The La Plata County Fair kicks off this weekend with pre-fair events.
On Saturday, the public can attend the 4-H Horse Show and the open class American Rabbit Breeders Association show. These will take place at 9 a.m. at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave. At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, don’t miss the 4-H Gymkhana horse event.
Two of the biggest days for 4-H members will be held Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, 4-H members will participate in a variety of different contests, quizzes and interviews related to their projects. These activities allow members to gain mastery of their subjects, public-speaking experience and workforce-preparedness skills. My all-time favorite is watching the cake-decorating contest. It is wonderful to see members show off their skills in front of an audience.
On Tuesday, 4-H home economics, natural resources and general projects will be entered. This is such an exciting day. Youths bring in projects they have worked on throughout the year. It is great to see the effort these young adults have made. 4-H projects range from woodworking and leather crafting to clothing and foods. It is really amazing to see the variety of projects.
The fair officially starts Wednesday, and it will run through Sunday, Aug. 14. The remaining weekdays for 4-H members will be filled with livestock shows. The public can watch sheep, goat, swine, beef, rabbit and poultry shows. Our pavilion and bunny barn will be filled with lots of animals for the public to see. Also, don’t forget about watching the 4-H Dog Show on the morning of Aug. 13.
Saturday, Aug. 13, is also the date of the annual 4-H community barbecue fundraiser. The best barbecue of the summer will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on the lawn of the Durango/Plata Senior Center, 2424 Main Ave. Once again, we have four tremendous cooking teams preparing local beef and pork for your tasting pleasure. These teams will be competing for the prestigious “Sizzling Cup” Award as well as the People’s Choice Award for best barbecue.
In addition to meat, your donation ticket will get you corn on the cob, salad, bread, dessert and a drink. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 the day of for adults. Seniors 65 and older and kids 7 and younger are just $5. All proceeds will support the leadership and life-skills programs at 4-H.
We would like to thank our major corporate sponsors of Chevron, XTO Energy, WPX Energy, Crossfire and the La Plata Energy Council for their sponsorship. Additional thanks go to Basin Printing, First National Bank, Bank of Colorado, Coca Cola of Durango, Bread, Basin Coop, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the Gillen family, Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, La Plata Electric Association, the senior center and Sunnyside Meats for making this an annual success.
The 4-H Marketplace, held alongside the barbecue, will highlight the young entrepreneurs in 4-H. Tents outside the entrance to the barbecue will form a market. Members will have their products and/or services on display. They have been learning different advertising, marketing and sales approaches this summer in anticipation of the marketplace.
This year’s theme, “Stocks, Bonds and Futures,” recognizes our agriculture heritage and celebrates the memories the county fair holds for many of us. We invite everyone to come down to see the livestock projects, meet and establish new bonds with community members throughout the county and help support the future leaders of our area.
Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach him at email@example.com or 382-6463.