County calls ‘cease fire’ at fair exhibit hall in Hayden

Tom Ross

— The Routt County commissioners agreed with the Fair Board Tuesday that the era when 4-H club members practiced archery and rifle shooting in the fairground exhibit hall in Hayden has come to an end. But CSU 4-H Extension Agent Tami Thurston said the policy change won’t have any impact on the 4-H shooting clubs that have already made the transition to a rifle range in Steamboat Spring.

Over the years, young shooters have put a few errant arrows through windows (always taking care to replace them) and left bullet holes in the steel walls of the building. But now, with the fair’s cookbook committee raising funds to continue the beautification of the exhibit hall, including attractive wooden wainscoting, the Fair Board sought to formalize a change in policy.

“For all the years I’ve been involved with the fair and before that in the Extension Office, since 1995, 4-H kids have shot in the exhibit hall,” Fairgrounds Manager Jill Delay told the commissioners Tuesday, and “hunter safety education classes will come in, and they will shoot.”

Thurston said Tuesday that 85 of the 300 current 4-H members are in shooting clubs, but the decision by the Fair Board won’t inconvenience them as new shooting coach Chad Day of Hayden has his clubs practicing in Steamboat anyway.

Delay said the cookbook committee is interested in funding the construction of a wall to create a new storage area at the back of the exhibit hall and local contractor Mike Bell will donate his crew to build it. An effort to raise funds to add more modern heating to the building is also underway, she added.

The cookbook committee has begun selling centennial bricks for $165 apiece to be installed at the exhibit hall beginning in May, Delay said.

“What has happened over the years, is that archery has a big Kevlar curtain that they put up, but they still broke windows. And we’ve got bullet holes in the offices we store stuff in,” Delay said. “With all the money going into the building right now and with the wainscoting, it will totally be a community building.”

Thurston said the archery club is re-forming this spring with a new coach and will plan to shoot outdoors.

Delay said over the course of the last approximately eight years, four windows in the building had been replaced due to errant shots and the building has taken three or four rounds in the (exterior) walls and another “five or so” in office divider walls.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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