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Thank you for a great county fair

The tents are down, the animals are gone and 4-H projects have moved on to Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. The Archuleta County Fair is over for another year and it was one of the best fairs ever.

As I observed and participated in most of the events during those four days, I was struck by the amount of community participation that goes into the fair. Starting just one month after the fair, Terry Schaaf, fair manager, and all of the volunteer fair board members meet to review the events of the previous fair and begin planning for next year. Board members review what was successful and what could be improved, look at evaluations and suggestions from fair attendees and begin brainstorming how they could make the fair even better next year. It’s a full-year process and they do a fantastic job.

The fair takes a tremendous number of people to make it all happen. In addition to the 4-H members, parents, judges and superintendents, over 150 volunteers are needed to run the fair. Community members work diligently each day taking tickets at the entrance gate, driving people who need assistance around the grounds, running the children’s activities, driving the train around the fairgrounds, assisting in the parking area, helping at the petting zoo and many other activities. Without each and every one of them, the fair would run much less smoothly.

During the fair, it’s all hands on deck for 4-H members and their families. Under the able direction of Becky Jacobson, 4-H coordinator, parents and youth set up animal stalls and do what is needed to ready the livestock tent, the rabbit and poultry barns and the rodeo grounds. Judging for indoor projects is on Wednesday, then volunteers set up everything for exhibition. Livestock judging goes on for three days and ends with the Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday night, which is mostly run by volunteers. Volunteers, parents and youth serve over 900 people at the chuck wagon dinner Saturday night. And, at the end, everyone pitches in to take it all down, load animals and clean it all up. Whew, it’s a big job and almost completely done by volunteers. What a labor of love.

Yes, the Archuleta County Fair is truly about community. So, thank you to all of you who help make it such a special event and thank you to our county commissioners who financially support the fair and recognize its importance to the community.

Free wood chips

We are cleaning up the fairgrounds and all of the wood chips that helped keep things dry during the fair are available to anyone for pickup. If you are interested, just bring your pickup truck and haul it away. No need to call the Extension office for permission.

Greenhouse gardening

Colorado State University Extension and the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership are co-sponsoring a series of classes to help backyard gardeners and small growers be successful. Classes will be taught by both state and regional Extension specialists and local gardening enthusiasts. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the experts.

The best greenhouse vegetables for Pagosa Springs — Wednesday, Aug. 27, 4-6 p.m. CSU Extension building. Class will be taught by Ron Chacey, longtime vegetable gardener in Pagosa Springs.

Local greenhouse and grow dome tour — Wednesday, Sept. 3, 4-6 p.m. Meet at the CSU Extension building. Tour local greenhouses and grow domes and learn from other local growers.

The cost is $5 per class and pre-registration is required. To register, call 264-5931. The CSU Extension building is located at 344 U.S. 84 in Pagosa Springs.

CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. If you have a disability for which you seek an accommodation, please notify the office at 264-5931 at least one week before the class.

CPR and first aid

CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the CSU Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6-10 p.m. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.

We will also schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes are $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for individual CPR or first aid. The type of first aid information provided will vary by the needs of the audience. Group rates are available. Call the Extension office for information at 264-5931.

This story was posted on August 21, 2014.