fair and Rodeo

Monday, Aug. 1

7:30 a.m. • Poultry weigh in – Indoor Arena

9 a.m. • Rabbit weigh in – Indoor Arena

9 a.m.-6 p.m. • Open Class entries accepted for all departments.

9:30 a.m. • Poultry exhibitor’s meeting – Indoor Arena

10 a.m. • 4-H/FFA Poultry show – Indoor Arena

6 p.m. • Family Rodeo – Outdoor Arena

Tuesday, Aug. 2

6 a.m. • 4-H/FFA All Large Livestock arrival starts

7-11a.m. • Open Class Needlework & Crafts must be received by 11:00 am

7 a.m.-6 p.m. • Open Class entries accepted for Floriculture, Floral Arrangements, Noxious Weeds, Horticulture, Baked Goods & Food Preservation- South Hall

8 a.m. • 4-H/FFA Rabbit Show - Indoor Arena

9 a.m. • Open Class judging of Fine Arts & Quilts – South Hall

11 a.m. • Open Class judging of Needlework & Crafts – South Hall

11 a.m. • Swine, Goats and Lambs need to be in place by 11 am

Noon • 4-H/FFA Swine weigh in, goat weigh in 15 minutes after swine, lamb weigh in 15 minutes after goats, beef weigh in 15 minutes after lamb

Noon • Open Class judging, Fine Arts, Needlework & Crafts- South Hall

All Exhibitors meeting (15 minutes following last beef weigh in) – Indoor Arena

6 p.m. • 4-H /FFA/VIP Appreciation BBQ – invitation only – Fair Midway Area

Wednesday, Aug. 3

7-10 a.m. • Open Class entries accepted for Food Preservation, Baked Goods, Floral Arrangements, Noxious Weeds and Horticulture – South Hall

9 a.m. • 4-H/FFA Swine Show – Indoor Arena

10 a.m.-10 p.m. • Open Class Exhibits –­­ South Hall

10 a.m.-10 p.m. • 4-H Exhibits – North Hall

10 a.m. • Open Class judging of all remaining Departments - South Hall

Noon-10 p.m. • Midway of Family Fun

2-6 p.m. • Open Class entries accepted for Commissioners’ Cookie Jar, Apple Pie, and Gingerbread Creation Contests – South Hall

3 p.m. • Ladies Skillet Toss – Outdoor Arena Track

4:30 p.m. • 4-H County Contest Showcase (Fashion Revue & Talent Show) – Free Stage

5-9:30 p.m. • Beer Garden

5:30 p.m. • Heritage Celebration – Free apple pie and ice cream – Free Stage

6 p.m. • Glenwood Vaudeville Revue – Free Stage

7 p.m. • PRCA Xtreme Bulls – Outdoor Arena, In Memoriam honoring

7:30 p.m. • Tropical Kaoba – Free Stage

8:45 p.m. • Soul Crusher – Free Stage

Thursday, Aug. 4

8-11:30 a.m. • Open Class entries accepted for Commissioners’ Cookie Jar, Apple Pie, and Gingerbread Creation Contests – South Hall

8 a.m. • 4-H/FFA Sheep Show – Indoor Arena, goat show one hour following sheep show

10 a.m.-10 p.m. • Open Class Exhibits –­­ South Hall

10 a.m.-10 p.m. • 4-H Exhibits – North Hall

Noon-10 p.m. • Midway of Family Fun

12:30 p.m. • Open Class judging of Apple Pie Contest – South Hall

1 p.m. • Open Class judging of Commissioner’s Cookie Jar and Gingerbread Contests South Hall

1:30 p.m. • Photography Shoot out – South Hall

3:30 p.m. • Bicycle Annie – Free Stage

5-9:30 p.m. • Beer Garden

5 p.m. • Leslie Tom – Free Stage

7 p.m. • PRCA ProRodeo, 2017 Royalty Coronation– Outdoor Arena

7 p.m. • The Logan Brothers – Free Stage

8:45 p.m. • Already Gone – Free Stage

Friday, Aug. 5

9 a.m. • Cloverbud Show – Indoor Arena

10 a.m. • 4-H/FFA Beef Show – Indoor Arena.

10 a.m.-10 p.m. • Open Class Exhibits –­­ South Hall

10 a.m.-10 p.m. • 4-H Exhibits – North Hall

11 a.m. • Pie Eating Contest – Free stage

Noon-10 p.m. • Midway of Family Fun

Noon • Elias Caress, Magician – Free Stage

1 p.m. • ArtillumA – Free Stage

1:30 p.m. • Photography Shoot out – North Hall

2 p.m. • 4-H/FFA Round Robin & Showmanship Contest – Indoor Arena

2:15 p.m. • Elias Caress, Magician – Free Stage

3:15 p.m. • Sangre Joven - Free Stage

5-11 p.m. • Beer Garden

5:15 p.m. • Tyller Gummersall – Free Stage

7 p.m. • Josh Turner & Chris Janson Concert – Outdoor Arena

10 p.m. • LeverAction – Free Stage

Saturday, Aug. 6

7-11 a.m. • Kiwanis pancake breakfast – Heinze Park

10 a.m. • Parade – Railroad Avenue

10 a.m.-10 p.m. • Open Class Exhibits –­­ South Hall

10 a.m.-10 p.m. • 4-H Exhibits – North Hall

11:30 a.m. • Jr Livestock Sale Buyers’ BBQ – Event Hall (Buyers only)

