Sunday profile: Levy Burris is fairly busy this time of year as Garfield County Fair Board president
For Levy Burris, a love of classic cars led to a passion for service that he has kindled for over a decade.
Burris has had a long career as a law enforcement officer in Garfield County; currently in his second stint with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
He said it was 13 years ago when he was approached by the County Fair Board to put on a car show during the annual fair in Rifle.
At the time, he was helping organize and put on the car show for Silt Heydays.
One thing led to another, and a year later there was an opening on the fair board. Burris was happy to join.
For the past 12 years Burris has volunteered his time as a member of the fair board, leading the board as president for six years.
“I’ve worked with some really good people who were dedicated to community,” Burris said. “It’s been real good; a great experience.”
Burris works alongside the other board members, new Garfield County Fair and Events Coordinator Cassidy Evans and other county officials to promote, produce and execute the multi-week county fair, which concludes today.
The all-volunteer board meets monthly throughout the year, until a little over a month before the fair when it meets weekly before the start of the fair.
Not including all the hours organizing during the year and leading up to the fair, Burris reckons he and the other members of the fair put in anywhere from 14-18 hours a day during fair week.
He said the longest stretch is between prep for the pro rodeo and the end of the concert late Friday evening.
“Thursday morning through the end of concert, your talking about a good 36-40 hours, and we’re probably here at least 30 of those hours,” Burris said.
Burris said the whole fair board pitches in for the long stretch.
“There are a lot of long hours, but Levy is really a go-to guy for any issues we have,” Deputy County Manager Fred Jarman said. “And then he has a really strong understanding of the way all the parts fit together from night to night and day to day.
“He’s kind of like a great plate spinner,” Jarman adds. “He has 15 plates going on, and he does a real good job of keeping that steady hand, keeping everybody engaged and really showing strong leadership. We think it is his best asset.”
For Burris, as the fair comes to a close he is looking forward to some time off to relax and continue rebuilding a 1965 Chevrolet El Camino with his grandson.
With several positions coming open on the fair board this year, and Burris’ term as president ending in September, he is looking to the future.
He wants to remain part of the fair board even if he isn’t the president, to pass along and contribute knowledge he has learned over his tenure.
Asked what the fair means to Rifle and the community, Burris said, “It’s generational. It’s bringing generations together. That’s what the county fair is all about.”
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