Douglas County Fair blends city and country | TheFencePost.com

Douglas County Fair blends city and country

Lincoln RogersThe Douglas County Fair is a nice blend of city and country, like the people enjoying the midway at night in Castle Rock, Colo.

Douglas County observed its 150th year of existence at the 2011 Douglas County Fair, located in Castle Rock, Colo. While the county has a strong rural and agricultural heritage, its present identity can appear almost suburban in feel and appearance. Any differences were set aside at the fair, however, as city and country joined together in a celebration 18,000 people strong during the first week in August.

“The 150th anniversary celebration for the county was wonderful,” said Todd Spencer, Douglas County Fair Board President. “It was just a great time.”

Asked how the population’s rural and suburban identities blended at the fair, Spencer thought the mix was part of what made the event a success.

“We’re real happy with it, the blend of the city life and rural life at the fair,” he answered with conviction. “I think it’s a great attraction. It sort of gives both sides a look and a taste of what the other one is like. The suburbanites who actually come to the fair … have a great time seeing all the animals,” Spencer continued. “Especially when they bring all their kids. There’s nothing nicer than when you are in one of the livestock barns and some little kids see some lambs, goats or even a cow, and their eyes just light up in wonder just looking at the animals.”

Besides the popularity of the animal barns, an event held on the last day of the fair hit the spot for visitors of both city and country persuasion. Arriving for their first year at the Castle Rock location, eight Dutch Oven cooking teams competed against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. The Douglas County Fair contest was one of a number of Dutch Oven competitions held throughout the summer under the direction of Nikki and Brian Lowns of Elizabeth, Colo.

A few teams showed up at multiple contests, a practice which has built camaraderie and friendly rivalry over time, and that showed in Castle Rock. One of the veteran teams was the Rockin’ M Chuckwagon, a group of close friends from Elbert and Douglas Counties who use a chuckwagon as an excuse to get together, cook a little and have a bunch of fun. Their experience landed them a first place finish overall in the contest, their second win in a row this year, and featured sourdough bread (second place), potato side dish (third place), prime rib (first place) and an out-of-this-world peach cobbler (first place).

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“When you are able to cook something the judges place first over everyone else, it’s really rewarding,” said Mark Moore, the leader of the friendly group only because he owns the chuckwagon. Moore runs a business called Stablemaster Products in Parker, Colo., but loves cooking with his western-loving buddies during his off time. “(Winning) makes you think you are doing something right.”

Moore and his culinary partners looked the part, as well, decked out in old west attire while they stirred the fires and food next to their circa 1900 Montgomery Ward wagon. The historic feel of their wagon and tent enticed many fairgoers to visit the first time contest, and the Rockin’ M Wagon enjoyed explaining what they were doing.

“I was just talking to somebody about county fairs a little while ago, and I think they are still a really special part of our heritage,” said Moore about interacting with the public at the fair. “I think we need to do everything we can to keep our heritage out in front of people. It’s just amazing as we’re cooking, how many people have no clue what we can do in a Dutch Oven. So, that’s the other main reason I do it. It’s an educational process for the public, I guess I’d say, (and) it gave us an opportunity to expose the wagon and Dutch Oven cooking to a bunch of urban or suburban individuals that probably don’t ever get exposed to it.”

Fair officials also enjoyed the positive energy the Dutch Oven competition brought to their Sunday afternoon schedule.

“That cookoff contest was new for us this year,” explained Spencer. “(And) I do agree that it was well received. There were a lot of people that really enjoyed watching the old west style of cooking, and the food was great. It was like outdoor gourmet food. It was wonderful stuff.”

More wonderful stuff for the Douglas County Fair came in the form of a wildly successful Junior Livestock Auction. Incorporating a new element of add-ons after the bids and welcoming a large organized consortium of Highlands Ranch businessmen, the auction was the best they’ve ever had. When the final tally was added up, the totals ended near $218,000; up over 30 percent from 2010.

“We did; we really did,” answered Phil Riesselman, Sale Committee Chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale, when asked if they had a successful sale. “I think last year the total was about $164,000. (The Highlands Ranch consortium) was a lot of big business people out there, politicians, that kind of thing. They were given dinner, of course, and when they were at the fairgrounds they were treated to the beer tent and they sat as a group in the livestock sale. They had a ton of fun, those guys,” he added with enthusiasm. “If they saw the bids were low, then they would get the bidding higher. They themselves contributed $15,000 to the sale.”

With good crowds, old fashioned cooking and a record junior livestock auction, the Douglas County Fair seemed like it was able to blend city and country together without a hitch.

“I would say the fair is a wonderful family experience,” summed up Spencer about why even more Douglas County residents should turn out in the future. “It’s a window into a different lifestyle; maybe a little more laid back relaxing lifestyle than the city style might be. It’s just a great afternoon to spend with family and friends.”

Douglas County observed its 150th year of existence at the 2011 Douglas County Fair, located in Castle Rock, Colo. While the county has a strong rural and agricultural heritage, its present identity can appear almost suburban in feel and appearance. Any differences were set aside at the fair, however, as city and country joined together in a celebration 18,000 people strong during the first week in August.

