Middle Park Fair & Rodeo kicks-off Friday

file photo/Mike Wilson | Last year's Walk Your Wool event.
file photo/Mike Wilson | Last year's Walk Your Wool event.

The 104th Middle Park Fair & Rodeo kicks off tomorrow at the Kremmling Fairgrounds, and fair enthusiasts will not be disappointed. Guests will be treated to a traditional line-up of events while practicing COVID-19 safety measures.

The event promises rodeos, horse racing, horseshoe pitching and the opportunity for 4-H members to exhibit the projects they have worked hard on throughout the year. The event will also have concessions and snow cones.
The tradition of highlighting the life-long achievements of the County’s pioneers also continues. This year’s recipients are Elaine Busse, Fred Garrett, Leigh Murphy and Geneva Sherman.

Citizens-of-the-Year are William “Bill” Hamilton and Dave and Karen Hammer. The traditional celebration for these individuals will be combined with next year’s ceremony, but hopefully, the recipients will enjoy well-wishes and congratulations throughout this year’s fair.

Friday, July 31, eases us into Fair Week with 4-H Exhibit Day.

4-H members involved with general projects, home ec projects, and shooting sports will be interviewed by judges as they show off their projects. The hard work will be displayed in the CSU Extension Hall throughout the fair.

Saturday, August 1, features the 4-H dog show beginning at 8 a.m. and the 4-H cat show at 3 p.m. These two events are always a crowd favorite. Man’s best friend will follow basic obedience commands and complete a rally course. Cat showmen demonstrate their knowledge about their feline friends as they show-off their cat to the judge. The cat show also incorporates a dress-up component where members create a theme by decorating their cat’s cage and dressing in a matching costume.
Sunday is the traditional open horse show beginning at 8 a.m. The line-up allows horse enthusiasts in the community to show their mares, geldings, stallions and foals at the show. There is also a riding portion of the day, where equestrians can pit their skills and their horse’s skills against others in their age group. Horse lovers will also want to catch the 4-H horse show on Tuesday, August 4, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The 4-H speed events will finish on Wednesday, starting at 8 a.m. The speed events are a fast-paced demonstration of equestrian skills and dexterity as 4-H members ride their horses around barrels and poles. Those who appreciate fast paced events will want to attend the Queen’s Barrel Race later that night at 7 p.m. The Queen’s Barrel Race is a fundraiser for the Fair Royalty program and begins with a dad’s barrel racing division.

Monday launches the traditional livestock shows where 4-H members vie for championships and show their animals to the best of their abilities. The ultimate goal for many of those showing their market animals is
to earn a coveted spot in the 4-H Livestock Auction. The rabbit show begins on Monday, followed by the poultry show on Tuesday, and the swine and beef shows on Thursday. The sheep and goat shows will start the day off on Friday morning.
Also on Friday, is the llama and alpaca show. The same as other 4-H shows, the llama and alpaca show finds 4-H members showing the judge their animal’s skill set. Often used for packing, llamas and alpaca are led through an obstacle course, demonstrating their training. The llamas and alpacas are also dressed in a costume. This exhibits the training and tolerance of the animal to have items hanging from their ears, legs and backs.

Following the llama and alpaca show is the Open Youth Show. Youngsters under 8 bring their family pets and furry friends to exhibit. The casual event allows the kids to lead or carry their animal around and to be interviewed by the MPFR royalty.
After the Youth Show, the top showmen will compete in the Round Robin. The champion showmen of pigs, goats, sheep, steers and halter horses are challenged to show the other species. In showmanship competitions, the judge is judging the showman rather than the animal. The judge assesses the knowledge of the showman and how the showman presents their animal. In the Round Robin, the top showmen are pitted against the champion showmen of all the species and are given the opportunity to show each species. Judges then select the overall champion showman after seeing how they handle each animal species.

Friday ends the 4-H shows and starts the weekend fun, beginning with the Super Horse contest. The event identifies the top horse as participants rope in different classes and run barrels. The night ends with a junior rodeo where contestants, all under 18, rope, ride rough stock, goat tie and run barrels and poles.

