For more than 80 years, the county fair has provided a sense of community within Elbert County. Whether it’s residents catching up with old friends over a barbecue or making new acquaintances with recent arrivals, the 2016 Elbert County Fair in …
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For more than 80 years, the county fair has provided a sense of community within Elbert County. Whether it’s residents catching up with old friends over a barbecue or making new acquaintances with recent arrivals, the 2016 Elbert County Fair in Kiowa had a little something for everyone.
This year’s fair, which concluded Aug. 7, featured the return of some old favorites, such as the Backseat Drivers Contest, in which blindfolded drivers navigated an obstacle course in a riding lawnmower while the backseat driver gave directions from the trailing wagon.
Jeff Thomas was on hand to ensure drivers were properly blindfolded and there was no damage to the mower provided to the contest by Potestio Brothers Equipment of Parker .
“We made it through the entire contest without running into a fence or a wall,” Thomas said.
The backseatdriver contest drew 13 teams, eight unmarried teams and five married teams, though Thomas could not confirm if there were still five married couples at the conclusion of the contest.
If horsepower was more to the liking, the Colorado Garden Tractor Pullers Association offered two sessions of competition in the fairgrounds arena on Aug. 6, featuring 13 categories from 900 to 1,150 horsepower.
Competitors had the option of pulling a weighted sled with unmodified, off-the-shelf garden tractors or fully modified machines more akin to drag racers.
4-H participation in the 2016 fair was also strong again this year. In addition to the animal entries, county youths ranging from 5 to 18 years old showed off their work on various projects ranging from cake decorating and fashion to presentations and demonstrations of rocketry and genetics.
“There are amazing exhibits this year, from lambs to leather craft,” said Susan McMullen, Elbert County Extension Advisory Council chairwoman.
Though the Extension Office needs to tally the final numbers, they are estimating that 4-H participation in 2016 increased over last year’s numbers with shooting sports ranking as the most popular.
Shooting sports entries ranged from everything between archery and muzzle loader to high-power rifle and advanced shotgun. Shooting sports kicked off a month of activities with the 22-caliber rifle event in the second week of July.
In addition to the traditional events, such as parades, rodeos, and an ice cream eating contest, the 2016 fair also offered a few new attractions including a small carnival. The carnival was open afternoons and evenings from Wednesday through Sunday afternoon and featured a Ferris wheel.
Nearly a month of events wrapped up on Sunday with the traditional parade down Comanche Street and the Ranch Rodeo at the Elbert County Fairgrounds Arena.
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