Fair time nears | SteamboatToday.com

Fair time nears

Andie Baker, 9, of the Elk River Wranglers 4-H Club prepares her grand champion Boer goat last year. This year's Routt County Fair begins this week.
File photo

— Learn to walk on stilts, ride a pig, enjoy some bluegrass music or enter your baby in a contest to see whether he or she has the chubbiest feet.

The Routt County Fair begins this week, and to say it provides a variety of events would be an understatement.

The fair officially kicks off Friday, but things really get going Aug. 17, when traditional fair food, inflatable rides and other vendors will line the midway at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden. The corndogs and cotton candy will cost you, but almost everything else is free.

Animals and livestock once again will be one of the attractions at this year’s fair. Members of local 4-H clubs will display their exhibits and have their animals judged.

One of the more ridiculous and entertaining events will be the Mutton Bustin’ and Calf Scramble from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 19. During the Calf Scramble, calves are released in the arena and children chase them in an effort to retrieve the ribbons tied to their tails. Savings bonds are given away as prizes.

In Mutton Bustin’, for a $5 entry fee, children can ride a squealing pig.

“It’s hilarious,” Routt County Fair Board Coordinator Jill Altman said. “Sometimes they barely get out of the chute, and other times they go clear across the arena.”

Stretch the Nine Foot Clown will hold a stilt-walking workshop throughout the weekend of Aug. 18.

Pet owners might want to enter their furry felines into the open cat show Aug. 18 starting at 11a.m.

There also will be several musical acts at the fair.

The Ackermans Family bluegrass group from Pueblo will perform at 5 p.m. Aug. 18.

“They don’t just sing, they entertain you with all kinds of stuff,” Altman said.

The three-man group sports a “redneck tuxedos” wardrobe, and they share a single microphone, creating a lot of movement on stage.

Loose Change will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Barn Dance on Aug. 19. The band plays classic rock and country music and features four local musicians.

The Yampa Valley Boys will perform at 6 p.m. Aug. 17.

The baby contest on Aug. 20 will help answer the question of who truly has the prettiest baby.

Categories include best waddle, chubbiest feet, brightest eyes and best dressed.

The Ranch Rodeo at 2 p.m. Aug. 20 traditionally is one of the more popular acts at the fair.

Four-man teams will complete four tasks while in the arena.

Tasks include wild cow milking and branding with paint.

Centennial Roping is at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 20 and will allow people to test their roping skills.

“It’s basically for people who have never done it or just do it for fun,” Altman said.

Altman hopes that public participation will pick up at this year’s fair.

There are many open competitions that anyone can enter.

The Home Arts contest entries include everything from quilts to alcoholic beverages.

“You can even make a Betty Crocker box cake and enter it into the fair,” Altman said.

The complete fair schedule and additional information can be found at http://www.routtcountyfair.org.

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