Community Agriculture Alliance: Come together ‘Beneath These Western Skies’

Noel Neal
Community Agriculture Alliance

As we prepare for the 2022 Annual Routt County Fair, we look back on the past couple years and realize how grateful we are to see our Routt County residents, guests, family and friends “Beneath These Western Skies” each year at Fair. 

A lot has changed since the first fair in 1914, but the Routt County Fair is where we continue to celebrate our longstanding heritage and rural way of living. County fairs are of great importance to rural communities for many reasons and here are four important ones.

Number one on our list is that the county fair brings the community together. It is where we come to share ideas, stories and educate citizens about agriculture. Fair is an event where we share a yummy meal, enjoy the entertainment and watch the kids play and show off all the hard work they put in through the year on 4-H and FFA projects. We get the opportunity to witness people making new friends and finding new interests and hobbies. Most of all, it is where we all get to make memories together.

Number two, we get to showcase community interests through exhibits, contests, shows and entertainment. Is the community interested in history and heritage, gardening, animal husbandry, crops, art and crafts, or wine, for example? You will see such a wide variety of interests here at the Routt County Fair. The Home Arts Department (Exhibit Hall) consistently exceeds 1,200 entries each year. That is more than Moffat, Eagle, Jackson and Rio Blanco Counties combined! Submit your Home Arts projects on Aug. 17 from 1-8 p.m. to be part of this amazing event.

Number three, county fairs have a positive economic impact on rural communities like ours. Many vendors are local entrepreneurs, and being part of the county fair provides them prime advertising and the opportunity to sell their products and attract new customers. It is also a great time to support your local organizations like the American Legion in their fundraising efforts so they can give back to the community. The fair truly brings “shop local” to life and all we have to do is participate to support the community, so count me in! 

Number four, in this tech-savvy world, the fair teaches youth about agriculture, the importance of the land around them, how the agricultural industry benefits them now and in the future. Through 4-H and FFA programs they learn life skills such as communication, leadership, work ethic, responsibility, and sportsmanship. They also get to see that the community, businesses, and our strong volunteer base is why the Routt County Fair continues to thrive. We hope to see them become the future community leaders that will continue the traditions, heritage, and rural way of living we enjoy here in the Yampa Valley.

We hope you come see for yourself why the Routt County Fair is so important and create your own memories. Please join us for the 108th Annual Routt County Fair with several days of horse and livestock shows, home arts exhibits, bonfire with live music, demolition derby, Ned LeDoux concert, gymkhanas, and family-friendly fun.

Events include Aug. 12-14 Open Horse Show, Aug. 15-20 the 4-H shows and activities, Aug. 17 home arts entries are due. Join the community at the Routt County Fair Aug. 18-21 where the atmosphere is full of life “Beneath These Western Skies.” 

Noel Neal is the Routt County Fair manager.

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