“The 150th anniversary celebration for the county was wonderful,” said Todd Spencer, Douglas County Fair Board President. “It was just a great time.”

Asked how the population’s rural and suburban identities blended at the fair, Spencer thought the mix was part of what made the event a success.

“We’re real happy with it, the blend of the city life and rural life at the fair,” he answered with conviction. “I think it’s a great attraction. It sort of gives both sides a look and a taste of what the other one is like. The suburbanites who actually come to the fair … have a great time seeing all the animals,” Spencer continued. “Especially when they bring all their kids. There’s nothing nicer than when you are in one of the livestock barns and some little kids see some lambs, goats or even a cow, and their eyes just light up in wonder just looking at the animals.”

Besides the popularity of the animal barns, an event held on the last day of the fair hit the spot for visitors of both city and country persuasion. Arriving for their first year at the Castle Rock location, eight Dutch Oven cooking teams competed against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. The Douglas County Fair contest was one of a number of Dutch Oven competitions held throughout the summer under the direction of Nikki and Brian Lowns of Elizabeth, Colo.

A few teams showed up at multiple contests, a practice which has built camaraderie and friendly rivalry over time, and that showed in Castle Rock. One of the veteran teams was the Rockin’ M Chuckwagon, a group of close friends from Elbert and Douglas Counties who use a chuckwagon as an excuse to get together, cook a little and have a bunch of fun. Their experience landed them a first place finish overall in the contest, their second win in a row this year, and featured sourdough bread (second place), potato side dish (third place), prime rib (first place) and an out-of-this-world peach cobbler (first place).

“When you are able to cook something the judges place first over everyone else, it’s really rewarding,” said Mark Moore, the leader of the friendly group only because he owns the chuckwagon. Moore runs a business called Stablemaster Products in Parker, Colo., but loves cooking with his western-loving buddies during his off time. “(Winning) makes you think you are doing something right.”

Moore and his culinary partners looked the part, as well, decked out in old west attire while they stirred the fires and food next to their circa 1900 Montgomery Ward wagon. The historic feel of their wagon and tent enticed many fairgoers to visit the first time contest, and the Rockin’ M Wagon enjoyed explaining what they were doing.

“I was just talking to somebody about county fairs a little while ago, and I think they are still a really special part of our heritage,” said Moore about interacting with the public at the fair. “I think we need to do everything we can to keep our heritage out in front of people. It’s just amazing as we’re cooking, how many people have no clue what we can do in a Dutch Oven. So, that’s the other main reason I do it. It’s an educational process for the public, I guess I’d say, (and) it gave us an opportunity to expose the wagon and Dutch Oven cooking to a bunch of urban or suburban individuals that probably don’t ever get exposed to it.”

Fair officials also enjoyed the positive energy the Dutch Oven competition brought to their Sunday afternoon schedule.

“That cookoff contest was new for us this year,” explained Spencer. “(And) I do agree that it was well received. There were a lot of people that really enjoyed watching the old west style of cooking, and the food was great. It was like outdoor gourmet food. It was wonderful stuff.”

More wonderful stuff for the Douglas County Fair came in the form of a wildly successful Junior Livestock Auction. Incorporating a new element of add-ons after the bids and welcoming a large organized consortium of Highlands Ranch businessmen, the auction was the best they’ve ever had. When the final tally was added up, the totals ended near $218,000; up over 30 percent from 2010.

“We did; we really did,” answered Phil Riesselman, Sale Committee Chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale, when asked if they had a successful sale. “I think last year the total was about $164,000. (The Highlands Ranch consortium) was a lot of big business people out there, politicians, that kind of thing. They were given dinner, of course, and when they were at the fairgrounds they were treated to the beer tent and they sat as a group in the livestock sale. They had a ton of fun, those guys,” he added with enthusiasm. “If they saw the bids were low, then they would get the bidding higher. They themselves contributed $15,000 to the sale.”

With good crowds, old fashioned cooking and a record junior livestock auction, the Douglas County Fair seemed like it was able to blend city and country together without a hitch.

“I would say the fair is a wonderful family experience,” summed up Spencer about why even more Douglas County residents should turn out in the future. “It’s a window into a different lifestyle; maybe a little more laid back relaxing lifestyle than the city style might be. It’s just a great afternoon to spend with family and friends.”

Douglas County observed its 150th year of existence at the 2011 Douglas County Fair, located in Castle Rock, Colo. While the county has a strong rural and agricultural heritage, its present identity can appear almost suburban in feel and appearance. Any differences were set aside at the fair, however, as city and country joined together in a celebration 18,000 people strong during the first week in August.

“The 150th anniversary celebration for the county was wonderful,” said Todd Spencer, Douglas County Fair Board President. “It was just a great time.”

Asked how the population’s rural and suburban identities blended at the fair, Spencer thought the mix was part of what made the event a success.

“We’re real happy with it, the blend of the city life and rural life at the fair,” he answered with conviction. “I think it’s a great attraction. It sort of gives both sides a look and a taste of what the other one is like. The suburbanites who actually come to the fair … have a great time seeing all the animals,” Spencer continued. “Especially when they bring all their kids. There’s nothing nicer than when you are in one of the livestock barns and some little kids see some lambs, goats or even a cow, and their eyes just light up in wonder just looking at the animals.”

