The 101st annual Middle Park Fair and Rodeo is well underway and picking up pace as it heads into the weekend.
Thursday marks the end of the hard work for many of the 4-Hers as they head into the showring with their livestock projects. The 4-H swine show begins at 8 a.m. followed by the 4-H Sheep Show and Goat Show at 11 a.m. and the 4-H Beef Show at 3 p.m. The livestock judges will begin each of the shows by judging the showmanship skills of each of the 4-Hers as they handle their animals in the showring. Later the judges will judge each animal and choose the champions.
Later on Thursday night, the popular junior rodeo returns this year for rodeo competitors younger than 18 years old. The evening is free for spectators and will feature the young cowgirls and cowboys running their horses through barrel and pole patterns, roping, goat tying, mutton bustin’ and riding bulls.
Thursday is the opening of the Exhibit Hall where there is something for everyone from quilting, photographs, art work, cakes, canning, gardening and more. Be sure to take time to visit.
On Friday, gate admission begins between noon and 5 p.m. Gate admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. The day begins with Ranch Horse Versatility at 9 am in the morning in the big arena. Spectators can enjoy watching the ageold tools of cowboys as they use their horses to cut and sort cattle from the herd, rope and demonstrate their horses agility and control. At 10 a.m. the top 4-H showman from swine, sheep, goats, beef and horse, meet in the beef showring with their animals. Each showman then has the opportunity to compete for the overall showman as they rotate through each species.
At 11:30 a.m., the popular youth show for those under the age of 8 begins. They bring their favorite pets that range from – ferrets, ponies, chickens, bottle calves, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and walk them in front of the grandstands. The Middle Park Fair and Rodeo royalty is usually on hand to assist with interviews! Then at noon the 4-H llama and alpaca show begins. The llamas and alpacas are shown on halter, dressed in costumes and asked to complete obstacle courses.
At 5 p.m. potential 4-H sale buyers and past buyers are invited to a steak pre-sale dinner with live music and all the fixens. At 7 p.m. the 4-H sale begins and culminates the year for the 4-Hers as their livestock projects are sold in a live auction.
At 9 p.m. the community dance, begins in the dance hal with Jesse Cornett and Tail Gate Rockstar Band, a country and western band.
Saturday morning begins with the kids games at 9-11 a.m.. The kids games are all free with admission and features carnival games from Boomblasters, dunk tanks, egg toss and more.
The day continues its momentum at 10 a.m. with the Commissioner Cookie Jar Contest and the Mayor’s Pie Contest. Contestants can enter their favorite recipes for the commissioners from Grand and Summit and the mayors from Grand County to judge The annual horseshoe tournament continues as does the 4-wheeler ranch rumpus which was introduced last year. Contestants bring their ATVs and show their horsemanship skills “on the back” of four wheels. Contestants will complete patterns and rope as they compete for the fastest time.
At 11 a.m. the archery tournament hosted by Archery Underground is set for the dance hall. New this year is the Rosie O’Hotto Salsa Showdown. Participants will enter their salsa and fair-goers will sample their fares to vote and determine the overall salsa.
At 11:30 a.m. children bring their favorite small pets dressed in an array of costumes. Cash prizes are awarded. At noon, the community is invited to attend a ceremony for Pioneers of the Year and Citizens of the Year.
This year, the 100th Centennial planning committee for fair is being honored as Citizens of the Year. The Committee members were – Sheilah Jones, Lurline Underbrink Currran, Mike Ritschard, Karla Hassler, Tara Sharpe, Pat Pryor, Peg Toft and Kim Cameron. Also being honored are Pioneers brothers Jim and Bob Chase and Lorene Linke. Those in memoriam being honored are John Murphy, Georgeann Pineda, Ken Wheatley and Tiny Gallagher.
Following the luncheon at 1 p.m. are the popular horse race matches and, a sure to be new favorite, corgi races. The races will be on the track in front of the grand stands.
At 3 pm, the entertainment continues with the mini-broncs and the wild pony races. In the mini-broncs, kids ride bucking ponies and then teams of three will compete against each other to see who can saddle and ride their wild pony first. At 5 pm, the Ranch Rodeo will begin. Teams of cowboys and cowgirls will once again demonstrate their skills as they rope, treat and trailer cattle in a timed event. On Sunday, the day begins with Cowboy Church Services at 9 a.m. At 10 a.m., the Walk Your Wool event begins with participants leading their wool animal in an outfit made from wool. Also at 10 a.m. is the Antique Tractor Races.
At 11 a.m., the famous charcoaled top round roasts with secret seasonings BBQ begins. It is $10 a plate with a drink and all the fixens. Additional meat can also be purchased for $7 a pound.
Also at 11 a.m., the big boys enter the arena. Work horse teams pulling a sled compete in a feed team race. The day finishes with the Colorado Professional Rodeo Association sanctioned rodeo at 1 p.m. The rodeo also offers a chance for the little ones to mutton bust. During the rodeo, the new Middle Park Fair and Rodeo royalty will be crowned. MPFR queen contestants are Briana Baker and Grace Johnson and princess contestants are Shiloh French and Hope Johnson.
For more information, visit www. middleparkfairandrodeo.com and for fair photos visit Grand Gazette on Facebook.