Lincoln Rogers
Parker, Colo.

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September 13, 2010
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Colorado State Fair comes up big


Joining 59,000 people on a sun-drenched Saturday was a recipe for fun during the first weekend of the 2010 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colo. Filled with on-grounds attractions boasting happy splashing dogs, log rolling lumberjacks, music bands, a gator show and a joke telling, flame tossing juggler, the beginning of the fair's run promised 11 days of making good memories for everyone walking through the gates.

On top of those no-extra-cost good times to be had throughout the fairgrounds were also PRCA rodeos, big name concerts and other ticketed events packed into the venue's eventful program. With special offerings and free on-grounds attractions paired with low gate prices, promotional coupons and package deals, the state fair's schedule was a winning formula put together with Colorado families in mind during these challenging economic times.

"With the way the economy is right now, we just think it is really important to offer people economical ways to see the fair," said Colorado State Fair General Manager Chris Wiseman. "We feel very, very good about (our on-grounds entertainment). It's very exciting to see people come out and sit down and enjoy them, and what's cool about it is (they are) free for the price of gate admission. If you came out on our dollar day, a family of four, for four bucks, could see all those on-grounds attractions."

Judging by the cheerful reactions of visitors inside the fairground walls, event organizers succeeded in providing everyone a rock solid bang for their buck.

"It was great," enthused a young "Moose" Engle of Denver, Colo., who was smiling after watching lumberjacks compete head to head in log rolling, ax throwing, cross cut sawing and other woodsy contests in the free three-time daily Timerworks Lumberjack Show. "Moose" watched with his parents and siblings (along with a few hundred fair visitors) and enjoyed the afternoon show quite a bit. "The log rolling was my favorite," he added, his smile never wavering. "I think it was amazing how they were able to stay on top of a rolling log."

While it was one thing for paid acts to navigate rolling logs for entertainment, it looked like it was even more enjoyable for fair attendees to try and stay aboard bucking bulls. Well ... mechanical bucking bulls, anyway. Squeezed among a dizzying array of vendors was a chance to ride a mechanical bucking bull at the Great Bulls of Fire tent - owned by Gerald Graves of Salina, Kansas - and anyone who plunked down $10 for a chance at glory left with big memories and an even bigger grin.

"I enjoyed that a LOT," said a laughing Kitiara Davis of Colorado Springs, Colo., after finishing her turn on the bull. Davis ponied up her cash as a result of a dare and she didn't regret the experience one bit. "I've never done it before," she said, continuing her laughter as she answered questions and watched her friend responsible for making the dare take a scream-filled turn. "She dared me. She was like, if you do it, I'll do it. It was great."

Another great experience was taking in a Dock Dogs competition, and the attraction drew hundreds of spectators eager to watch friendly canines grab big air and make bigger splashdowns in a pool of water at least 30 feet long. With dogs of all shapes and sizes competing to see which one could jump farthest, jump highest or swim fastest, it was a sure-fire crowd pleasing event for animal lovers of all ages. While it was easy to gauge the enthusiasm of a swarm of cheering fans, the pooch participants and their owners might have enjoyed themselves just as much.

"Today's crowd was awesome. You can't beat it," praised Clarke Coombs of Palmer Lake, Colo. Coombs' entry was Raven, a 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever that wowed the crowd by winning the Big Air contest with a jump of 23 feet, 9 inches into crystal clear water. "She loves it," described Coombs about his faithful canine's reaction to all the people watching and cheering. "When they started cheering, she was looking at the crowd. They don't jump as far when there is a big crowd, because they are paying attention to the crowd, but that's great," he added with a smile. "It's a blast. She loves it."

"The dogs really have fun and we really have a lot of fun," agreed Sue Coombs, Clarke's wife and owner of Diamond, a black Labrador Retriever who also took part in the high energy contest. "It's great to have a crowd and the crowd was excellent. If the crowd gets enthusiastic and starts cheering and stuff; it really helps the dogs."

The excellent turnout and response to the state fair's entertainment offerings brought satisfaction to fair officials responsible for putting the massive undertaking together.

"It makes us feel really good; it does," said Wiseman about the public's upbeat response to this year's choices of free on-grounds attractions. "We actually start planning next year's fair during the current fair we are doing, so we've been planning this thing for over a year. We're anxious for people to come and see the type of entertainment and the things that we've put on the grounds here."

With a staff dedicated all year long to making the fair the best it could be, Wiseman also praised a long-standing tradition at the fair; its PRCA rodeo.

"The statute that created the Colorado State Fair says we are here to showcase the culture of the west and of Colorado," stated Wiseman. "Rodeo is one of those things. Rodeo has a steeped history within the ranching community. It's a vital part of the west and we're proud to be able to put on a PRCA rodeo."

