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Colorado State Fair – Something for everyone

Bert Entwistle
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Bert Entwistle Getting' down and dirty with his steer.

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The 137th version of the Colorado State Fair was held in Pueblo, Colo., August 28 through September 7. Judging from the smiling faces seen everywhere, it was a smashing success and fun for everyone young and old. The fair averages more than 480,000 visitors every year, and 2009 was no exception.

The theme for this year’s event appeared to be ‘Something for Everyone’. New for this year were events like the Live Shark Experience, an awe inspiring and educational exhibit where humans interact with the sharks while learning about them. Judging from the standing room only crowds, this is sure to be a hit with fairgoers in the future.

Another new exhibit drawing great crowds was the Timberworks Lumberjack Show. Events like log rolling, axe throwing, crosscut sawing, chopping and speed pole climbing had working lumberjacks going head to head in competition for the fans. The same athletes are featured regularly on ESPN TV in the Great Outdoors Games. Old favorites like Mutton Bustin’, Wild About Monkeys, and the Sea Lion Splash continued to be a fan favorite, especially with the kids.

This year saw an abundance of small animal exhibits, including, for only the second time, market classes for rabbits and chickens. The winners were based on a pen of three and put up for sale during the junior livestock sale. There were chickens, doves, turkeys, geese and roosters that never stopped crowing. Mix in more kinds of rabbits than most people have ever seen and you really do have a genuine barnyard menagerie of small animals.

If you came for the rodeo you got a great show from some of the best rodeo athletes in the business. Names like Cody Ohl, Trell Etbaur, Bobby Mote and Cody Whitney had the audience on its feet, and perennial all-star Trevor Brazil won the All-Around title for his work in the Tie-Down and Team Roping events. Along with the rodeo, Sawyer Brown, and Rodney Atkins kept the rodeo fans in place with some of the best country music in the business.

The fair offered a diverse entertainment series with acts like the Gaither Vocal Band, one of the most famous gospel bands in the country and 70’s and 80’s rock icon, Foreigner. Darius Rucker, fresh from his gig as front man of Hootie and the Blowfish rocked the event center with songs from his debut country album, Learn to Live, currently on the charts at #1.

This years General Entry contests and exhibits kept the judges working hard, with a huge number of entries in everything from baking and jam making to crafts like quilt making. This year showed some of the most beautiful and most colorful quilts ever. The Fine Arts contests proved harder to judge than ever before. Photography, more popular than ever, had more entries than ever and this year’s painting and printmaking was outstanding.

This year’s horse show’s had a good variety of events, from NRHA Youth Freestyle Reining and draft horses, to an open Ranch Versatility championship, won by Colorado cowboy, Mike Major. The AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse event was won by Texas cowboy Jimbo Humpreys.

Like always, the fair is basically an agriculture-oriented event with something for everyone attending. One of the biggest events is the business of judging cattle, hogs and sheep. Ranchers, families and kids from all over spend a good part of their year preparing their entries for their annual trip to the fair. The stock pens and arenas are a never-ending blur of activity from feeding, grooming and prepping their animals for judging day.

By the time the last animal is judged, the last funnel cake is devoured and the last ride on the Super Shot Eight is taken the fans and contestants are ready to head for home. Many are filing away the memories of this year and already thinking ahead to next years show and what they might find new and exciting.

The 137th version of the Colorado State Fair was held in Pueblo, Colo., August 28 through September 7. Judging from the smiling faces seen everywhere, it was a smashing success and fun for everyone young and old. The fair averages more than 480,000 visitors every year, and 2009 was no exception.

The theme for this year’s event appeared to be ‘Something for Everyone’. New for this year were events like the Live Shark Experience, an awe inspiring and educational exhibit where humans interact with the sharks while learning about them. Judging from the standing room only crowds, this is sure to be a hit with fairgoers in the future.

Another new exhibit drawing great crowds was the Timberworks Lumberjack Show. Events like log rolling, axe throwing, crosscut sawing, chopping and speed pole climbing had working lumberjacks going head to head in competition for the fans. The same athletes are featured regularly on ESPN TV in the Great Outdoors Games. Old favorites like Mutton Bustin’, Wild About Monkeys, and the Sea Lion Splash continued to be a fan favorite, especially with the kids.

This year saw an abundance of small animal exhibits, including, for only the second time, market classes for rabbits and chickens. The winners were based on a pen of three and put up for sale during the junior livestock sale. There were chickens, doves, turkeys, geese and roosters that never stopped crowing. Mix in more kinds of rabbits than most people have ever seen and you really do have a genuine barnyard menagerie of small animals.

If you came for the rodeo you got a great show from some of the best rodeo athletes in the business. Names like Cody Ohl, Trell Etbaur, Bobby Mote and Cody Whitney had the audience on its feet, and perennial all-star Trevor Brazil won the All-Around title for his work in the Tie-Down and Team Roping events. Along with the rodeo, Sawyer Brown, and Rodney Atkins kept the rodeo fans in place with some of the best country music in the business.

The fair offered a diverse entertainment series with acts like the Gaither Vocal Band, one of the most famous gospel bands in the country and 70’s and 80’s rock icon, Foreigner. Darius Rucker, fresh from his gig as front man of Hootie and the Blowfish rocked the event center with songs from his debut country album, Learn to Live, currently on the charts at #1.

This years General Entry contests and exhibits kept the judges working hard, with a huge number of entries in everything from baking and jam making to crafts like quilt making. This year showed some of the most beautiful and most colorful quilts ever. The Fine Arts contests proved harder to judge than ever before. Photography, more popular than ever, had more entries than ever and this year’s painting and printmaking was outstanding.

This year’s horse show’s had a good variety of events, from NRHA Youth Freestyle Reining and draft horses, to an open Ranch Versatility championship, won by Colorado cowboy, Mike Major. The AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse event was won by Texas cowboy Jimbo Humpreys.

Like always, the fair is basically an agriculture-oriented event with something for everyone attending. One of the biggest events is the business of judging cattle, hogs and sheep. Ranchers, families and kids from all over spend a good part of their year preparing their entries for their annual trip to the fair. The stock pens and arenas are a never-ending blur of activity from feeding, grooming and prepping their animals for judging day.

By the time the last animal is judged, the last funnel cake is devoured and the last ride on the Super Shot Eight is taken the fans and contestants are ready to head for home. Many are filing away the memories of this year and already thinking ahead to next years show and what they might find new and exciting.


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