Besides the popularity of the animal barns, an event held on the last day of the fair hit the spot for visitors of both city and country persuasion. Arriving for their first year at the Castle Rock location, eight Dutch Oven cooking teams competed against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. The Douglas County Fair contest was one of a number of Dutch Oven competitions held throughout the summer under the direction of Nikki and Brian Lowns of Elizabeth, Colo.

A few teams showed up at multiple contests, a practice which has built camaraderie and friendly rivalry over time, and that showed in Castle Rock. One of the veteran teams was the Rockin’ M Chuckwagon, a group of close friends from Elbert and Douglas Counties who use a chuckwagon as an excuse to get together, cook a little and have a bunch of fun. Their experience landed them a first place finish overall in the contest, their second win in a row this year, and featured sourdough bread (second place), potato side dish (third place), prime rib (first place) and an out-of-this-world peach cobbler (first place).

“When you are able to cook something the judges place first over everyone else, it’s really rewarding,” said Mark Moore, the leader of the friendly group only because he owns the chuckwagon. Moore runs a business called Stablemaster Products in Parker, Colo., but loves cooking with his western-loving buddies during his off time. “(Winning) makes you think you are doing something right.”

Moore and his culinary partners looked the part, as well, decked out in old west attire while they stirred the fires and food next to their circa 1900 Montgomery Ward wagon. The historic feel of their wagon and tent enticed many fairgoers to visit the first time contest, and the Rockin’ M Wagon enjoyed explaining what they were doing.

“I was just talking to somebody about county fairs a little while ago, and I think they are still a really special part of our heritage,” said Moore about interacting with the public at the fair. “I think we need to do everything we can to keep our heritage out in front of people. It’s just amazing as we’re cooking, how many people have no clue what we can do in a Dutch Oven. So, that’s the other main reason I do it. It’s an educational process for the public, I guess I’d say, (and) it gave us an opportunity to expose the wagon and Dutch Oven cooking to a bunch of urban or suburban individuals that probably don’t ever get exposed to it.”

Fair officials also enjoyed the positive energy the Dutch Oven competition brought to their Sunday afternoon schedule.

“That cookoff contest was new for us this year,” explained Spencer. “(And) I do agree that it was well received. There were a lot of people that really enjoyed watching the old west style of cooking, and the food was great. It was like outdoor gourmet food. It was wonderful stuff.”

More wonderful stuff for the Douglas County Fair came in the form of a wildly successful Junior Livestock Auction. Incorporating a new element of add-ons after the bids and welcoming a large organized consortium of Highlands Ranch businessmen, the auction was the best they’ve ever had. When the final tally was added up, the totals ended near $218,000; up over 30 percent from 2010.

“We did; we really did,” answered Phil Riesselman, Sale Committee Chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale, when asked if they had a successful sale. “I think last year the total was about $164,000. (The Highlands Ranch consortium) was a lot of big business people out there, politicians, that kind of thing. They were given dinner, of course, and when they were at the fairgrounds they were treated to the beer tent and they sat as a group in the livestock sale. They had a ton of fun, those guys,” he added with enthusiasm. “If they saw the bids were low, then they would get the bidding higher. They themselves contributed $15,000 to the sale.”

With good crowds, old fashioned cooking and a record junior livestock auction, the Douglas County Fair seemed like it was able to blend city and country together without a hitch.

“I would say the fair is a wonderful family experience,” summed up Spencer about why even more Douglas County residents should turn out in the future. “It’s a window into a different lifestyle; maybe a little more laid back relaxing lifestyle than the city style might be. It’s just a great afternoon to spend with family and friends.”

Douglas County observed its 150th year of existence at the 2011 Douglas County Fair, located in Castle Rock, Colo. While the county has a strong rural and agricultural heritage, its present identity can appear almost suburban in feel and appearance. Any differences were set aside at the fair, however, as city and country joined together in a celebration 18,000 people strong during the first week in August.

“The 150th anniversary celebration for the county was wonderful,” said Todd Spencer, Douglas County Fair Board President. “It was just a great time.”

Asked how the population’s rural and suburban identities blended at the fair, Spencer thought the mix was part of what made the event a success.

“We’re real happy with it, the blend of the city life and rural life at the fair,” he answered with conviction. “I think it’s a great attraction. It sort of gives both sides a look and a taste of what the other one is like. The suburbanites who actually come to the fair … have a great time seeing all the animals,” Spencer continued. “Especially when they bring all their kids. There’s nothing nicer than when you are in one of the livestock barns and some little kids see some lambs, goats or even a cow, and their eyes just light up in wonder just looking at the animals.”

Besides the popularity of the animal barns, an event held on the last day of the fair hit the spot for visitors of both city and country persuasion. Arriving for their first year at the Castle Rock location, eight Dutch Oven cooking teams competed against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. The Douglas County Fair contest was one of a number of Dutch Oven competitions held throughout the summer under the direction of Nikki and Brian Lowns of Elizabeth, Colo.