Not only did they put on PRCA performances in front of large grandstands packed with ticket buying fans, they did so with the cooperation of Harry Vold Rodeo Company, one of the most recognizable names in the PRCA rodeo industry.

"Oh, Harry Vold is a tremendous individual," praised Wiseman. "I talked to him yesterday and he had just done his 24th Colorado State Fair. He's a resident of this county, just a few miles away, does a tremendous job for us and he has such a history with the PRCA rodeo. We're always excited about working with Harry and his daughter Kirsten."

With almost 500,000 people estimated to have walked through the Colorado State Fair gates in 2010, the huge event is of annual importance to Colorado, its economy and its agricultural roots. Providing affordable admission prices, discounted rodeo performances and big name concerts for those taking time to attend, it's safe to say this year's version came up big.

Joining 59,000 people on a sun-drenched Saturday was a recipe for fun during the first weekend of the 2010 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colo. Filled with on-grounds attractions boasting happy splashing dogs, log rolling lumberjacks, music bands, a gator show and a joke telling, flame tossing juggler, the beginning of the fair's run promised 11 days of making good memories for everyone walking through the gates.

On top of those no-extra-cost good times to be had throughout the fairgrounds were also PRCA rodeos, big name concerts and other ticketed events packed into the venue's eventful program. With special offerings and free on-grounds attractions paired with low gate prices, promotional coupons and package deals, the state fair's schedule was a winning formula put together with Colorado families in mind during these challenging economic times.

"With the way the economy is right now, we just think it is really important to offer people economical ways to see the fair," said Colorado State Fair General Manager Chris Wiseman. "We feel very, very good about (our on-grounds entertainment). It's very exciting to see people come out and sit down and enjoy them, and what's cool about it is (they are) free for the price of gate admission. If you came out on our dollar day, a family of four, for four bucks, could see all those on-grounds attractions."

Judging by the cheerful reactions of visitors inside the fairground walls, event organizers succeeded in providing everyone a rock solid bang for their buck.

"It was great," enthused a young "Moose" Engle of Denver, Colo., who was smiling after watching lumberjacks compete head to head in log rolling, ax throwing, cross cut sawing and other woodsy contests in the free three-time daily Timerworks Lumberjack Show. "Moose" watched with his parents and siblings (along with a few hundred fair visitors) and enjoyed the afternoon show quite a bit. "The log rolling was my favorite," he added, his smile never wavering. "I think it was amazing how they were able to stay on top of a rolling log."

While it was one thing for paid acts to navigate rolling logs for entertainment, it looked like it was even more enjoyable for fair attendees to try and stay aboard bucking bulls. Well ... mechanical bucking bulls, anyway. Squeezed among a dizzying array of vendors was a chance to ride a mechanical bucking bull at the Great Bulls of Fire tent - owned by Gerald Graves of Salina, Kansas - and anyone who plunked down $10 for a chance at glory left with big memories and an even bigger grin.

"I enjoyed that a LOT," said a laughing Kitiara Davis of Colorado Springs, Colo., after finishing her turn on the bull. Davis ponied up her cash as a result of a dare and she didn't regret the experience one bit. "I've never done it before," she said, continuing her laughter as she answered questions and watched her friend responsible for making the dare take a scream-filled turn. "She dared me. She was like, if you do it, I'll do it. It was great."

Another great experience was taking in a Dock Dogs competition, and the attraction drew hundreds of spectators eager to watch friendly canines grab big air and make bigger splashdowns in a pool of water at least 30 feet long. With dogs of all shapes and sizes competing to see which one could jump farthest, jump highest or swim fastest, it was a sure-fire crowd pleasing event for animal lovers of all ages. While it was easy to gauge the enthusiasm of a swarm of cheering fans, the pooch participants and their owners might have enjoyed themselves just as much.

"Today's crowd was awesome. You can't beat it," praised Clarke Coombs of Palmer Lake, Colo. Coombs' entry was Raven, a 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever that wowed the crowd by winning the Big Air contest with a jump of 23 feet, 9 inches into crystal clear water. "She loves it," described Coombs about his faithful canine's reaction to all the people watching and cheering. "When they started cheering, she was looking at the crowd. They don't jump as far when there is a big crowd, because they are paying attention to the crowd, but that's great," he added with a smile. "It's a blast. She loves it."

"The dogs really have fun and we really have a lot of fun," agreed Sue Coombs, Clarke's wife and owner of Diamond, a black Labrador Retriever who also took part in the high energy contest. "It's great to have a crowd and the crowd was excellent. If the crowd gets enthusiastic and starts cheering and stuff; it really helps the dogs."

The excellent turnout and response to the state fair's entertainment offerings brought satisfaction to fair officials responsible for putting the massive undertaking together.

