After preliminary events, Rio Blanco County Fair moves into full swing

Proud of her first-place ribbons is Isabella Brown of Vernal, Utah, who was busy Friday morning competing in the PeeWee Horsemanship Class events. Several children from Utah and Northwest Colorado, including Rangely and Meeker, competed in the class events.

Proud of her first-place ribbons is Isabella Brown of Vernal, Utah, who was busy Friday morning competing in the PeeWee Horsemanship Class events. Several children from Utah and Northwest Colorado, including Rangely and Meeker, competed in the class events.
Proud of her first-place ribbons is Isabella Brown of Vernal, Utah, who was busy Friday morning competing in the PeeWee Horsemanship Class events. Several children from Utah and Northwest Colorado, including Rangely and Meeker, competed in the class events.
RBC I The Rio Blanco County Fair has had a couple of preliminary events since the July 18 4-H County Shoot-Off, but the fair slips into high gear today at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds in Meeker.
From today through Saturday evening, there will be a vast array of events featuring the best Rio Blanco County residents have to offer.

There will be the 4-H critters all around the 4-H building and the indoor arena for the next three days, but there also will be dioramas, fruits, honey, cookies, vegetables, photography, quilts, paintings, drawings, fashion, wall hangings, jewelry, furniture, leatherwork, ceramics, etched and sand-blasted glass, centerpieces, baskets and basket weaving, calligraphy, metal work, baked goods, cut flowers, potted plants and flower arrangements. These are truly just a few of the more domestic entries at the fair.
When we move to the livestock entries, a lot of different animals are included in the running for grand champion, reserve champion and other ribbons.
There are swine, beef, goats and lambs in the major categories, but there are also chickens, rabbits, dogs, horses, etc., from the animal world.
There will also be special meals like the Rio Blanco County Woolgrowers’ lamb kabobs, which will be offered on Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the 4-H building; the Stock Growers’ Barbecue, which begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, and the Meeker Lions Club Barbecue, running from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Starting today at 8:30 a.m. are the swine 4-H/FFA showmanship classes, and at 9 a.m., all indoor exhibits, coloring and cover contest entries are due.
At 1 p.m. are the goat 4-H/FFA showmanship classes followed immediately by the 4-H/FFA market and open classes.
At 6 p.m., are the swine shows, with the open swine classes first, followed immediately by the 4-H/FFA market classes.
Also, from 6 to 9 p.m., all exhibit halls will be open for viewing and the indoor silent auction.
On Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the exhibit halls are open for viewing and silent auction bidding.
Also at 9 a.m. is the start of the sheep 4-H/FFA showmanship classes followed by market classes, followed by the 4-H breeding classes.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. is the RBC Woolgrowers’ lamb kabob sale.
At 12:30 p.m. is the open sheep show and orphan lambs, and that can run until the sheep lead contest at 3 p.m. in the 4-H building.
One of the big attractions each year is Friday’s talent show. Contestants should check in at about 3 p.m., with the talent show and 4-H Fashion Show running from 4 to 6 p.m.
Beginning at 5 p.m. is the Rio Blanco County Stock Growers’ Barbecue, and that coincides with the start of the Beef 4-H/FFA showmanship classes, followed by the breeding, market, open and dairy classes.
Open beef will be released after the show, but from 8:30 to 9 p.m., animals that are being sold must be reported in the main office. Deadline is 9 p.m.
Saturday is the final day of the actual fair, but it is also the busiest day of the fair, culminating in the tremendously popular 4-H/FFA Junior Livestock Sale/Auction.
The day opens at 9 a.m. with the exhibit halls open for viewing and silent auction bidding.
At 10 a.m., is the 4-H/FFA round robin stock showing, followed by the cloverbud show and tell in the exhibit hall at 10:30. At 11 a.m. is the Pet Rock Contest in the front parking lot, followed by the Rabbit Chase at 11:30 a.m. in the indoor arena.
Another of the highlights of the fair is the Lil’ Buckaroo Rodeo in the outdoor arena, running from noon to roughly 3 p.m.
Following the rodeo, from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m., the Meeker Lions Club will hold its annual barbecue, sponsored by the Bank of the San Juans, Rangely (under the grandstands).
The indoor silent auction closes at 5 p.m., and the exhibit hall will close from 5 to 6 p.m.
At 5:15 will be the pre-sale awards and activities in the 4-H Barn/Sale Arena, and the well-anticipated bake sale will follow at 5:30 p.m.
The long-awaited 4-H/FFA Junior Livestock Sale begins, and look out if the top animals pit a Rangely and Meeker Grand Champion/Reserve Champion against each other. The bidding can be fast and costly.
At 6 p.m., non-sale 4-H animals are released, and from 6 to 8 p.m, premiums and indoor exhibits are released.
With the halls all opening at 7 a.m. on Sunday, the rest of the exhibits and the animals must be removed from the fairgrounds.
In addition to the 4-H and FFA exhibits and livestock shows, there are a series of public events.
The first of these is the Cover and Coloring Contest, the competition to design the cover of the 2016 Rio Blanco County Fair Book. Entrants need to pick up a coloring and cover contest sheet in the Extension Office and turn it in by today at 9 a.m. for a chance to win. The theme of the fair next year is “Ready, Set, Show.”
On Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. is the Rio Blanco County’s Got Talent Open and 4-H Competition. In addition to the 4-H competition, the public is invited to compete. Contestants should bring a talent (it must be under four minutes), be it singing, dancing, magic or more. Sound technicians and microphones will be provided but you must provide your own CD music, instruments, props, etc. The rules and entry forms are in the back of the Fair Book.
The last four public events are on Saturday.
The first is the Pet Rock Contest, beginning at 11 a.m. Held in the front parking lot of the fairgrounds, it is open to any and all rock owners willing to publicly claim and name their pet rocks and have the confidence to be a winner. You must provide your own rock. There will be two contests: the Best Dressed and the Furthest Roller. Age categories will be: Mentor and Me (8 and under); Youth (9-13 years); High School (14-18 years) and Adult (19 and older).
At 11:30 a.m. is the rabbit chase in the indoor arena. There are two age divisions—ages 2-3 and 4-5—and the rabbits will be turned loose in a small pen in the Indoor Arena. Youth in each division will have a chance to chase and catch a rabbit. Please be prepared to take a bunny home if one is caught.
Another of the favorite events for the kids and spectators is the Lil’ Buckaroo Rodeo, set for noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday. There is mutton bustin’, calf riding, steer riding, poles, barrel races, flag races, break-away roping and goat tying (or ribbon pull for the younger buckaroos). Entries will be accepted during the Round Robin competition in the indoor arena with a $10 late fee. Helmets are mandatory for horse speed and rough stock events, and participants must provide their own helmets. Buckles and ribbons will be awarded.
The last of the public events is the bake sale auction for Division 2 – Baked Goods in Department 13 that will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday in the 4-H building. Only one slice will be left on display for judging.