It’s time for the La Plata County Fair!
A time to hear kids laugh, watch them focus during their time in front of a fair judge and hear the pride in their voices when they talk about their accomplishments. It’s also time for curly fries, corn dogs, cotton candy and watermelon.
Even after 44 years, I am amazed at the hours and hours community members give each year for our fair. Just as our community has changed, so has fair. But there some things that just don’t change, like the variety of entries in art, baking, food preservation, quilts, photography and horticulture. It reminds me of what is right with our world and our future, and it’s a chance to enjoy the purpose and dedication of our young people.
The annual 4-H Community Barbecue on Saturday has made a few changes, but the purpose and price stay the same. We have to give an extra thanks to the four competitors: Chevron, XTO Energy, Crossfire and BP America. These gas company employees (and families) put in three long days cooking pork and beef to serve to about 1,400 community members. Their purpose? To win the best barbecue title and celebrate our community’s young people.
If you haven’t experienced it, get your tickets early and show up between noon and 5 p.m. It’s successful every year because so many people contribute to make it happen and so many come to enjoy really good food. People relax under trees and on lawns by the Durango/La Plata Senior Center and Durango High School. Fair royalty and many 4-H’ers can be seen helping, mingling, smiling, serving, cleaning up and just being an overall great help. So many families and parents help in so many ways. It’s a significant, cooperative accomplishment that warms one’s heart.
The companies each pay a generous entry fee (which goes to our 4-H youth development program) so their employees can volunteer Thursday, Friday and Saturday and compete for best beef and pork. Three experienced judges will pick the winner.
I thank the believers in 4-H who have given so much of their time. The fair would not have happened without them. 4-H kids and families help in so many ways, always with a smile and a “what else do you need” attitude. Extra applause must also go to the fairgrounds crew, which works tirelessly to prepare the grounds.
Head, heart, hands and health – the 4 Hs – certainly “brought it to the table” for the fair. As a community, we are stronger because of these people and businesses. We believe in the children of our community. All is right with the world when you can spend some time at the county fair.
Check out the amazing 4-H projects in the Extension Building and in the Exhibit Hall and be sure to check out the rabbit/chicken barn and pavilion, which has come alive with cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. Just ask a child about their project and be prepared for an amazing amount of pride and knowledge to flow from an 8-year-old or an 18-year-old!
Wendy Rice is the family and consumer science agent for the La Plata County Extension Office. Reach her at email@example.com or 382-6461. Wendy Rice