'A Fair of the Heart' starts Thursday
August 23, 2017
Ponies, parades, pies, puppets and prizes. You can enjoy them all at the Jefferson County Fair and Rodeo, "A Fair of the Heart," this weekend. The fair and rodeo kicks off Thursday, August 24, and runs through Sunday, August 27, at the Jefferson County Recreation Park one-half mile south of Boulder.
Ponies are the first feature out of the chute Friday. The kids' horse show and rodeo starts at 9 a.m. with local youngsters showing off their horses and skills in contests from lead-line to barrel racing. The In-County Wrangler Roundup is Friday, August 25, starting at 4 p.m. Jefferson County contestants compete in events like team branding and team penning, events most closely resembling skills needed by working ranchers. All Friday events are free.
Ponies are also featured at the top-quality, fast-paced Boulder NRA Rodeos, held Saturday at 5 and Sunday at 1. Admission is just $8 for adults, $4 for kids. On Sunday, August 27, the kids' stick horse rodeo is a crowd favorite, with tiny cowboys and cowgirls competing in bucking stick horse, steer un-decorating and the hotly contested stick horse race.
Parades, two of them, march down Boulder's Main Street. A kids' parade starts Friday at noon. The rodeo parade goes down Boulder's Main Street at 1 on Saturday, August 26. The Boulder Car Show is also held Saturday in Boulder.
Pies are one of many fair exhibits. Arts, photography, quilts, 4-H animals and delicious foods are entered for ribbons, prizes and bragging rights. The foods competition comes to a head Saturday at 7:30 pm, when baked goods are auctioned off to benefit the fairgrounds. Auctioneer Dan McGowan good-naturedly pits proud parents and grandparents against their neighbors in wild bidding wars for pies and other goodies that go for hundreds of dollars.
Organizers make children's activities a high priority as they plan the fair. Toni Person's puppet show on Sunday delights kids of all ages. Large inflatable games, laser tag and the Boulder River Carousel keep kids entertained Saturday and Sunday. About noon on Sunday, a wild and wooly kids' treasure hunt in the hay gives youngsters the chance to search for hundreds of prizes in a heap of hay.
The local 4-H club, the Boulder Outlaws, puts on a beef barbecue from 3-6 pm. 4-H shows and a 4-H animal auction are new this year to the fair. Another fair favorite is the real barn dance in a huge white barn on Saturday night with country music by the popular Insufficient Funds Band.
Free grounds admission with $2 per car parking, live music in the park, fair breakfasts, vendors and displays, 4-H exhibits, and two beautiful barns make the Jefferson County Fair & Rodeo a weekend that is affordable and fun for all ages. For a fair book and schedule of events, go to jeffersoncounty-mt.gov/fair.