AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds was empty. This year, the fair kicks off in a big way.
The Arapahoe County Fair has been running for 115 years, except for a few occasions.
“Wars, of course, would have gotten in the way, as well as economics and recessions,” Luc Hatelstad said.
And pandemics. But not this year. The Arapahoe County Fair begins Thursday night.
”Today is all about set up. The carnival people got here a couple days ago. You can see that they’re up but not running yet,“ Hatelstad said.
Sitting on a 110-acre park next to the Aurora Reservoir, the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds will be offering up everything you would expect from a county fair.
“Fireworks shows Friday and Saturday night, the carnival rides, the food and drink, the music, dock dogs, mutton-busting, livestock shows, rodeos,” Hatelstad said.
Watkins 14-year-old Elizabeth Westondorf is pretty happy the fair is happening this year. She has been working real hard to get her sow named Marla Hootch ready for the show.
“This is about where her road ends. We have a market show tonight and then on Saturday, I will sell her at the auction, and then she will go to the freezer,” Westondorf said.
“In many cases these kids are carrying on a family tradition that probably spans generations. There is a business aspect to it — the animal husbandry part, the running a farm, everything that goes with that — and to me, that is the most impressive and interesting thing about the fair,” Hatelstad said.
The county fair is a financial shot in the arm for the local community, providing revenue for retail, food and livestock business.
And, it is just plain fun to go to.