Aug 19, 2019 06:00PM
A late-summer tradition across this great nation, state and local fairs are a celebration of community. While there are a bunch of them happening this month all along the Front Range, there is one that rises above the rest that you don’t want to miss even if you wrote it off years ago. Here are some of the top reasons to put the annual Colorado State Fair & Rodeo in Pueblo on your calendar in 2019.
1. THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW
Whether it’s your first time or you’re 50th, the fair keeps it fresh every year. New fun, new food, new attractions: sprinkled through the fairgrounds are updated features and attractions designed to keep up with the times and to keep you coming back every summer.
Some of the first-time additions in 2019: the World Slopper Eating Championship competition, hosted by the same group behind Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. There’s also a new platform divers show, with performers leaping from heights of 80 feet into pools below.
2. BUT IT NEVER REALLY CHANGES
The new and novel attractions are like the sprinkles on ice cream. They are great enhancements, add a little crunch and some visual flourish, but they aren’t why you order a cone. You order it because you like it, you’ve liked it since you were a little kid. During the summer, you like to treat yourself with two scoops in a sugar cone. It’s tradition. Just like the fair.
3. IT’S A HISTORY LESSON
Before Colorado was Colorado, the fair was the Fair. It started in 1869, drawing about 2,000 people to Pueblo that first year. It was still going when Colorado became a state six years later. During the subsequent 127 years, it’s only been canceled once: 1917, during WWII. Learn more at exhibits showcasing details about the fair’s history.
4. THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
The annual celebration of Colorado agriculture has evolved over the years to an Americana juggernaut complete with concerts with headlining acts, carnival rides, rodeo events, motorsports, 4-H shows, food competitions, art exhibitions, craft markets, cultural celebrations, parades, pageants, lip-sync battles, dances, and so much more.
5. HOBBY COMPETITIONS
If you collect dolls better than anyone else, the fair has a competition for you. If you think collecting dolls is kind of creepy but your pickled eggs are famous in your neighborhood association, earn bragging rights by winning the Pantry competition. Even if you collect pet rocks, there’s still a chance you’re a winner. Quilts, needle arts, poetry, floral arrangements, home brews, porcelain art: winners will be crowned.
6. FAIR FARE
Fried dough. Turkey legs. Pickles on a stick. Deep-fried Snickers. And all the other deliciously good but definitely not good for you treats synonymous with ferris wheels.
7. MUSIC BRINGS THE PEOPLE TOGETHER
Country. Alt rock. Southern rock. Spanish rock. High school bands. Mariachi groups. Tribute acts. Bluegrass fiddlers. And more. Whatever gets you moving, you’ll find a reason to groove on the lineup. The King of the Accordion Ramon Ayala kicks off all the shows on Aug. 23 and 38 Special wraps it all up on Sept. 2. FYI, you’ll need a special ticket for most of the headlining acts, including Beach Boys, Halestorm, Brett Young, and other big artists taking the stage at the Southwest Motors Events Center.
8. CARNIVAL RIDES
The ferris wheel is more than an amazing photo op for your Story. It’s known in some circles as one of the greatest inventions of all time. Riding it is daring, yet peaceful, and elevates you above the crowds. The timeless attraction is a metaphor for life itself: no matter how high we go, how far we travel, what we’ve seen from the top, we want to end up right where we started. It’s an emblematic reminder there’s no place like home. Or maybe it just makes for a pretty picture. You get to decide what it means to you.