"It makes us feel really good; it does," said Wiseman about the public's upbeat response to this year's choices of free on-grounds attractions. "We actually start planning next year's fair during the current fair we are doing, so we've been planning this thing for over a year. We're anxious for people to come and see the type of entertainment and the things that we've put on the grounds here."

With a staff dedicated all year long to making the fair the best it could be, Wiseman also praised a long-standing tradition at the fair; its PRCA rodeo.

"The statute that created the Colorado State Fair says we are here to showcase the culture of the west and of Colorado," stated Wiseman. "Rodeo is one of those things. Rodeo has a steeped history within the ranching community. It's a vital part of the west and we're proud to be able to put on a PRCA rodeo."

Not only did they put on PRCA performances in front of large grandstands packed with ticket buying fans, they did so with the cooperation of Harry Vold Rodeo Company, one of the most recognizable names in the PRCA rodeo industry.

"Oh, Harry Vold is a tremendous individual," praised Wiseman. "I talked to him yesterday and he had just done his 24th Colorado State Fair. He's a resident of this county, just a few miles away, does a tremendous job for us and he has such a history with the PRCA rodeo. We're always excited about working with Harry and his daughter Kirsten."

With almost 500,000 people estimated to have walked through the Colorado State Fair gates in 2010, the huge event is of annual importance to Colorado, its economy and its agricultural roots. Providing affordable admission prices, discounted rodeo performances and big name concerts for those taking time to attend, it's safe to say this year's version came up big.

Joining 59,000 people on a sun-drenched Saturday was a recipe for fun during the first weekend of the 2010 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colo. Filled with on-grounds attractions boasting happy splashing dogs, log rolling lumberjacks, music bands, a gator show and a joke telling, flame tossing juggler, the beginning of the fair's run promised 11 days of making good memories for everyone walking through the gates.

On top of those no-extra-cost good times to be had throughout the fairgrounds were also PRCA rodeos, big name concerts and other ticketed events packed into the venue's eventful program. With special offerings and free on-grounds attractions paired with low gate prices, promotional coupons and package deals, the state fair's schedule was a winning formula put together with Colorado families in mind during these challenging economic times.

"With the way the economy is right now, we just think it is really important to offer people economical ways to see the fair," said Colorado State Fair General Manager Chris Wiseman. "We feel very, very good about (our on-grounds entertainment). It's very exciting to see people come out and sit down and enjoy them, and what's cool about it is (they are) free for the price of gate admission. If you came out on our dollar day, a family of four, for four bucks, could see all those on-grounds attractions."

Judging by the cheerful reactions of visitors inside the fairground walls, event organizers succeeded in providing everyone a rock solid bang for their buck.

"It was great," enthused a young "Moose" Engle of Denver, Colo., who was smiling after watching lumberjacks compete head to head in log rolling, ax throwing, cross cut sawing and other woodsy contests in the free three-time daily Timerworks Lumberjack Show. "Moose" watched with his parents and siblings (along with a few hundred fair visitors) and enjoyed the afternoon show quite a bit. "The log rolling was my favorite," he added, his smile never wavering. "I think it was amazing how they were able to stay on top of a rolling log."

While it was one thing for paid acts to navigate rolling logs for entertainment, it looked like it was even more enjoyable for fair attendees to try and stay aboard bucking bulls. Well ... mechanical bucking bulls, anyway. Squeezed among a dizzying array of vendors was a chance to ride a mechanical bucking bull at the Great Bulls of Fire tent - owned by Gerald Graves of Salina, Kansas - and anyone who plunked down $10 for a chance at glory left with big memories and an even bigger grin.

"I enjoyed that a LOT," said a laughing Kitiara Davis of Colorado Springs, Colo., after finishing her turn on the bull. Davis ponied up her cash as a result of a dare and she didn't regret the experience one bit. "I've never done it before," she said, continuing her laughter as she answered questions and watched her friend responsible for making the dare take a scream-filled turn. "She dared me. She was like, if you do it, I'll do it. It was great."

Another great experience was taking in a Dock Dogs competition, and the attraction drew hundreds of spectators eager to watch friendly canines grab big air and make bigger splashdowns in a pool of water at least 30 feet long. With dogs of all shapes and sizes competing to see which one could jump farthest, jump highest or swim fastest, it was a sure-fire crowd pleasing event for animal lovers of all ages. While it was easy to gauge the enthusiasm of a swarm of cheering fans, the pooch participants and their owners might have enjoyed themselves just as much.

"Today's crowd was awesome. You can't beat it," praised Clarke Coombs of Palmer Lake, Colo. Coombs' entry was Raven, a 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever that wowed the crowd by winning the Big Air contest with a jump of 23 feet, 9 inches into crystal clear water. "She loves it," described Coombs about his faithful canine's reaction to all the people watching and cheering. "When they started cheering, she was looking at the crowd. They don't jump as far when there is a big crowd, because they are paying attention to the crowd, but that's great," he added with a smile. "It's a blast. She loves it."

