It’s fair time in La Plata County

Annual event has long history, offers something for everyone

Brian Adams hangs stuffed animals on Tuesday that children can win playing the duck pond game when the Great Northern A’Fair Carnival opens on Wednesday at the start of the 2017 La Plata County Fair. The fair’s theme is “A Living Legacy.” Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Brian Adams hangs stuffed animals on Tuesday that children can win playing the duck pond game when the Great Northern A’Fair Carnival opens on Wednesday at the start of the 2017 La Plata County Fair. The fair’s theme is “A Living Legacy.”

It’s time for the annual La Plata County Fair, a showcase of the county’s best farmers and ranchers. The fair will be held from Aug. 9 to 13 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave.

How long has the fair been going on?This year’s La Plata County Fair honors the multiple generations of families that have come together for more than 70 years in celebration of the county’s best livestock, produce and talent. The fair’s theme is “A Living Legacy.”

What’s new this year? Texas singer-songwriter Kyle Park will give a concert at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the rodeo arena. “We haven’t had a concert here in 30 years,” said Amy Peterson, president of the La Plata County Fair board of directors. Denver-based country group Shotgun Lullaby will open the show. Tickets are available online at www.durangoconcerts.com or at the venue.

What contests are growing each year in terms of participants?Peterson said the open-class quilting competition has grown more than most. “There are always a lot of quilts,” she said. Additionally, the number of vendors participating in the fair has grown exponentially. “We’ve had more vendors sign up this year than in many years past,” she said.

How has the fair evolved to include rural and urban participants?The fair has evolved over the years to include a variety of events that one might not typically associate with a county fair, including model rocketry, robotics and engineering. “The 4-H kids do all sorts of things. It’s not just rural stuff, there is something for everyone,” Peterson said. “It is amazing what they do.”

Ben Elliott, 12, left, Gary Wright, 12, center, and Guy Wright, 14, move equipment around in the pavilion at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Tuesday as they prepare for the first day of the La Plata County Fair on Wednesday. Ben is the son of Kalen and Kathy Elliott, and Gary and Guy are the sons of Nate and Chrissy Wright. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Ben Elliott, 12, left, Gary Wright, 12, center, and Guy Wright, 14, move equipment around in the pavilion at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Tuesday as they prepare for the first day of the La Plata County Fair on Wednesday. Ben is the son of Kalen and Kathy Elliott, and Gary and Guy are the sons of Nate and Chrissy Wright.

Kyle Good climbs down the Alpine Swinger ride on Tuesday as the Great Northern A’Fair Carnival prepares to open at the La Plata County Fair. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Kyle Good climbs down the Alpine Swinger ride on Tuesday as the Great Northern A’Fair Carnival prepares to open at the La Plata County Fair.

Comments » Read and share your thoughts on this story