Sunday profile: Cassidy Evans returns to her small-town roots as new Garfield County Fair and Events director
Returning to her roots as a small-town girl surrounded by a 4-H family is something Cassidy Evans has been looking to do since leaving that scene years ago. Evans was named the new Garfield County Fair and Events coordinator in early March.
Born and raised in a small rural community in New Mexico, Evans spent some time in Los Angeles after college where she worked in the hospitality industry as an events coordinator.
“That’s where I started my event planning career; I worked in hotels doing mostly weddings,” said Evans.
The busy LA life wasn’t for Evans, however, and after three years she found herself living in Arizona near her sister, where she continued her career in hospitality, organizing corporate parties, social events and weddings.
“I thought, ‘I’ll just go check it out’ and I lived there for 13 years,” said Evans.
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With a background in 4-H and the heart of a small town girl, Evans knew she wanted to give her young son the same sort of upbringing. She mentioned that, along with the year-round beautiful weather western Colorado has to offer, she is most looking forward to getting herself and her son involved in everything a small community has to offer.
“I have a 7-year-old son, and that’s important to me to raise him in that same sort of environment,” said Evans.
Growing up, Evans and her siblings all had a hand in 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA). They raised sheep and pigs mostly, and had a steady routine of up early in the morning and working until late into the evening.
“If I look back on it now, I think it taught me a ton of responsibility,” said Evans.
She also mentioned that it was something her entire family could be involved with, and something that brought them all together.
“It was just a good way for all of us to do something and I have really fond memories of all of it,” she added. “It’s a lot of work, you’re up early to exercise and feed animals, go to school, come home and you’re back to the animals. It takes a lot of time, but it’s fun.”
Last August, during the 2018 Garfield County Fair, Evans walked around the arena and listened to Jon Pardi perform, not realizing that in less than a year she would be leading the team to plan the following year’s event.
“I didn’t think I would be helping to plan it a year later, but for a small town it was a really cool fair,” she said of the event.
Multiple factors went into Evans applying for the open position. Her background in a rural community and 4-H played a roll, but so did the chance to take on a new challenge.
“This is out of my comfort zone. I’ve been in the hospitality and hotel business for years and I love it. My passion is events,” said Evans.
Evans mentioned she is looking forward to planning and researching something new. Wedding and party planning was fun, but becoming too routine, she said.
She said she is excited about testing her boundaries and looks forward to tying in her old knowledge and expanding it to create new ideas.
“That part is exciting to me. It’s a new challenge,” she added.
As far as this year’s fair, she envisions something even bigger and better, and wants to hear the voices of the entire Garfield County community.
“I will be focusing on feedback and finding ways to make things even better. I want to hear from all interests,” Evans said. “Not everybody is interested in the rodeo and not everyone is interested in the concerts. It’s really about finding all those different interests and trying to find something for everyone.”
Evans plans to begin her new role by interacting with the community and meeting the faces and businesses who help contribute to the event every year.
“What better way to meet people than to actually go out and thank them for their business or sponsorship,” she added.
“I’m just starting, and I still have a lot of people to get out and meet. But I’m excited to start a new kind of lifestyle,” Evans said. “It’s one that I haven’t been involved with in a while, but I’m very familiar with.”
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It was a first for Glenwood Springs and the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus, which played host Saturday to a high school girls rugby match.