"The dogs really have fun and we really have a lot of fun," agreed Sue Coombs, Clarke's wife and owner of Diamond, a black Labrador Retriever who also took part in the high energy contest. "It's great to have a crowd and the crowd was excellent. If the crowd gets enthusiastic and starts cheering and stuff; it really helps the dogs."

The excellent turnout and response to the state fair's entertainment offerings brought satisfaction to fair officials responsible for putting the massive undertaking together.

"It makes us feel really good; it does," said Wiseman about the public's upbeat response to this year's choices of free on-grounds attractions. "We actually start planning next year's fair during the current fair we are doing, so we've been planning this thing for over a year. We're anxious for people to come and see the type of entertainment and the things that we've put on the grounds here."

With a staff dedicated all year long to making the fair the best it could be, Wiseman also praised a long-standing tradition at the fair; its PRCA rodeo.

"The statute that created the Colorado State Fair says we are here to showcase the culture of the west and of Colorado," stated Wiseman. "Rodeo is one of those things. Rodeo has a steeped history within the ranching community. It's a vital part of the west and we're proud to be able to put on a PRCA rodeo."

Not only did they put on PRCA performances in front of large grandstands packed with ticket buying fans, they did so with the cooperation of Harry Vold Rodeo Company, one of the most recognizable names in the PRCA rodeo industry.

"Oh, Harry Vold is a tremendous individual," praised Wiseman. "I talked to him yesterday and he had just done his 24th Colorado State Fair. He's a resident of this county, just a few miles away, does a tremendous job for us and he has such a history with the PRCA rodeo. We're always excited about working with Harry and his daughter Kirsten."

With almost 500,000 people estimated to have walked through the Colorado State Fair gates in 2010, the huge event is of annual importance to Colorado, its economy and its agricultural roots. Providing affordable admission prices, discounted rodeo performances and big name concerts for those taking time to attend, it's safe to say this year's version came up big.

Joining 59,000 people on a sun-drenched Saturday was a recipe for fun during the first weekend of the 2010 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colo. Filled with on-grounds attractions boasting happy splashing dogs, log rolling lumberjacks, music bands, a gator show and a joke telling, flame tossing juggler, the beginning of the fair's run promised 11 days of making good memories for everyone walking through the gates.

On top of those no-extra-cost good times to be had throughout the fairgrounds were also PRCA rodeos, big name concerts and other ticketed events packed into the venue's eventful program. With special offerings and free on-grounds attractions paired with low gate prices, promotional coupons and package deals, the state fair's schedule was a winning formula put together with Colorado families in mind during these challenging economic times.

"With the way the economy is right now, we just think it is really important to offer people economical ways to see the fair," said Colorado State Fair General Manager Chris Wiseman. "We feel very, very good about (our on-grounds entertainment). It's very exciting to see people come out and sit down and enjoy them, and what's cool about it is (they are) free for the price of gate admission. If you came out on our dollar day, a family of four, for four bucks, could see all those on-grounds attractions."

Judging by the cheerful reactions of visitors inside the fairground walls, event organizers succeeded in providing everyone a rock solid bang for their buck.

"It was great," enthused a young "Moose" Engle of Denver, Colo., who was smiling after watching lumberjacks compete head to head in log rolling, ax throwing, cross cut sawing and other woodsy contests in the free three-time daily Timerworks Lumberjack Show. "Moose" watched with his parents and siblings (along with a few hundred fair visitors) and enjoyed the afternoon show quite a bit. "The log rolling was my favorite," he added, his smile never wavering. "I think it was amazing how they were able to stay on top of a rolling log."

While it was one thing for paid acts to navigate rolling logs for entertainment, it looked like it was even more enjoyable for fair attendees to try and stay aboard bucking bulls. Well ... mechanical bucking bulls, anyway. Squeezed among a dizzying array of vendors was a chance to ride a mechanical bucking bull at the Great Bulls of Fire tent - owned by Gerald Graves of Salina, Kansas - and anyone who plunked down $10 for a chance at glory left with big memories and an even bigger grin.

"I enjoyed that a LOT," said a laughing Kitiara Davis of Colorado Springs, Colo., after finishing her turn on the bull. Davis ponied up her cash as a result of a dare and she didn't regret the experience one bit. "I've never done it before," she said, continuing her laughter as she answered questions and watched her friend responsible for making the dare take a scream-filled turn. "She dared me. She was like, if you do it, I'll do it. It was great."

