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County Fairs

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Fairly magical
Boulder County celebrates turn of the century
in style

Kevin M. McCarthy
For the Vacation Guide

   LONGMONT You don't need to go very far to have a good time.

   One of the area's biggest attractions of every summer happens right here in Longmont.

   The 131st Boulder County Fair and Rodeo will put smiles on kids faces and produce jolly good times for adults, too.

   The theme for this year's fair, which runs from Aug. 4, though Aug. 12, is "Making the Millennium Magic."

   Many of the  same features of the fair, which takes place at the county fairgrounds at Nelson Road and Hover Street, will be here again in 2000, but there will of course be some changes too.

   "We're looking for a good time," fair manager Jim Rice said. "It's going to be as good or better than last year."

   Rice said right now he's  looking for someone to sponsor a Saturday night concert.

   The radio station that sponsored the event last year, KLMO, has gone through some changes and won't be involved in the same way this year.

   In 1999, country and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and his Kentucky Thunder played in the outdoor arena on the final night of the fair.

   Skaggs appeared compliments of the radio station, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary.

   In addition, Rice said he's looking for someone to replace Fred Borra, owner of the White Buffalo in Longmont, which closed its doors recently.

   That restaurant operated a food tent at the fair.

   But there's no need to worry. There certainly will be a lot of entertainment this year.

   David Rice, who plays big band music here in town, is doing an entertainment stage again at the fair, Jim Rice said.

   "He did a bang-up job for us," Jim Rice said of last year's event. "We're looking for some new acts for that."

   This year, vendors will be split up to help with traffic flow, Jim Rice said.

   Flowers and other features will be in the middle with other vendors against the edges.

   "We're just pretty busy getting ready," Jim Rice said.

   The organization of the fair takes a lot of time and energy.

   Bob Hamblen, the director of the Boulder County extension office, said a lot of work goes into preparing for the fair, and once it's over the organizers are tired.

   But it really is an event that is rewarding for a lot of people.

   "You see a lot of good things that happen," he said.

   Kids enjoy themselves, and Hamblen said the Boulder County Fair has a real community feel to it.

   He said it's not overly commercial like some similar events.

   Hamblen also said the county fair is an interesting mix between rural and urban aspects of the area.

   "This is a throwback to some of the rural activities," he said.

   This year, the usual fan favorite Best Salsa in Boulder County Competition and People's Choice Chili Cook Off will be held together.   

   "Every year we try to experiment and think about how we can offer things to attract people," Hamblen said.

   The fair kicks off, as always, with the Old Timers Rodeo on Friday, Aug. 4, which is a big draw.

   The same carnival show, Crabtree Amusement Inc. from Texas, will be at the fair, while possibly adding some new attractions.

   "They'll be back. They'll probably bring some new rides," Jim Rice said.

   There will be another Boulder County employees day at the fair this year.

   Also, for the youngsters, there will be daily passes for rides and an all-week "fun pass," for kids that will be coming several times.

   Some of the other popular features at the fair include a petting zoo and junior art exhibits.

   In addition, the livestock show is one of the largest in the state.

   The fair is usually attended by between 70,000 and 80,000  people.

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Loveland hosts fair and rodeo

Felicia Jordan
For the Vacation Guide

   LOVELAND The Larimer County Fair and Rodeo once again brings a week of carnival rides, livestock competitions, rodeo shows, displays and concerts to Loveland's fairgrounds from Thursday, Aug. 3, through Wednesday, Aug. 9.

   Prefair activities begin Friday, July 28, with the 4-H cat show and the team-penning competition, said fair manager Bob Holt.

   The fair parade takes place Saturday morning, July 29, in downtown Loveland. Teens 14-18 compete in the junior rodeo in the afternoon.

   On Sunday, July 30, youngsters 7-13 and mutton busters ride in the junior rodeo.

   On Tuesday, Aug. 1, the county team-roping competition takes place. Fair exhibits and the carnival open Thursday.

   Friday, Aug. 4, features a concert by country singer Doug Stone. The draft-horse show and pull take place Saturday, Aug. 5.

   Sunday, Aug. 6, will feature the traditional pancake breakfast put on by the fair board.

   Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association rodeo performances take place at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, through Tuesday, Aug. 8, in the fairgrounds arena.

   The fair wraps up with the junior livestock sale on Wednesday, Aug. 9.

   The fair attracts about 80,000 visitors each year.

   This will be one of the last years the fair takes place at the old fairgrounds in Loveland. By 2003, it will move to the new county fairgrounds just north of the Interstate 25-U.S. 34 interchange.

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