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Delta County Fair hits full stride

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Photo by Tamie Meck Demolition Derby competitors get down and dirty in the mud during the finals Saturday night. The fairground grandstands were packed, but just a few die-hard fans returned for the finals after being cleared out for almost an hour while

The Delta County Fair hits full stride this week, with livestock shows, Heritage Hall exhibits, rodeos, a concert, coronation of the 2017 fair royalty and the junior market livestock sale.

The fairgrounds in Hotchkiss have been hopping for several days. On Friday, 4-H'ers gathered in Heritage Hall for a wall decorating party. They were back Saturday morning with their 4-H exhibits for judging and interviews. On Saturday night, the grandstands were packed for the Demolition Derby and ATV Barrel Challenge. English and Western horse events took center stage in the Events Center on Sunday, while two teams battled it out for people's choice honors in a Dutch oven cooking contest.

Ranch horse events and a team roping saddle shootout provided plenty of entertainment Monday.

All junior livestock was weighed, entered and stalled by the end of the day Tuesday, and ribbons were awarded at the 4-H fashion revue and dog obedience show. An antique tractor pull closed out the day.

For the remainder of the week, food vendors will be in place and exhibits will be open to the public until 7 p.m. nightly. Members of the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce will be manning a beer garden during the evening events -- on Thursday, there's a ranch rodeo; Friday is the concert by William Michael Morgan; and Saturday is the rodeo, team roping finals and fair royalty coronation.

The fair parade takes place Saturday, Aug. 12, beginning at 10 a.m. in downtown Hotchkiss. Richard Bailey, a longtime fair board member and the founder of the Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Dog Trials, was chosen as the grand marshal of the 112th Delta County Fair parade. This year's theme is "Country Roots, Dirty Boots."

Back at the fairgrounds, the Delta County Livestock Association hosts a barbecue beginning at 11:30 a.m. Proceeds benefit the association's scholarship fund.

The junior market livestock sale takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday. "We would really like to thank our past buyers for their support at the livestock sale," said Gary Peebles, president of the Delta County Fair Board. "Many of the same businesses have been buying animals for years."

Kids ages 3-8 will compete in mutton bustin' at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, prior to the start of the rodeo with bulls and broncs. Also taking place Saturday evening are the team roping finals and the coronation of the 2017 fair royalty.

See next week's issue of the Delta County Independent for a complete wrap-up of the fair, including results for both open and junior exhibitors.

Photo by Pat Sunderland Joyce Conger and husband Glen, of the team “Never Trust a Skinny Cook,” competed against the Clock clan — Kirby, Lynette and Tiffany — in the Dutch oven cooking contest at the county fair Sunday morning. Winners were determined by people’s choice. Which would you choose? Bacon-wrapped stuffed meatloaf or chicken cordon bleu? Beer bread or cinnamon apple caramel bread? Peanut butter cup cookie skillet or brownies? Both teams put together mouth-watering menus.
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