Another great experience was taking in a Dock Dogs competition, and the attraction drew hundreds of spectators eager to watch friendly canines grab big air and make bigger splashdowns in a pool of water at least 30 feet long. With dogs of all shapes and sizes competing to see which one could jump farthest, jump highest or swim fastest, it was a sure-fire crowd pleasing event for animal lovers of all ages. While it was easy to gauge the enthusiasm of a swarm of cheering fans, the pooch participants and their owners might have enjoyed themselves just as much.

"Today's crowd was awesome. You can't beat it," praised Clarke Coombs of Palmer Lake, Colo. Coombs' entry was Raven, a 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever that wowed the crowd by winning the Big Air contest with a jump of 23 feet, 9 inches into crystal clear water. "She loves it," described Coombs about his faithful canine's reaction to all the people watching and cheering. "When they started cheering, she was looking at the crowd. They don't jump as far when there is a big crowd, because they are paying attention to the crowd, but that's great," he added with a smile. "It's a blast. She loves it."

"The dogs really have fun and we really have a lot of fun," agreed Sue Coombs, Clarke's wife and owner of Diamond, a black Labrador Retriever who also took part in the high energy contest. "It's great to have a crowd and the crowd was excellent. If the crowd gets enthusiastic and starts cheering and stuff; it really helps the dogs."

The excellent turnout and response to the state fair's entertainment offerings brought satisfaction to fair officials responsible for putting the massive undertaking together.

"It makes us feel really good; it does," said Wiseman about the public's upbeat response to this year's choices of free on-grounds attractions. "We actually start planning next year's fair during the current fair we are doing, so we've been planning this thing for over a year. We're anxious for people to come and see the type of entertainment and the things that we've put on the grounds here."

With a staff dedicated all year long to making the fair the best it could be, Wiseman also praised a long-standing tradition at the fair; its PRCA rodeo.

"The statute that created the Colorado State Fair says we are here to showcase the culture of the west and of Colorado," stated Wiseman. "Rodeo is one of those things. Rodeo has a steeped history within the ranching community. It's a vital part of the west and we're proud to be able to put on a PRCA rodeo."

Not only did they put on PRCA performances in front of large grandstands packed with ticket buying fans, they did so with the cooperation of Harry Vold Rodeo Company, one of the most recognizable names in the PRCA rodeo industry.

"Oh, Harry Vold is a tremendous individual," praised Wiseman. "I talked to him yesterday and he had just done his 24th Colorado State Fair. He's a resident of this county, just a few miles away, does a tremendous job for us and he has such a history with the PRCA rodeo. We're always excited about working with Harry and his daughter Kirsten."

With almost 500,000 people estimated to have walked through the Colorado State Fair gates in 2010, the huge event is of annual importance to Colorado, its economy and its agricultural roots. Providing affordable admission prices, discounted rodeo performances and big name concerts for those taking time to attend, it's safe to say this year's version came up big.

Joining 59,000 people on a sun-drenched Saturday was a recipe for fun during the first weekend of the 2010 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colo. Filled with on-grounds attractions boasting happy splashing dogs, log rolling lumberjacks, music bands, a gator show and a joke telling, flame tossing juggler, the beginning of the fair's run promised 11 days of making good memories for everyone walking through the gates.

On top of those no-extra-cost good times to be had throughout the fairgrounds were also PRCA rodeos, big name concerts and other ticketed events packed into the venue's eventful program. With special offerings and free on-grounds attractions paired with low gate prices, promotional coupons and package deals, the state fair's schedule was a winning formula put together with Colorado families in mind during these challenging economic times.

"With the way the economy is right now, we just think it is really important to offer people economical ways to see the fair," said Colorado State Fair General Manager Chris Wiseman. "We feel very, very good about (our on-grounds entertainment). It's very exciting to see people come out and sit down and enjoy them, and what's cool about it is (they are) free for the price of gate admission. If you came out on our dollar day, a family of four, for four bucks, could see all those on-grounds attractions."

Judging by the cheerful reactions of visitors inside the fairground walls, event organizers succeeded in providing everyone a rock solid bang for their buck.

"It was great," enthused a young "Moose" Engle of Denver, Colo., who was smiling after watching lumberjacks compete head to head in log rolling, ax throwing, cross cut sawing and other woodsy contests in the free three-time daily Timerworks Lumberjack Show. "Moose" watched with his parents and siblings (along with a few hundred fair visitors) and enjoyed the afternoon show quite a bit. "The log rolling was my favorite," he added, his smile never wavering. "I think it was amazing how they were able to stay on top of a rolling log."

While it was one thing for paid acts to navigate rolling logs for entertainment, it looked like it was even more enjoyable for fair attendees to try and stay aboard bucking bulls. Well ... mechanical bucking bulls, anyway. Squeezed among a dizzying array of vendors was a chance to ride a mechanical bucking bull at the Great Bulls of Fire tent - owned by Gerald Graves of Salina, Kansas - and anyone who plunked down $10 for a chance at glory left with big memories and an even bigger grin.

