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What to Know: La Plata County Fair 2019

What to Know: La Plata County Fair 2017

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 7, and lasts through Sunday, August 11.

After checking out the fair’s schedule, you’re likely thinking “where do I even begin?” No worries, we’ve done the research for you. Here’s what you need to know:

When should I go?

You're probably chomping at the bit to see all the sites, but an insider secret would be to hold 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.

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. Various admission charges apply for certain events like the Chevel Shepherd concert, Demolition Derby, community 4-H Barbeque Cook Off, and the Fair Family Dance.

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? Try 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. If you’re lucky, 4-H-ers might allow onlookers to pet their prize pigs - or goats, rabbits, cows.

Is there music?

Of course! Chevel Shepherd, a local Four-Corners resident and winner of the hit-tv singing competition The Voice, will be playing at 7:00 pm at the fair. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. so you can try for the best seats in the house. Tickets are available at the Durango Welcome Center as well as the Fairgrounds Office; $25 for general admission, $35 for reserved seating. 

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 4:00 p.m. at the Senior Center Lawn for the 4-H Barbeque Cook-Off. All benefits go to 4-H. The Beer Garden will also be open Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon.

Can I sign up for the Talent Contest?

Yes! Friday evening's Talent Show starts at 7:00 p.m. Open to the public, this talent show is ready for whatever you’ve got. So far, 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.

Is it too late to buy a ticket for the Demolition Derby?

Pre-sale tickets, available from multiple businesses in town, sell out quick. Your only other option for getting into the Demolition Derby is to wait in line at the gate. While the gates open at 10:00 a.m., expect folks to start gathering as early as 8:00 a.m., so make sure to come early if your happiness depends on vehicle exhaust and metal carnage. Tickets are $15. 

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!   

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 calendars for Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. for the Junior Livestock Sale, following the Fair Royalty Crowning but before the Family Dance, which features local favorites, The Garrett Young Collective. Yeehaw!

For more information, please call 970.382.6463.

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