Community Agriculture Alliance: Back roads and best friends — 104th annual Routt County Fair |

Community Agriculture Alliance: Back roads and best friends — 104th annual Routt County Fair

Michele Meyer
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Turkeys at the Junior Livestock Sale at the Routt County Fair were sold for more than $6,000 in pairs in 2018.
Leah Vann

An open invitation to all Routt County locals, neighbors and visitors. Entering its 104th year, the Routt County Fair is an event so rich with heritage and local lore that we like to say “you can’t call yourself a local until you’ve experienced the Routt County Fair.” Enjoy one of Routt County’s longest running traditions — the Routt County Fair Aug. 15 to 18 at the fairgrounds in Hayden. 

While sometimes confused with the rodeo grounds in Steamboat Springs, the Routt County Fairgrounds are located in Hayden south of U.S. Highway 40 on the same tract of land for the past 105 years.

We’ve come a long way since 1914, but the feel of the fair remains the same according to Sandy Boston of Hayden who said, “Because no matter where you’re from, a big city or a little town, the Routt County Fair makes you feel like you’ve come home.”

If you go

For the full 2019 Routt County Fair schedule of events, click here.

The Routt County Fair was born of a time when “children did chores, arrowheads could be found on the back 40, and ice was cut from the river.” Since then we’ve seen “the outhouse hauled away, the plow horse replaced by a John Deere and farm kids majoring in Agribusiness.” 

Since the grandstands were built in 1916 the Routt County Fair Advisory Board has hosted champion riders and legendary bucking stock. Since 4-H clubs were organized in the 1920s and a junior livestock sale launched in 1959, clubs are generating in excess of $100,000 used to purchase livestock or fund college tuition. Since exhibits were added in 1929, the Routt County Fair has encouraged education and excellence in youth, production standards for cattlemen and woolgrowers and civic pride in visitors.

The creative handiworks of local artists, cooks, photographers, gardeners, bakers, quilters, moms, dads and youth are displayed in the Exhibit Hall where you will find hand-carved furniture, quilts, baked goods, produce, flowers, canned goods, photographs and much more. Prizes are awarded to the best of best in each category and everyone is encouraged to enter. 

Don’t miss out on one minute of all the excitement and tradition at the Routt County Fair. The fair will celebrate the community’s heritage with several days of horse and livestock shows, home arts exhibits, demolition derby, live music, gymkhanas, jackpot rodeo, bonfire with cowboy poetry, heritage arts demonstrations, funnel cakes, hearty barbecue, neighbors and family-friendly fun.

  • Aug. 9 to 11: Open Horse Show, Horseshoe pitching contest and Team Sorting
  • Aug. 12 to 17: 4-H shows and activities
  • Aug. 14: Home arts entries are due
  • Aug. 15 to 18: Fair is in full swing

If you’ve never been to the fair before and want to learn more, this year Community Agriculture Alliance and Yampa Valley Sustainability Council are offering a tour of the fair on Thursday, Aug. 15.  Information and tickets at

For a complete schedule and the latest fair information visit or follow the Routt County Fair & Fairgrounds on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Text “2019RCFAIR” to 888777 for text updates.

Michele Meyer is the executive director of Community Agriculture Alliance.

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