"I enjoyed that a LOT," said a laughing Kitiara Davis of Colorado Springs, Colo., after finishing her turn on the bull. Davis ponied up her cash as a result of a dare and she didn't regret the experience one bit. "I've never done it before," she said, continuing her laughter as she answered questions and watched her friend responsible for making the dare take a scream-filled turn. "She dared me. She was like, if you do it, I'll do it. It was great."

Another great experience was taking in a Dock Dogs competition, and the attraction drew hundreds of spectators eager to watch friendly canines grab big air and make bigger splashdowns in a pool of water at least 30 feet long. With dogs of all shapes and sizes competing to see which one could jump farthest, jump highest or swim fastest, it was a sure-fire crowd pleasing event for animal lovers of all ages. While it was easy to gauge the enthusiasm of a swarm of cheering fans, the pooch participants and their owners might have enjoyed themselves just as much.

"Today's crowd was awesome. You can't beat it," praised Clarke Coombs of Palmer Lake, Colo. Coombs' entry was Raven, a 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever that wowed the crowd by winning the Big Air contest with a jump of 23 feet, 9 inches into crystal clear water. "She loves it," described Coombs about his faithful canine's reaction to all the people watching and cheering. "When they started cheering, she was looking at the crowd. They don't jump as far when there is a big crowd, because they are paying attention to the crowd, but that's great," he added with a smile. "It's a blast. She loves it."

"The dogs really have fun and we really have a lot of fun," agreed Sue Coombs, Clarke's wife and owner of Diamond, a black Labrador Retriever who also took part in the high energy contest. "It's great to have a crowd and the crowd was excellent. If the crowd gets enthusiastic and starts cheering and stuff; it really helps the dogs."

The excellent turnout and response to the state fair's entertainment offerings brought satisfaction to fair officials responsible for putting the massive undertaking together.

"It makes us feel really good; it does," said Wiseman about the public's upbeat response to this year's choices of free on-grounds attractions. "We actually start planning next year's fair during the current fair we are doing, so we've been planning this thing for over a year. We're anxious for people to come and see the type of entertainment and the things that we've put on the grounds here."

With a staff dedicated all year long to making the fair the best it could be, Wiseman also praised a long-standing tradition at the fair; its PRCA rodeo.

"The statute that created the Colorado State Fair says we are here to showcase the culture of the west and of Colorado," stated Wiseman. "Rodeo is one of those things. Rodeo has a steeped history within the ranching community. It's a vital part of the west and we're proud to be able to put on a PRCA rodeo."

Not only did they put on PRCA performances in front of large grandstands packed with ticket buying fans, they did so with the cooperation of Harry Vold Rodeo Company, one of the most recognizable names in the PRCA rodeo industry.

"Oh, Harry Vold is a tremendous individual," praised Wiseman. "I talked to him yesterday and he had just done his 24th Colorado State Fair. He's a resident of this county, just a few miles away, does a tremendous job for us and he has such a history with the PRCA rodeo. We're always excited about working with Harry and his daughter Kirsten."

With almost 500,000 people estimated to have walked through the Colorado State Fair gates in 2010, the huge event is of annual importance to Colorado, its economy and its agricultural roots. Providing affordable admission prices, discounted rodeo performances and big name concerts for those taking time to attend, it's safe to say this year's version came up big.

Joining 59,000 people on a sun-drenched Saturday was a recipe for fun during the first weekend of the 2010 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colo. Filled with on-grounds attractions boasting happy splashing dogs, log rolling lumberjacks, music bands, a gator show and a joke telling, flame tossing juggler, the beginning of the fair's run promised 11 days of making good memories for everyone walking through the gates.

On top of those no-extra-cost good times to be had throughout the fairgrounds were also PRCA rodeos, big name concerts and other ticketed events packed into the venue's eventful program. With special offerings and free on-grounds attractions paired with low gate prices, promotional coupons and package deals, the state fair's schedule was a winning formula put together with Colorado families in mind during these challenging economic times.

"With the way the economy is right now, we just think it is really important to offer people economical ways to see the fair," said Colorado State Fair General Manager Chris Wiseman. "We feel very, very good about (our on-grounds entertainment). It's very exciting to see people come out and sit down and enjoy them, and what's cool about it is (they are) free for the price of gate admission. If you came out on our dollar day, a family of four, for four bucks, could see all those on-grounds attractions."

Judging by the cheerful reactions of visitors inside the fairground walls, event organizers succeeded in providing everyone a rock solid bang for their buck.

