Big weekend at the Routt County Fair

Routt County's 4-Hers' animals are at the fairgrounds, the home arts exhibits are judged and displayed, and the carnival is up and running. With three days to go, the Routt County Fair is in full swing this weekend.

This is the Routt County Fair's 90th anniversary, and fair organizers are celebrating with all the old-time favorites and several new events throughout the jam-packed schedule.

Before the fair winds down Sunday evening, there are plenty of opportunities to sample the flavor of Routt County's agricultural heritage. Today's events include poultry, llama, dairy/beef breeding, beef showmanship, market beef and Routt County raised beef producer shows. Saturday night is the annual Junior Livestock Sale, when the 4-H animals are auctioned to the highest bidders.

Skills will be put to the test during the open draft horse obstacle course and the working ranch horse competition Saturday and the ranch rodeo, complete with mutton bustin', catch-a-bunny contest, greased pig contest and horse races Sunday. A carriage pleasure driving show is today.

There are tractor events for all ages, including an antique tractor pull tonight and a children's pedal tractor pull Saturday afternoon.

Through it all, visitors can saunter through the exhibit hall to see who has the year's best art, baked goods, canned goods, crafts, woodworking, quilts and a variety of other home arts. It's also a chance to see the effects of all that rain and cool weather on flower and vegetable gardens this year.

The fair's weekend social calendar kicks off with the wine and beer judging and tasting tonight and starts again Saturday morning with the Routt County Cattlemen's breakfast before the fair parade begins at 10 a.m. in Hayden. There are two scheduled performances by the Westernaires, a precision equestrian drill team, at 6:30 p.m. today and 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The ever-popular 4-H Barbecue is from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, right before the Junior Livestock Sale, with live musical entertainment by 3-Wire.

After the sale is over Saturday night, fair visitors can kick up their heels at the annual barn dance that is scheduled to last into the wee hours of the morning.

Finally, throughout the weekend's events, carnival rides are running, as well. Ride the Ferris wheel high above the fairgrounds or take a zoom around on the roller coaster. There are carnival games, twirly rides and sweets and treats for all.

Admission to the fairgrounds is free, however visitors must purchase tickets for carnival rides, the Westernaires show, the ranch rodeo and the barbecue.

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