A few teams showed up at multiple contests, a practice which has built camaraderie and friendly rivalry over time, and that showed in Castle Rock. One of the veteran teams was the Rockin’ M Chuckwagon, a group of close friends from Elbert and Douglas Counties who use a chuckwagon as an excuse to get together, cook a little and have a bunch of fun. Their experience landed them a first place finish overall in the contest, their second win in a row this year, and featured sourdough bread (second place), potato side dish (third place), prime rib (first place) and an out-of-this-world peach cobbler (first place).

“When you are able to cook something the judges place first over everyone else, it’s really rewarding,” said Mark Moore, the leader of the friendly group only because he owns the chuckwagon. Moore runs a business called Stablemaster Products in Parker, Colo., but loves cooking with his western-loving buddies during his off time. “(Winning) makes you think you are doing something right.”

Moore and his culinary partners looked the part, as well, decked out in old west attire while they stirred the fires and food next to their circa 1900 Montgomery Ward wagon. The historic feel of their wagon and tent enticed many fairgoers to visit the first time contest, and the Rockin’ M Wagon enjoyed explaining what they were doing.

“I was just talking to somebody about county fairs a little while ago, and I think they are still a really special part of our heritage,” said Moore about interacting with the public at the fair. “I think we need to do everything we can to keep our heritage out in front of people. It’s just amazing as we’re cooking, how many people have no clue what we can do in a Dutch Oven. So, that’s the other main reason I do it. It’s an educational process for the public, I guess I’d say, (and) it gave us an opportunity to expose the wagon and Dutch Oven cooking to a bunch of urban or suburban individuals that probably don’t ever get exposed to it.”

Fair officials also enjoyed the positive energy the Dutch Oven competition brought to their Sunday afternoon schedule.

“That cookoff contest was new for us this year,” explained Spencer. “(And) I do agree that it was well received. There were a lot of people that really enjoyed watching the old west style of cooking, and the food was great. It was like outdoor gourmet food. It was wonderful stuff.”

More wonderful stuff for the Douglas County Fair came in the form of a wildly successful Junior Livestock Auction. Incorporating a new element of add-ons after the bids and welcoming a large organized consortium of Highlands Ranch businessmen, the auction was the best they’ve ever had. When the final tally was added up, the totals ended near $218,000; up over 30 percent from 2010.

“We did; we really did,” answered Phil Riesselman, Sale Committee Chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale, when asked if they had a successful sale. “I think last year the total was about $164,000. (The Highlands Ranch consortium) was a lot of big business people out there, politicians, that kind of thing. They were given dinner, of course, and when they were at the fairgrounds they were treated to the beer tent and they sat as a group in the livestock sale. They had a ton of fun, those guys,” he added with enthusiasm. “If they saw the bids were low, then they would get the bidding higher. They themselves contributed $15,000 to the sale.”

With good crowds, old fashioned cooking and a record junior livestock auction, the Douglas County Fair seemed like it was able to blend city and country together without a hitch.

“I would say the fair is a wonderful family experience,” summed up Spencer about why even more Douglas County residents should turn out in the future. “It’s a window into a different lifestyle; maybe a little more laid back relaxing lifestyle than the city style might be. It’s just a great afternoon to spend with family and friends.”

Douglas County observed its 150th year of existence at the 2011 Douglas County Fair, located in Castle Rock, Colo. While the county has a strong rural and agricultural heritage, its present identity can appear almost suburban in feel and appearance. Any differences were set aside at the fair, however, as city and country joined together in a celebration 18,000 people strong during the first week in August.

“The 150th anniversary celebration for the county was wonderful,” said Todd Spencer, Douglas County Fair Board President. “It was just a great time.”

Asked how the population’s rural and suburban identities blended at the fair, Spencer thought the mix was part of what made the event a success.

“We’re real happy with it, the blend of the city life and rural life at the fair,” he answered with conviction. “I think it’s a great attraction. It sort of gives both sides a look and a taste of what the other one is like. The suburbanites who actually come to the fair … have a great time seeing all the animals,” Spencer continued. “Especially when they bring all their kids. There’s nothing nicer than when you are in one of the livestock barns and some little kids see some lambs, goats or even a cow, and their eyes just light up in wonder just looking at the animals.”

Besides the popularity of the animal barns, an event held on the last day of the fair hit the spot for visitors of both city and country persuasion. Arriving for their first year at the Castle Rock location, eight Dutch Oven cooking teams competed against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. The Douglas County Fair contest was one of a number of Dutch Oven competitions held throughout the summer under the direction of Nikki and Brian Lowns of Elizabeth, Colo.

A few teams showed up at multiple contests, a practice which has built camaraderie and friendly rivalry over time, and that showed in Castle Rock. One of the veteran teams was the Rockin’ M Chuckwagon, a group of close friends from Elbert and Douglas Counties who use a chuckwagon as an excuse to get together, cook a little and have a bunch of fun. Their experience landed them a first place finish overall in the contest, their second win in a row this year, and featured sourdough bread (second place), potato side dish (third place), prime rib (first place) and an out-of-this-world peach cobbler (first place).

“When you are able to cook something the judges place first over everyone else, it’s really rewarding,” said Mark Moore, the leader of the friendly group only because he owns the chuckwagon. Moore runs a business called Stablemaster Products in Parker, Colo., but loves cooking with his western-loving buddies during his off time. “(Winning) makes you think you are doing something right.”