"It was great," enthused a young "Moose" Engle of Denver, Colo., who was smiling after watching lumberjacks compete head to head in log rolling, ax throwing, cross cut sawing and other woodsy contests in the free three-time daily Timerworks Lumberjack Show. "Moose" watched with his parents and siblings (along with a few hundred fair visitors) and enjoyed the afternoon show quite a bit. "The log rolling was my favorite," he added, his smile never wavering. "I think it was amazing how they were able to stay on top of a rolling log."

While it was one thing for paid acts to navigate rolling logs for entertainment, it looked like it was even more enjoyable for fair attendees to try and stay aboard bucking bulls. Well ... mechanical bucking bulls, anyway. Squeezed among a dizzying array of vendors was a chance to ride a mechanical bucking bull at the Great Bulls of Fire tent - owned by Gerald Graves of Salina, Kansas - and anyone who plunked down $10 for a chance at glory left with big memories and an even bigger grin.

"I enjoyed that a LOT," said a laughing Kitiara Davis of Colorado Springs, Colo., after finishing her turn on the bull. Davis ponied up her cash as a result of a dare and she didn't regret the experience one bit. "I've never done it before," she said, continuing her laughter as she answered questions and watched her friend responsible for making the dare take a scream-filled turn. "She dared me. She was like, if you do it, I'll do it. It was great."

Another great experience was taking in a Dock Dogs competition, and the attraction drew hundreds of spectators eager to watch friendly canines grab big air and make bigger splashdowns in a pool of water at least 30 feet long. With dogs of all shapes and sizes competing to see which one could jump farthest, jump highest or swim fastest, it was a sure-fire crowd pleasing event for animal lovers of all ages. While it was easy to gauge the enthusiasm of a swarm of cheering fans, the pooch participants and their owners might have enjoyed themselves just as much.

"Today's crowd was awesome. You can't beat it," praised Clarke Coombs of Palmer Lake, Colo. Coombs' entry was Raven, a 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever that wowed the crowd by winning the Big Air contest with a jump of 23 feet, 9 inches into crystal clear water. "She loves it," described Coombs about his faithful canine's reaction to all the people watching and cheering. "When they started cheering, she was looking at the crowd. They don't jump as far when there is a big crowd, because they are paying attention to the crowd, but that's great," he added with a smile. "It's a blast. She loves it."

"The dogs really have fun and we really have a lot of fun," agreed Sue Coombs, Clarke's wife and owner of Diamond, a black Labrador Retriever who also took part in the high energy contest. "It's great to have a crowd and the crowd was excellent. If the crowd gets enthusiastic and starts cheering and stuff; it really helps the dogs."

The excellent turnout and response to the state fair's entertainment offerings brought satisfaction to fair officials responsible for putting the massive undertaking together.

"It makes us feel really good; it does," said Wiseman about the public's upbeat response to this year's choices of free on-grounds attractions. "We actually start planning next year's fair during the current fair we are doing, so we've been planning this thing for over a year. We're anxious for people to come and see the type of entertainment and the things that we've put on the grounds here."

With a staff dedicated all year long to making the fair the best it could be, Wiseman also praised a long-standing tradition at the fair; its PRCA rodeo.

"The statute that created the Colorado State Fair says we are here to showcase the culture of the west and of Colorado," stated Wiseman. "Rodeo is one of those things. Rodeo has a steeped history within the ranching community. It's a vital part of the west and we're proud to be able to put on a PRCA rodeo."

Not only did they put on PRCA performances in front of large grandstands packed with ticket buying fans, they did so with the cooperation of Harry Vold Rodeo Company, one of the most recognizable names in the PRCA rodeo industry.

"Oh, Harry Vold is a tremendous individual," praised Wiseman. "I talked to him yesterday and he had just done his 24th Colorado State Fair. He's a resident of this county, just a few miles away, does a tremendous job for us and he has such a history with the PRCA rodeo. We're always excited about working with Harry and his daughter Kirsten."

With almost 500,000 people estimated to have walked through the Colorado State Fair gates in 2010, the huge event is of annual importance to Colorado, its economy and its agricultural roots. Providing affordable admission prices, discounted rodeo performances and big name concerts for those taking time to attend, it's safe to say this year's version came up big.

Joining 59,000 people on a sun-drenched Saturday was a recipe for fun during the first weekend of the 2010 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colo. Filled with on-grounds attractions boasting happy splashing dogs, log rolling lumberjacks, music bands, a gator show and a joke telling, flame tossing juggler, the beginning of the fair's run promised 11 days of making good memories for everyone walking through the gates.

On top of those no-extra-cost good times to be had throughout the fairgrounds were also PRCA rodeos, big name concerts and other ticketed events packed into the venue's eventful program. With special offerings and free on-grounds attractions paired with low gate prices, promotional coupons and package deals, the state fair's schedule was a winning formula put together with Colorado families in mind during these challenging economic times.

