Ambassadors face & future of Mesa County Fair
MESA COUNTY FAIR GEARS UP FOR 127TH YEAR
Mesa County Fair celebrates 127 years of tradition with carnivals, rodeos, music and more starting Tuesday, July 15, continuing through Saturday, July 19 at the Mesa County Fairgrounds (2785 Highway 50, Grand Junction).
This year’s theme is “Sooooo much fun you’ll have a cow!”
Tuesday through Thursday the fair runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday it will remain open until 11 p.m. As always, 4-H and FFA events are planned throughout the week, including animal showings (goats, sheep, swine, rabbits, and more). The carnival opens daily at 2 p.m.
Single-day tickets cost $6 for adults, $4 for seniors aged 60 and over, $2 for children between 3 and 12 years old. Weekly tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $7 for children. Tickets for bull riding on Thursday, July 17, cost $25 for adults and $18 for children; pricing includes admission to the fair. Admission to the carnival costs $30 for a wristband.
Tuesday, July 15 — Draft horse pull, 7:30 p.m., Grandstand
Wednesday, July 16 — Antique Tractor Pull, 6 p.m., Grandstand
Thursday, July 17 — Professional Bull Riding, 7 p.m., Grandstand
Friday, July 18 — Wine tasting, 6 p.m., Gazebo
Saturday, July 19 — Mutton Bustin’ and Working Ranch Rodeo, 6 p.m., Grandstand
For a full schedule of daily events, visit www.mesacountyfair.com.
— Brittany Markert, Free Press reporter
As one of Grand Valley’s oldest traditions, Mesa County Fair’s continued growth relies on enthusiastic young people. To promote participation across generations, the fair board also selects eight to 10 young adults (aged 15-18) yearly to represent the week-long event through its ambassador program.
This year, Tucker Milholland, Trysten Klinglesmith, Hope Pfalzgraff, Ashley Teal, Hannah Martin, Harley Bittle, Lindsey Sparks, and Ryan Summerville make up the ambassador team.
Some ambassadors are seasoned veterans serving past years, but others are involved for the first time including Bittle, Teal, and Milholland.
“I can’t imagine not being involved,” Martin said. “I have so much fun helping out.”
When youth apply for the position, they create a resume and interview for the position — much like a job. Once accepted, they meet regularly to learn skills like public speaking, financial records, responsibility of projects, how to talk to the media, and more.
“It takes dedication, commitment, and willingness to help out,” ambassador coordinator Ronnie Klinglesmith said.
Ambassador are also easy to spot at Mesa County Fairgrounds. The group dons teal shirts and black cowboy hats.
“We hold a tight standard and try to keep the image up,” Milholland said.
According to Ronnie Klinglesmith, it’s beneficial to have younger kids represent the fair because they are heavily involved in both 4-H and FFA programming and passionate about the event.
“It takes them out of their shells,” Ronnie Klinglesmith added.
AMBASSADORS ARE BUSY BEES
Mesa County Fair Ambassadors act not only as the face of the fair; they are also active in a variety of agricultural and creative activities showcased around the valley.
Milholland, a senior at Fruita Monument High School, started with 4-H when he was 9 years old and FFA in eighth grade. He was also voted as the vice president of the state 4-H club this year.
Martin sews artistic clothing, including this year’s project — a comic book dress. The third-year ambassador is also a volunteer with the Special Olympics and works at Curves.
Sparks shows swine for 4-H and plays violin for the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.
And Teal, a student at Central High School, works Tuesday nights at the Grand Junction Trap Club and is actively involved in 4-H. She shows swine and rabbits, competes in archery, muzzle loading, cake decorating, and scrap booking.
For more information about Mesa County Fair, visit http://www.mesacountyfair.com.
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