The Montezuma County Fair plans to kick off July 24 with a country music concert, then continue July 28 to Aug. 1 with traditional events.
Larger events such as fairs and concerts are now possible under relaxed Colorado COVID-19 restrictions.
According to new state guidelines, each designated outdoor activity at the fair may have a maximum of 175 people if the venue’s square footage allows for adequate social distancing.
Each indoor activity will be capped at 100 people per room if the venue allows for adequate social distancing.
“It’s looking good, we are planning most of the traditional events including the 4-H and FFA programs,” said fair board secretary Kelly Comisky.
Fair officials are optimistic, she said, but caution that because of uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, some events might face changes or cancellations.
Little Texas, a nationally known country-rock band, will perform at the fairground’s outdoor grandstands Friday night, July 24. Overton Road, from Pueblo, is the opening band.
Concert tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and will go on sale soon on the fair’s Facebook page.
As part of a strategy to attract crowds and generate more revenue, the fair board booked a national act and plans to sell beer at the concert only. To help with costs of a top performer, the Montezuma County Board of County Commissioners increased the fair’s budget to $71,000, up from $35,000 in 2019.
Classic fair events will return, including the Ranch Rodeo, family gymkhana, lawnmower races, demolition derby, goat roping, team roping, barrel racing and an ATV rodeo. There will be chili and salsa contests, a chicken chase and other events.
Traditional 4-H and FFA events will be held, and the livestock sale will occur. There will be a farmers market, craft fair, food, and vendors.
Organizing the fair is a collaboration between the county fair board and the Montezuma County Colorado State University Extension office.
Going forward with the youth livestock shows is important for the agricultural community, said county extension director Greg Felsen.
“People are super-excited that the youth can show off the hard work they have done with their animals throughout the year,” he said. “The livestock auction is a chance to support the 4-H community and is a way to get locally raised meat.”
Because of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and lockdowns, the fair was shortened by one day, and some events were canceled, including the kids day, dog show, 4-H shooting event, and fire department water fight. The rabbit show was canceled because of a virus outbreak in North American populations.
Fair officials say they plan to follow state and county COVID-19 safety guidelines. Facial coverings are recommended for fair attendees, and social distancing should be practiced. People who feel ill are asked to stay home.
Indoor venues and arenas will be monitored to avoid overcrowding, officials said.