"With the way the economy is right now, we just think it is really important to offer people economical ways to see the fair," said Colorado State Fair General Manager Chris Wiseman. "We feel very, very good about (our on-grounds entertainment). It's very exciting to see people come out and sit down and enjoy them, and what's cool about it is (they are) free for the price of gate admission. If you came out on our dollar day, a family of four, for four bucks, could see all those on-grounds attractions."

Judging by the cheerful reactions of visitors inside the fairground walls, event organizers succeeded in providing everyone a rock solid bang for their buck.

"It was great," enthused a young "Moose" Engle of Denver, Colo., who was smiling after watching lumberjacks compete head to head in log rolling, ax throwing, cross cut sawing and other woodsy contests in the free three-time daily Timerworks Lumberjack Show. "Moose" watched with his parents and siblings (along with a few hundred fair visitors) and enjoyed the afternoon show quite a bit. "The log rolling was my favorite," he added, his smile never wavering. "I think it was amazing how they were able to stay on top of a rolling log."

While it was one thing for paid acts to navigate rolling logs for entertainment, it looked like it was even more enjoyable for fair attendees to try and stay aboard bucking bulls. Well ... mechanical bucking bulls, anyway. Squeezed among a dizzying array of vendors was a chance to ride a mechanical bucking bull at the Great Bulls of Fire tent - owned by Gerald Graves of Salina, Kansas - and anyone who plunked down $10 for a chance at glory left with big memories and an even bigger grin.

"I enjoyed that a LOT," said a laughing Kitiara Davis of Colorado Springs, Colo., after finishing her turn on the bull. Davis ponied up her cash as a result of a dare and she didn't regret the experience one bit. "I've never done it before," she said, continuing her laughter as she answered questions and watched her friend responsible for making the dare take a scream-filled turn. "She dared me. She was like, if you do it, I'll do it. It was great."

Another great experience was taking in a Dock Dogs competition, and the attraction drew hundreds of spectators eager to watch friendly canines grab big air and make bigger splashdowns in a pool of water at least 30 feet long. With dogs of all shapes and sizes competing to see which one could jump farthest, jump highest or swim fastest, it was a sure-fire crowd pleasing event for animal lovers of all ages. While it was easy to gauge the enthusiasm of a swarm of cheering fans, the pooch participants and their owners might have enjoyed themselves just as much.

"Today's crowd was awesome. You can't beat it," praised Clarke Coombs of Palmer Lake, Colo. Coombs' entry was Raven, a 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever that wowed the crowd by winning the Big Air contest with a jump of 23 feet, 9 inches into crystal clear water. "She loves it," described Coombs about his faithful canine's reaction to all the people watching and cheering. "When they started cheering, she was looking at the crowd. They don't jump as far when there is a big crowd, because they are paying attention to the crowd, but that's great," he added with a smile. "It's a blast. She loves it."

"The dogs really have fun and we really have a lot of fun," agreed Sue Coombs, Clarke's wife and owner of Diamond, a black Labrador Retriever who also took part in the high energy contest. "It's great to have a crowd and the crowd was excellent. If the crowd gets enthusiastic and starts cheering and stuff; it really helps the dogs."

The excellent turnout and response to the state fair's entertainment offerings brought satisfaction to fair officials responsible for putting the massive undertaking together.

"It makes us feel really good; it does," said Wiseman about the public's upbeat response to this year's choices of free on-grounds attractions. "We actually start planning next year's fair during the current fair we are doing, so we've been planning this thing for over a year. We're anxious for people to come and see the type of entertainment and the things that we've put on the grounds here."

With a staff dedicated all year long to making the fair the best it could be, Wiseman also praised a long-standing tradition at the fair; its PRCA rodeo.

"The statute that created the Colorado State Fair says we are here to showcase the culture of the west and of Colorado," stated Wiseman. "Rodeo is one of those things. Rodeo has a steeped history within the ranching community. It's a vital part of the west and we're proud to be able to put on a PRCA rodeo."

Not only did they put on PRCA performances in front of large grandstands packed with ticket buying fans, they did so with the cooperation of Harry Vold Rodeo Company, one of the most recognizable names in the PRCA rodeo industry.

"Oh, Harry Vold is a tremendous individual," praised Wiseman. "I talked to him yesterday and he had just done his 24th Colorado State Fair. He's a resident of this county, just a few miles away, does a tremendous job for us and he has such a history with the PRCA rodeo. We're always excited about working with Harry and his daughter Kirsten."

With almost 500,000 people estimated to have walked through the Colorado State Fair gates in 2010, the huge event is of annual importance to Colorado, its economy and its agricultural roots. Providing affordable admission prices, discounted rodeo performances and big name concerts for those taking time to attend, it's safe to say this year's version came up big.




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The Fence Post Updated Aug 14, 2012 04:42PM Published Sep 13, 2010 01:49PM Copyright 2010 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.