Moore and his culinary partners looked the part, as well, decked out in old west attire while they stirred the fires and food next to their circa 1900 Montgomery Ward wagon. The historic feel of their wagon and tent enticed many fairgoers to visit the first time contest, and the Rockin’ M Wagon enjoyed explaining what they were doing.

“I was just talking to somebody about county fairs a little while ago, and I think they are still a really special part of our heritage,” said Moore about interacting with the public at the fair. “I think we need to do everything we can to keep our heritage out in front of people. It’s just amazing as we’re cooking, how many people have no clue what we can do in a Dutch Oven. So, that’s the other main reason I do it. It’s an educational process for the public, I guess I’d say, (and) it gave us an opportunity to expose the wagon and Dutch Oven cooking to a bunch of urban or suburban individuals that probably don’t ever get exposed to it.”

Fair officials also enjoyed the positive energy the Dutch Oven competition brought to their Sunday afternoon schedule.

“That cookoff contest was new for us this year,” explained Spencer. “(And) I do agree that it was well received. There were a lot of people that really enjoyed watching the old west style of cooking, and the food was great. It was like outdoor gourmet food. It was wonderful stuff.”

More wonderful stuff for the Douglas County Fair came in the form of a wildly successful Junior Livestock Auction. Incorporating a new element of add-ons after the bids and welcoming a large organized consortium of Highlands Ranch businessmen, the auction was the best they’ve ever had. When the final tally was added up, the totals ended near $218,000; up over 30 percent from 2010.

“We did; we really did,” answered Phil Riesselman, Sale Committee Chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale, when asked if they had a successful sale. “I think last year the total was about $164,000. (The Highlands Ranch consortium) was a lot of big business people out there, politicians, that kind of thing. They were given dinner, of course, and when they were at the fairgrounds they were treated to the beer tent and they sat as a group in the livestock sale. They had a ton of fun, those guys,” he added with enthusiasm. “If they saw the bids were low, then they would get the bidding higher. They themselves contributed $15,000 to the sale.”

With good crowds, old fashioned cooking and a record junior livestock auction, the Douglas County Fair seemed like it was able to blend city and country together without a hitch.

“I would say the fair is a wonderful family experience,” summed up Spencer about why even more Douglas County residents should turn out in the future. “It’s a window into a different lifestyle; maybe a little more laid back relaxing lifestyle than the city style might be. It’s just a great afternoon to spend with family and friends.”

Douglas County observed its 150th year of existence at the 2011 Douglas County Fair, located in Castle Rock, Colo. While the county has a strong rural and agricultural heritage, its present identity can appear almost suburban in feel and appearance. Any differences were set aside at the fair, however, as city and country joined together in a celebration 18,000 people strong during the first week in August.

“The 150th anniversary celebration for the county was wonderful,” said Todd Spencer, Douglas County Fair Board President. “It was just a great time.”

Asked how the population’s rural and suburban identities blended at the fair, Spencer thought the mix was part of what made the event a success.

“We’re real happy with it, the blend of the city life and rural life at the fair,” he answered with conviction. “I think it’s a great attraction. It sort of gives both sides a look and a taste of what the other one is like. The suburbanites who actually come to the fair … have a great time seeing all the animals,” Spencer continued. “Especially when they bring all their kids. There’s nothing nicer than when you are in one of the livestock barns and some little kids see some lambs, goats or even a cow, and their eyes just light up in wonder just looking at the animals.”

Besides the popularity of the animal barns, an event held on the last day of the fair hit the spot for visitors of both city and country persuasion. Arriving for their first year at the Castle Rock location, eight Dutch Oven cooking teams competed against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. The Douglas County Fair contest was one of a number of Dutch Oven competitions held throughout the summer under the direction of Nikki and Brian Lowns of Elizabeth, Colo.

A few teams showed up at multiple contests, a practice which has built camaraderie and friendly rivalry over time, and that showed in Castle Rock. One of the veteran teams was the Rockin’ M Chuckwagon, a group of close friends from Elbert and Douglas Counties who use a chuckwagon as an excuse to get together, cook a little and have a bunch of fun. Their experience landed them a first place finish overall in the contest, their second win in a row this year, and featured sourdough bread (second place), potato side dish (third place), prime rib (first place) and an out-of-this-world peach cobbler (first place).

“When you are able to cook something the judges place first over everyone else, it’s really rewarding,” said Mark Moore, the leader of the friendly group only because he owns the chuckwagon. Moore runs a business called Stablemaster Products in Parker, Colo., but loves cooking with his western-loving buddies during his off time. “(Winning) makes you think you are doing something right.”

Moore and his culinary partners looked the part, as well, decked out in old west attire while they stirred the fires and food next to their circa 1900 Montgomery Ward wagon. The historic feel of their wagon and tent enticed many fairgoers to visit the first time contest, and the Rockin’ M Wagon enjoyed explaining what they were doing.

“I was just talking to somebody about county fairs a little while ago, and I think they are still a really special part of our heritage,” said Moore about interacting with the public at the fair. “I think we need to do everything we can to keep our heritage out in front of people. It’s just amazing as we’re cooking, how many people have no clue what we can do in a Dutch Oven. So, that’s the other main reason I do it. It’s an educational process for the public, I guess I’d say, (and) it gave us an opportunity to expose the wagon and Dutch Oven cooking to a bunch of urban or suburban individuals that probably don’t ever get exposed to it.”