Noon • Summer of Thunder Car Show – Metro Park

Noon • Aunt Bea & Uncle Durty – Free Stage

Noon-11 p.m. • Beer Garden

12:30 p.m. • 4-H/FFA Awards Announcement – Round Robin, Herdsman, Hedberg Scholarship

1 p.m. • Junior Livestock Sale – Indoor Arena

1 p.m. • Redneck Relay Race – Outdoor Arena Track

1:30 p.m. • Elias Caress, Magician – Free Stage

1:30 p.m. • Photography Shoot-out Finals – South Hall

2 p.m. • Watermelon Eating Contest- Free stage

2:30 p.m. • Nueva Generacion Folklórico - Free Stage

3-10 p.m. • Midway of Family Fun

3:45 p.m. • Elias Caress, Magician – Free Stage

4:30 p.m. • Exit 90 – Free Stage

6 p.m. • Ponder the Albatross – Free Stage

6:30 p.m. • Rifle Rotary Ball Drop – Outdoor Arena

7 p.m. • Demolition Derby

7:45 p.m. • Onda – Free Stage

9:30 p.m. • Fifty50 – Free Stage

Sunday, Aug. 7

9 am – noon • 4-H General Project check-out – North Hall

10 a.m. • 4-H/FFA Fairgrounds tear down

10 a.m.-1 p.m. • Open Class check-out – South Hall

Noon-6 p.m. • Midway of Family Fun

Noon • Marked by Faith – Free Stage

Noon-5:30 p.m. • Beer Garden

1:30 p.m. • Elias Caress, Magician – Free Stage

1:30 p.m. • Monster Truck Pit Party – Outdoor arena warm-up ring passes needed

2:30 p.m. • Monster Truck Destruction Tour – Outdoor arena

2:30 p.m. • Mariachi San Jose – Free Stage

4:30 p.m. • Caleb Dean Band – Free Stage

While the theme of the 2016 Garfield County Fair and Rodeo is “back to our roots,” the offerings at 78th annual event represent just how diverse those roots are.

With professional bull riding, a demolition derby, live music, a newly added monster truck show and much more, the fair has evolved over the years into its current form, which put simply is part fair and part rodeo.

Those changes, said Levy Burris, fair board president, have been in response to Garfield County’s changing demographics.



“The biggest thing is just making sure that this is truly a community function, and we’d like to have involvement and participation, even if it’s just sitting up in the grandstands. Come out and see what your county has to offer.”

That offering starts today at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle, with the family rodeo starting at 6 p.m. The free event, which includes favorites such as family barrel racing, family dally ribbon roping, mutton bustin’ and more, has proven so popular in recent years that it is being expanded to Tuesday night this year.



The Tuesday night addition is being billed as a youth rodeo night, with a boot scramble race, stick horse pole bending and barrel races, and the second half of the mutton bustin’ all taking place starting at 6:30 p.m.

The top five boys and top five girls during both nights will move on to compete Thursday during the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo.

For the second year in a row, the fair will host the PRCA Xtreme Bulls Wednesday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children 4-14 years old.

The PRCA will be joined Thursday by the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association for rodeo night at the fairgrounds. Events include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer roping, team roping and down roping, along with barrel racing by the WPRA.

The crowning of the 2017 royalty court will take place at 7 p.m. prior to the start of the pro rodeo.

This year’s Friday night concert offers two acts with increasing name recognition among country music fans. Chris Janson will open the show at 7 p.m. followed by Josh Turner. Tickets range in price from $10-$60.

Throughout the week of the fair, and even before the official Monday start, Garfield County’s 4-H members will be demonstrating their skills and showing off their projects.

With 353 children ranging in age from 5-19, the county fair is the culmination of an entire year’s worth of work, said Carla Farrand, Garfield County Extension Office associate and liaison in charge of 4-H youth development.

“They’ve been working for the whole summer to prepare,” Farrand said.

The non-formal education and youth development program includes a wide range of projects from cake decorating to robotics to livestock contests.

New 4-H members are eagerly preparing, while more experienced members are anticipating the excitement of showcasing their work.

“For some of the new kids it’s just trying to get everything ready to go,” Farrand said. “For some of our kids who’ve been doing fair for quite a while they’re really excited about getting to show off their projects.”

While events such as the Friday night concert draw some people from as far away as surrounding counties, 4-H remains an integral element in the overall fair.

“Quite frankly I don’t think the fair can survive without 4-H, nor do I think 4-H can survive without the fair,” Burris said.

The 4-H and Future Farmers of America events conclude with the junior livestock sale Saturday afternoon.

According to Farrand, last year’s sale generated $372,744 — money that covers certain expenses and goes back to the kids for future projects

Prior to the live stock show, the Garfield County Fair and Rodeo parade will make its way up Railroad Avenue.

The street will be closed 9:30-11:30 a.m. from First Street to Colorado 13. Additionally, east Third Street will be closed 4-11:30 a.m. from Whiteriver Avenue to Railroad Avenue for parade activities. Detour signs will be in place to indicated alternate routes during the closures.

Saturday will close out with the demolition derby, which has been one of the most popular events in recent years. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for seniors and children.

And new this year, the fair will wrap up Sunday with the Monster Truck Destruction Tour, starting at 2:30 p.m. Given the popularity of the demolition derby, fair organizers are optimistic that the monster truck show will be a popular addition to the fair.

Regardless of whether it’s the motorized events, rodeo, livestock auction, concert or some other event, those involved simply want people to come out and participate in the fair.

“We just want everyone to come out and enjoy the fair,” Farrand said. “It’s a family event too, so come and watch, and come and enjoy.”


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