RIDGWAY – For those who have raised it, made it and grown it, it’s time to show it at the 2009 Ouray County Fair, which will be held at the county fairgrounds in Ridgway, Sept. 3-5. This year’s events include the 4-H horse show, antique tractor pull, livestock show and sale, and new this year, a pie-baking contest. And don’t forget to catch the action-packed events of the Labor Day Rodeo on Sept. 6 and 7.
This year’s fair them is “Raise it, make it, grow it, but don’t forget to show it!” And there will be plenty of opportunity to see what folks in Ouray County have been working on in a wide variety of categories.
The weekend’s festivities will start on Thursday with the 4-H horse show beginning at 10 a.m. at the arena in front of the grandstands. There are 22 horses entered into this year’s fair for judging in either Western or English divisions.
There will also be timed events that include barrel races, pole bending, flag racing and keyhole.
On Thursday evening at 6 p.m., over 35 tractors that were built before 1958 will compete in the antique tractor pull. Members of the Thunder Mountain Flywheelers will be bringing their antique machines to Ridgway to see how much weight they can still pull and how far they can pull it.
John Yates, past president of Thunder Mountain Flywheelers, said it is a great event, to see all of these tractors in one place – some of them coming from as far as Grand Junction.
“Some of the tractors were built in the early 1930s and we have a cut off of 1958 to participate,” Yates said. “I really enjoy seeing the camaraderie with these members who are getting out and having fun with these old machines.”
There will be food and beverages for sale during the tractor pull.
On all three days of the fair, open class contestants will be exhibiting their arts, photography, floriculture, produce, and needlecrafts. In fact, this year’s competition has been expanded with new open class entries that include categories in baked, canned and dried foods, as well as fancy work and crafts, cake decorating, and leather working.
All open class entries must be registered on Thursday between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. For a full listing of open class categories, pick up the 2009 Fair Book at the 4-H Event Center.
New to the fair this year will be a special pie-baking contest, which is sponsored by the Galloping Goose Restaurant. There will be cash prizes for both the Best of Show Junior ($25) and Senior ($50) divisions. All first place awards will receive a special pie server.
Pie entries should be delivered to the 4-H Event Center during the open class registration on Thursday.
All pie entries must be presented with a recipe and upon approval of the contestant, the recipes will be published in a book after the fair to raise funds for future prizes and fairs.
“The pie-baking contest and all the other booths are exactly what the fair is all about…to show things off,” Fair Board Vice President Duane Beamer said on Tuesday.
This year’s fair will also see the largest number of animals and species of animals in the livestock show in Ouray County fair history. The 4-H livestock show will be held on Friday and Saturday, with the livestock sale beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
This year there are 23 entries in the poultry division, 13 entries in the goat division, 13 entries in the sheep and lamb division, 25 in swine, 13 steers and heifers, plus bucket calves, two yaks, and a rabbit division.
“The barn will be totally full with animals,” Beamer said. “We had pretty good numbers last year but this year is the highest we have had in the number of different species. It is really nice to see these numbers up. It’s great for the whole community.”
Don’t miss the round robin showmanship, which includes the champions of the 4-H Dog Show, at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon with the parade of champions following at 3:15 p.m.
“Every year, the contestant list grows and so there are more and much larger exhibits,” Fairgrounds Manager Susan Long said. “There are more animals, more open class entries and now we have a pie-baking contest for 2009, too. I am sure this year will be a great fair.”
As if the events of the fair weren’t enough, Sunday marks the beginning of the two-day Labor Day Rodeo at the fairgrounds with the rodeo starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday and the annual Fireman’s Ball getting underway at 9 p.m. at the Ridgway Fire House.
Celebrate Labor Day with the rodeo parade beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday at Sherman Street in downtown Ridgway and a barbecue at Hartwell Park beginning at 11 a.m. The final day of the rodeo will begin on Monday at 1 p.m.
If you aren’t showing, make sure to get out to the 2009 Ouray County Fair this weekend to support the kids and exhibitors. For exact times of all demonstrations, contact Long at 626-3304.