Fair officials also enjoyed the positive energy the Dutch Oven competition brought to their Sunday afternoon schedule.

“That cookoff contest was new for us this year,” explained Spencer. “(And) I do agree that it was well received. There were a lot of people that really enjoyed watching the old west style of cooking, and the food was great. It was like outdoor gourmet food. It was wonderful stuff.”

More wonderful stuff for the Douglas County Fair came in the form of a wildly successful Junior Livestock Auction. Incorporating a new element of add-ons after the bids and welcoming a large organized consortium of Highlands Ranch businessmen, the auction was the best they’ve ever had. When the final tally was added up, the totals ended near $218,000; up over 30 percent from 2010.

“We did; we really did,” answered Phil Riesselman, Sale Committee Chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale, when asked if they had a successful sale. “I think last year the total was about $164,000. (The Highlands Ranch consortium) was a lot of big business people out there, politicians, that kind of thing. They were given dinner, of course, and when they were at the fairgrounds they were treated to the beer tent and they sat as a group in the livestock sale. They had a ton of fun, those guys,” he added with enthusiasm. “If they saw the bids were low, then they would get the bidding higher. They themselves contributed $15,000 to the sale.”

With good crowds, old fashioned cooking and a record junior livestock auction, the Douglas County Fair seemed like it was able to blend city and country together without a hitch.

“I would say the fair is a wonderful family experience,” summed up Spencer about why even more Douglas County residents should turn out in the future. “It’s a window into a different lifestyle; maybe a little more laid back relaxing lifestyle than the city style might be. It’s just a great afternoon to spend with family and friends.”

Douglas County observed its 150th year of existence at the 2011 Douglas County Fair, located in Castle Rock, Colo. While the county has a strong rural and agricultural heritage, its present identity can appear almost suburban in feel and appearance. Any differences were set aside at the fair, however, as city and country joined together in a celebration 18,000 people strong during the first week in August.

“The 150th anniversary celebration for the county was wonderful,” said Todd Spencer, Douglas County Fair Board President. “It was just a great time.”

Asked how the population’s rural and suburban identities blended at the fair, Spencer thought the mix was part of what made the event a success.

“We’re real happy with it, the blend of the city life and rural life at the fair,” he answered with conviction. “I think it’s a great attraction. It sort of gives both sides a look and a taste of what the other one is like. The suburbanites who actually come to the fair … have a great time seeing all the animals,” Spencer continued. “Especially when they bring all their kids. There’s nothing nicer than when you are in one of the livestock barns and some little kids see some lambs, goats or even a cow, and their eyes just light up in wonder just looking at the animals.”

Besides the popularity of the animal barns, an event held on the last day of the fair hit the spot for visitors of both city and country persuasion. Arriving for their first year at the Castle Rock location, eight Dutch Oven cooking teams competed against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. The Douglas County Fair contest was one of a number of Dutch Oven competitions held throughout the summer under the direction of Nikki and Brian Lowns of Elizabeth, Colo.

A few teams showed up at multiple contests, a practice which has built camaraderie and friendly rivalry over time, and that showed in Castle Rock. One of the veteran teams was the Rockin’ M Chuckwagon, a group of close friends from Elbert and Douglas Counties who use a chuckwagon as an excuse to get together, cook a little and have a bunch of fun. Their experience landed them a first place finish overall in the contest, their second win in a row this year, and featured sourdough bread (second place), potato side dish (third place), prime rib (first place) and an out-of-this-world peach cobbler (first place).

“When you are able to cook something the judges place first over everyone else, it’s really rewarding,” said Mark Moore, the leader of the friendly group only because he owns the chuckwagon. Moore runs a business called Stablemaster Products in Parker, Colo., but loves cooking with his western-loving buddies during his off time. “(Winning) makes you think you are doing something right.”

Moore and his culinary partners looked the part, as well, decked out in old west attire while they stirred the fires and food next to their circa 1900 Montgomery Ward wagon. The historic feel of their wagon and tent enticed many fairgoers to visit the first time contest, and the Rockin’ M Wagon enjoyed explaining what they were doing.

“I was just talking to somebody about county fairs a little while ago, and I think they are still a really special part of our heritage,” said Moore about interacting with the public at the fair. “I think we need to do everything we can to keep our heritage out in front of people. It’s just amazing as we’re cooking, how many people have no clue what we can do in a Dutch Oven. So, that’s the other main reason I do it. It’s an educational process for the public, I guess I’d say, (and) it gave us an opportunity to expose the wagon and Dutch Oven cooking to a bunch of urban or suburban individuals that probably don’t ever get exposed to it.”

Fair officials also enjoyed the positive energy the Dutch Oven competition brought to their Sunday afternoon schedule.

“That cookoff contest was new for us this year,” explained Spencer. “(And) I do agree that it was well received. There were a lot of people that really enjoyed watching the old west style of cooking, and the food was great. It was like outdoor gourmet food. It was wonderful stuff.”

