Monster truck show added to 2016 GarCo Fair
What was a quiet day for cleanup following the Garfield County Fair and Rodeo will now feature big air, mayhem and the flattening of cars.
County commissioners this week unanimously approved a suggestion from the Garfield County Fair Board to stretch the celebration of western heritage into Sunday with the addition of another major event: a monster truck show.
Given the success of the Saturday evening demolition derby, a monster truck show seemed like a good fit for the fair, Doreen Herriott, Garfield County Fair and events coordinator, told commissioners. The 2015 demolition derby broke attendance records with 1,847 tickets generating $25,320, compared with 1,727 tickets sold and $23,250 in revenue in 2014.
“That demolition derby packs them in year after year after year,” said Commissioner Mike Samson.
The county will be contracting with Monster X Tour, which does shows across the county, according to Herriott. The show will likely start around 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The board has yet to vote on admission costs, but Herriott said the fair will stick with its overall theme of keeping all the events affordable and family friendly.
While the addition was part of an event schedule — one that will see the return of the PRCA Xtreme Bulls and PRCA ProRodeo — details on a Friday night concert are pending. Herriott said she is in talks with “two pretty big acts,” but details likely will not be finalized until March 1, at the earliest.
Last year, the fair featured country music star Gary Allan, the biggest name to play the fair to date.
The draw of a prominent musician was partially credited with the record success of the 2015 Garfield County Fair and Rodeo, which was the 77th year for the event.
Total ticket sales for the concert alone came in at $79,055 — more than double the $33,270 collected from the 2014 concert. Total donations from sponsors came in at $121,328, a 33 percent increase from 2014.
On Monday, the county also announced the fair won several national awards for part of its promotional strategy. Western Fairs Association honored Garfield County Fair’s logo with a first place award, the fair website with a second place award, a fair television commercial with second place, and third place for the fair’s 2015 poster in the category of fairs with 50,000 attendance or less, according to a press release.
Samson said he believed credit was owed to former County Manager Drew Gorgey, who’s now the acting Glenwood Springs city manager, for his work in reviving the fair.
The commissioners have heavily invested in the fairgrounds, located in Rifle, in recent years, including $724,000 in 2015. Along with improving the venue for the annual fair, commissioners have repeatedly mentioned their desire to have the facility booked throughout the year.
Money was allocated in the 2016 budget to fund a full-time fairgrounds manager tasked with booking events, among other jobs.
As for the 2016 fair, the schedule is somewhat a rough outline and specific acts throughout the week have yet to be booked. The point was clear when Commissioner Tom Jankovsky asked Herriott if the fair would offer entertainment geared toward the Latino population, which constitutes approximately 30 percent of the roughly 57,400 people in Garfield County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Local Latino radio stations have been contacted to try and find bands, but so far nothing has been booked, Herriott responded.
Jankovsky urged that the Latino community be involved with the fair.
The 2016 fair will start Monday, Aug. 1, with the family rodeo night.
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