Looking back at the county fair

By Robin Young
PREVIEW Columnist

What a county fair! I can honestly say that the Archuleta County Fair is a spectacle to see. Carnival rides, the chuckwagon dinner and live entertainment added that special touch to what is already a wonderful event of celebrating the 4-H youth and their accomplishments. It’s exciting to see their faces shine when they see the ribbons on their projects or their placings in the show ring. They know they did a great job and can be very proud of their hard work throughout the year. It was nice to see all of the open projects from the residents that came in, too.

The most impressive thing to me, besides the youth and their awesome attitude, are all the volunteers and their willingness to help wherever help was needed. There are over 150 volunteers who lend their time to a long week to make sure all the details were covered and everyone has a good time.

The organization of these volunteers is done by the leadership of the 4-H coordinator, the fair board and the manager. They all do a great job of keeping everyone on task and making sure things run smoothly. Even when things didn’t run so smooth, most attendees didn’t know due to the volunteers’ professionalism. Even after the fair was over, many volunteers came back to help tear down, take inventory and get the fairgrounds back to normal. To all of these volunteers, I say thank you.

Another important part of producing the county fair is the sponsorships from individuals and businesses. Without your support, the county fair would not happen. Thank you to all of the sponsors to help make the county fair a success.

4-H is a family affair and it’s easy to see that Archuleta County families make it a priority. It is so nice to see all the families helping and supporting not only their kids, but other kids and their families, too. It makes for a cooperative learning atmosphere and creates a sense of belonging. It also generates a friendly competitive environment where youth and families alike are cheering on their fellow competitor. Not everyone can win grand champion, but all come out on top when the positive attitudes are shared with a genuine smile and a pat on the back. Way to go 4-Her’s and families.

I think the highlight for me was to see the participation of the parents during the Parent Master Showmanship on the last day of the fair when everyone including the animals were officially exhausted. There were 18 parents who donned their show duds and skills in the arena starting with swine and turkey. The elimination rounds with the goats and sheep brought out the more competitive side of some parents (and siblings) in the ring. It was great to see them take it seriously but have a good time in the process. Congratulations to Sarah Martin for winning the Parent Master Showmanship belt buckle.

The Archuleta County Fair is truly a community event. Everyone pulls together to make this a focal point for the county and I am honored to be a part of it. Now that the fair is over, I hope all families, fair board, volunteers and staff will get some much needed rest. The next county fair will be here before we know it.

This story was posted on August 17, 2017.