On Saturday, August 8, those who enjoy a friendly competition of horseshoe pitching are encouraged to come early to enter. The official start of the Don Pickering Memorial Horseshoe Contest is 10 a.m.
The day moves quickly into the start of the Junior Livestock Live Auction at 3 p.m. This is a grand finale for many of the 4-Hers and their meat projects. Auctioneer Randy Lewis will encourage buyers to bid in a lively and fun environment as 4-Hers bring their animals through the sale ring. Those bidding (and buying at the auction) should come early to register and enjoy a beverage at the beer garden. The sale has changed its location to follow COVID safety standards and will be in front of the swine barn under a big tent.

Saturday finishes with a CPRA (Colorado Professional Rodeo Association) rodeo at 7 p.m. Entry into the rodeo is $5 for children under 12 and seniors over 65 and $10 for all others. Fair Board President Dakota Docheff assures spectators the rodeo will be well worth the money. “ The Saturday night performance of the rodeo this year has a clown act, trick riders, drill team and a sound guy,” she explains of the fun format that is capped at 125 attendees.

Sunday’s events begin with the Community Church service at 9 a.m. Then ag events resume with the traditional Walk the Wool show at 10a.m. It features contestants modeling a wool outfit while leading a wool-producing animal, such as a sheep or alpaca.

The event is open to all!
After Walk the Wool, the horse racing begins in front of the grand stands. The horse race calcutta begins at 11 a.m. and gives spectators a lively option of bidding on their favorite racers and earning some money if their racers win! Racing action begins at 11:30 a.m. on the race track. The matched racers provide fast-paced action.

Following the races, it is fitting that the 104th year of the MPFR ends on a high note with the ranch rodeo. The ranch rodeo demonstrates the skills of cowboys. Teams of four compete against the clock as they complete tasks used on the ranch, such as sorting, doctoring, branding, roping and loading a trailer. Ranch Rodeo Organizer Shea Meeks explains that, this year, the event will ask the cowboy teams to, “Milk a cow, trailer load and tie one down.”

For more information on the events, visit wwwmiddleparkfairandrodeo.com

Fair at a Glance at a Glance

2019-2022 Royalty
Queen Madelyn Probst
Princess Shiloh French

Pioneers of the Year
Elaine Busse
Fred Garrett
Leigh Murphy
Geneva Sherman

Citizens of the Year
William “Bill” Hamilton
Dave and Karen Hammer

To read their full bios, visit www. middleparkfairandrodeo.com

Friday, July 31
8 a.m. – 4-H Exhibit Day

Saturday, August 1
8 a.m. – 4-H Dog Show
3 pm. – 4-H Cat Show

Sunday, August 2
8 a.m. – Open Horse Show

Monday, August 3
4 p.m. – Rabbit Show

Tuesday, August 4
8 a.m. – 4-H Horse Show
1 p.m. – Poultry Show

Wednesday, August 5
8 a.m. – 4-H Horse Speed Events
7 p.m. – Queen’s Barrel Race

Thursday, August 6
8 a.m. – Swine Show
5 p.m. – Beef Show

Friday, August 7
8 a.m. – Sheep Show
10 a.m. – Goat Show
10 a.m. – Super Horse Challenge 12 p.m. – Llama Show
1:30 p.m. – Open Youth Show
3 p.m. – Online bidding opens visit www.dvauction.com
3 p.m. – Round Robin
6 p.m. – Junior Rodeo

Saturday, August 8
10 a.m. – Don Pickering Memorial Horseshoe Contest
2:30 p.m. – 4-H Overall Awards 3 p.m. – Jr. Livestock Live Auction 3 p.m. – CPRA Rodeo Slack
7 p.m. – CPRA Rodeo

Sunday, August 9
9 a.m. – Church Service
10 a.m. – Walk Your Wool
11 a.m. – Horse Race Calcutta 11:30 a.m. – Horse Race
12:30 p.m.- Ranch Horse Calcutta 1 p.m. – Ranch Rodeo