More wonderful stuff for the Douglas County Fair came in the form of a wildly successful Junior Livestock Auction. Incorporating a new element of add-ons after the bids and welcoming a large organized consortium of Highlands Ranch businessmen, the auction was the best they’ve ever had. When the final tally was added up, the totals ended near $218,000; up over 30 percent from 2010.

“We did; we really did,” answered Phil Riesselman, Sale Committee Chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale, when asked if they had a successful sale. “I think last year the total was about $164,000. (The Highlands Ranch consortium) was a lot of big business people out there, politicians, that kind of thing. They were given dinner, of course, and when they were at the fairgrounds they were treated to the beer tent and they sat as a group in the livestock sale. They had a ton of fun, those guys,” he added with enthusiasm. “If they saw the bids were low, then they would get the bidding higher. They themselves contributed $15,000 to the sale.”

With good crowds, old fashioned cooking and a record junior livestock auction, the Douglas County Fair seemed like it was able to blend city and country together without a hitch.

“I would say the fair is a wonderful family experience,” summed up Spencer about why even more Douglas County residents should turn out in the future. “It’s a window into a different lifestyle; maybe a little more laid back relaxing lifestyle than the city style might be. It’s just a great afternoon to spend with family and friends.”

Douglas County observed its 150th year of existence at the 2011 Douglas County Fair, located in Castle Rock, Colo. While the county has a strong rural and agricultural heritage, its present identity can appear almost suburban in feel and appearance. Any differences were set aside at the fair, however, as city and country joined together in a celebration 18,000 people strong during the first week in August.

“The 150th anniversary celebration for the county was wonderful,” said Todd Spencer, Douglas County Fair Board President. “It was just a great time.”

Asked how the population’s rural and suburban identities blended at the fair, Spencer thought the mix was part of what made the event a success.

“We’re real happy with it, the blend of the city life and rural life at the fair,” he answered with conviction. “I think it’s a great attraction. It sort of gives both sides a look and a taste of what the other one is like. The suburbanites who actually come to the fair … have a great time seeing all the animals,” Spencer continued. “Especially when they bring all their kids. There’s nothing nicer than when you are in one of the livestock barns and some little kids see some lambs, goats or even a cow, and their eyes just light up in wonder just looking at the animals.”

Besides the popularity of the animal barns, an event held on the last day of the fair hit the spot for visitors of both city and country persuasion. Arriving for their first year at the Castle Rock location, eight Dutch Oven cooking teams competed against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. The Douglas County Fair contest was one of a number of Dutch Oven competitions held throughout the summer under the direction of Nikki and Brian Lowns of Elizabeth, Colo.

A few teams showed up at multiple contests, a practice which has built camaraderie and friendly rivalry over time, and that showed in Castle Rock. One of the veteran teams was the Rockin’ M Chuckwagon, a group of close friends from Elbert and Douglas Counties who use a chuckwagon as an excuse to get together, cook a little and have a bunch of fun. Their experience landed them a first place finish overall in the contest, their second win in a row this year, and featured sourdough bread (second place), potato side dish (third place), prime rib (first place) and an out-of-this-world peach cobbler (first place).

“When you are able to cook something the judges place first over everyone else, it’s really rewarding,” said Mark Moore, the leader of the friendly group only because he owns the chuckwagon. Moore runs a business called Stablemaster Products in Parker, Colo., but loves cooking with his western-loving buddies during his off time. “(Winning) makes you think you are doing something right.”

Moore and his culinary partners looked the part, as well, decked out in old west attire while they stirred the fires and food next to their circa 1900 Montgomery Ward wagon. The historic feel of their wagon and tent enticed many fairgoers to visit the first time contest, and the Rockin’ M Wagon enjoyed explaining what they were doing.

“I was just talking to somebody about county fairs a little while ago, and I think they are still a really special part of our heritage,” said Moore about interacting with the public at the fair. “I think we need to do everything we can to keep our heritage out in front of people. It’s just amazing as we’re cooking, how many people have no clue what we can do in a Dutch Oven. So, that’s the other main reason I do it. It’s an educational process for the public, I guess I’d say, (and) it gave us an opportunity to expose the wagon and Dutch Oven cooking to a bunch of urban or suburban individuals that probably don’t ever get exposed to it.”

Fair officials also enjoyed the positive energy the Dutch Oven competition brought to their Sunday afternoon schedule.

“That cookoff contest was new for us this year,” explained Spencer. “(And) I do agree that it was well received. There were a lot of people that really enjoyed watching the old west style of cooking, and the food was great. It was like outdoor gourmet food. It was wonderful stuff.”

More wonderful stuff for the Douglas County Fair came in the form of a wildly successful Junior Livestock Auction. Incorporating a new element of add-ons after the bids and welcoming a large organized consortium of Highlands Ranch businessmen, the auction was the best they’ve ever had. When the final tally was added up, the totals ended near $218,000; up over 30 percent from 2010.

“We did; we really did,” answered Phil Riesselman, Sale Committee Chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale, when asked if they had a successful sale. “I think last year the total was about $164,000. (The Highlands Ranch consortium) was a lot of big business people out there, politicians, that kind of thing. They were given dinner, of course, and when they were at the fairgrounds they were treated to the beer tent and they sat as a group in the livestock sale. They had a ton of fun, those guys,” he added with enthusiasm. “If they saw the bids were low, then they would get the bidding higher. They themselves contributed $15,000 to the sale.”

