If bacon is all you know about swine and the idea of quilting sounds really hard, chances are you've never been to the La Plata County Fair. This year's annual gathering of all things homespun, homebred and homestead-like kicks off Wednesday, August 9, and lasts through Sunday, August 13.
We chatted with Angela Fountain, LPC Fair Administrative Assistant and 4-H connoisseur, about her suggestions for fair-weathered, first-timer attendees. Here are 10 questions she helped us answer superbly:
10. When should I go?
You're probably chomping at the bit to see all the sites, but Fountain recommends holding off your Fair visit till Thursday, Friday or Saturday. On Wednesday, exhibits are just getting set up, while on Sunday all of the animals are exhausted.
9. How much does it cost to get in?
Entry to the Fair itself is free, including the Open Class projects on display at the Exhibit Hall and Extension Building, where all of the animals and 4-H submissions dwell. For other events, like the Carnival, Demolition Derby, Kyle Park concert, 4-H Barbeque and Family Dance, costs vary between $3 and $20.
8. What will my kids enjoy the most?
So you just read Charlotte's Web with your youngsters, and now they want to see a pig win a blue ribbon? Fountain suggests checking out the Extension Building on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. The perfect kid-friendly itinerary would begin with an hour or two of carnival rides, followed by an hour or two adoring cute farm animals. She said that sometimes, 4-H-ers will allow onlookers to pet their prize pigs -- or goats, rabbits, cows.
7. Will there be bucking broncos?
Of course, says Fountain. On Wednesday and Thursday evening, Buckin' and Truckin' features bull riding, bronco bucking and bareback riding. "It's like a quarter of a rodeo, and more like hardcore stock riding," says Fountain.
6. What's new this year?
On Friday night, country western singer, Kyle Park, will grace the LPC Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena at 8:00 p.m. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Purchase tickets in advance at the Durango Welcome Center for $18, or $20 on the day of the show.
5. Where can I eat?
We know your stomach is growling at the thought of funnel cake and pulled pork sandwiches. Come hungry, leave happy knowing that you also supported a good cause on Saturday between noon and 5:00 p.m. at the Senior Center for the 4-H Barbeque Cook-Off. All benefits go to 4-H. For the rest of the Fair, don't miss The Grange serving food at the Exhibit Hall Kitchen. Daily specials vary. Fountain also says this is the first year pizza will be served at the Fair, so keep an eye out for Domino's. The Beer Garden will be open Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon.
4. Can I sign up for the Talent Show?
Yes! Friday evening's Talent Show starts at 7:00 p.m. Open to the public, Fountain says "everyone with any talent can come and show it off." So far, she says mostly musicians, singers and dancers are signed up, so if you have a super cool talent, like playing guitar with your toes, it's not too late to compete for up to $100 in prize money. No entry fee required. Contestants may only enter one act limited to five minutes.
3. Is it too late to buy a ticket for the Demolition Derby?
All pre-sale tickets are sold out, so the only way to get into the Demolition Derby is by waiting in line at the gate. While gates open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday (Derby starts at noon), Fountain says folks will start gathering around 8:00 a.m., so come early if your happiness depends on vehicle exhaust and metal carnage. Tickets are $15. To enter, call 970.247.3480 or 970 749.5688.
2. Where can I see remarkable food, wares, art, photography and other submissions?
Starting Wednesday afternoon, the Exhibit Hall will feature all Open Class submissions from county and adjacent county residents. Items you might espy: handspun yarn, wood burning projects, scarecrows, bird houses, Lego towers, jams, jellies, juices, jerky, jewelry, divinity, brittles, penuche, fudge, taffy, toffee, chiffon cake, angel food cake, chocolate cake, gingerbread, apple pie, pumpkin pie, sopapillas, fry bread, sugar cookies, sauerkraut, pickled anything and everything, canned goods, canned greats, quilts, quilts and more quilts!
1. What if I want to buy a horse?
Whether you're looking to grow your family or just want to scratch that itch of experiencing a livestock auction, mark your calendar for Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m., following the Royalty Crowning but before the Family Dance, which features local favorites, The Highrollers. Dance tickets are $3, and Fountain asks you to bring exact change or a check. Yeehaw!
For a full schedule, click here. For more information, please call 970.382.6463.