With good crowds, old fashioned cooking and a record junior livestock auction, the Douglas County Fair seemed like it was able to blend city and country together without a hitch.

“I would say the fair is a wonderful family experience,” summed up Spencer about why even more Douglas County residents should turn out in the future. “It’s a window into a different lifestyle; maybe a little more laid back relaxing lifestyle than the city style might be. It’s just a great afternoon to spend with family and friends.”

Douglas County observed its 150th year of existence at the 2011 Douglas County Fair, located in Castle Rock, Colo. While the county has a strong rural and agricultural heritage, its present identity can appear almost suburban in feel and appearance. Any differences were set aside at the fair, however, as city and country joined together in a celebration 18,000 people strong during the first week in August.

“The 150th anniversary celebration for the county was wonderful,” said Todd Spencer, Douglas County Fair Board President. “It was just a great time.”

Asked how the population’s rural and suburban identities blended at the fair, Spencer thought the mix was part of what made the event a success.

“We’re real happy with it, the blend of the city life and rural life at the fair,” he answered with conviction. “I think it’s a great attraction. It sort of gives both sides a look and a taste of what the other one is like. The suburbanites who actually come to the fair … have a great time seeing all the animals,” Spencer continued. “Especially when they bring all their kids. There’s nothing nicer than when you are in one of the livestock barns and some little kids see some lambs, goats or even a cow, and their eyes just light up in wonder just looking at the animals.”

Besides the popularity of the animal barns, an event held on the last day of the fair hit the spot for visitors of both city and country persuasion. Arriving for their first year at the Castle Rock location, eight Dutch Oven cooking teams competed against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights. The Douglas County Fair contest was one of a number of Dutch Oven competitions held throughout the summer under the direction of Nikki and Brian Lowns of Elizabeth, Colo.

A few teams showed up at multiple contests, a practice which has built camaraderie and friendly rivalry over time, and that showed in Castle Rock. One of the veteran teams was the Rockin’ M Chuckwagon, a group of close friends from Elbert and Douglas Counties who use a chuckwagon as an excuse to get together, cook a little and have a bunch of fun. Their experience landed them a first place finish overall in the contest, their second win in a row this year, and featured sourdough bread (second place), potato side dish (third place), prime rib (first place) and an out-of-this-world peach cobbler (first place).

“When you are able to cook something the judges place first over everyone else, it’s really rewarding,” said Mark Moore, the leader of the friendly group only because he owns the chuckwagon. Moore runs a business called Stablemaster Products in Parker, Colo., but loves cooking with his western-loving buddies during his off time. “(Winning) makes you think you are doing something right.”

Moore and his culinary partners looked the part, as well, decked out in old west attire while they stirred the fires and food next to their circa 1900 Montgomery Ward wagon. The historic feel of their wagon and tent enticed many fairgoers to visit the first time contest, and the Rockin’ M Wagon enjoyed explaining what they were doing.

“I was just talking to somebody about county fairs a little while ago, and I think they are still a really special part of our heritage,” said Moore about interacting with the public at the fair. “I think we need to do everything we can to keep our heritage out in front of people. It’s just amazing as we’re cooking, how many people have no clue what we can do in a Dutch Oven. So, that’s the other main reason I do it. It’s an educational process for the public, I guess I’d say, (and) it gave us an opportunity to expose the wagon and Dutch Oven cooking to a bunch of urban or suburban individuals that probably don’t ever get exposed to it.”

Fair officials also enjoyed the positive energy the Dutch Oven competition brought to their Sunday afternoon schedule.

“That cookoff contest was new for us this year,” explained Spencer. “(And) I do agree that it was well received. There were a lot of people that really enjoyed watching the old west style of cooking, and the food was great. It was like outdoor gourmet food. It was wonderful stuff.”

More wonderful stuff for the Douglas County Fair came in the form of a wildly successful Junior Livestock Auction. Incorporating a new element of add-ons after the bids and welcoming a large organized consortium of Highlands Ranch businessmen, the auction was the best they’ve ever had. When the final tally was added up, the totals ended near $218,000; up over 30 percent from 2010.

“We did; we really did,” answered Phil Riesselman, Sale Committee Chairman of the Junior Livestock Sale, when asked if they had a successful sale. “I think last year the total was about $164,000. (The Highlands Ranch consortium) was a lot of big business people out there, politicians, that kind of thing. They were given dinner, of course, and when they were at the fairgrounds they were treated to the beer tent and they sat as a group in the livestock sale. They had a ton of fun, those guys,” he added with enthusiasm. “If they saw the bids were low, then they would get the bidding higher. They themselves contributed $15,000 to the sale.”

With good crowds, old fashioned cooking and a record junior livestock auction, the Douglas County Fair seemed like it was able to blend city and country together without a hitch.

“I would say the fair is a wonderful family experience,” summed up Spencer about why even more Douglas County residents should turn out in the future. “It’s a window into a different lifestyle; maybe a little more laid back relaxing lifestyle than the city style might be. It’s just a great afternoon to spend with family and friends.”