Fried pickles, corn dogs, cotton candy and other edible rarities await all who venture forth to Pueblo for the venerable 137th Colorado State Fair, where the most mundane and charming wonders of the world command the attention of wandering throngs in shorts and trucker caps. What draws the great unwashed year after year? Grassroots. Dirt. Manure. Bull riding. Country music. Mutton Bustin.' Rinky-dink carnival midways and beer. And these things, too: See our selective list of state fair haps for the coming weekend after the jump.
Today: -4 p.m.: Market Hog Showmaster Showdown, in the Sheep & Swine Building. Wake up and smell the bacon.
-4:30 p.m.: Dock Dogs Speed Retrieve, Fountain Park. Dock Dogs shows continue daily throughout the fair.
-7 p.m.: PRCA Dodge Rodeo, with Emerson Drive, Budweiser Rodeo Arena. Bucking broncos with a taste of pop country.
-8 p.m.: Grand Champion Market Beef Selection, Livestock Pavilion. Where's the beef? Here.
Saturday, August 28: -9 a.m.: 4-H Dog Show, in the Events Center. Confirmation today and Obedience and Rally tomorrow.
-10 a.m.: Colorado State Fair Parade. A not-to-miss for those seeking small-town flavor. Mesa Junction to Downtown Pueblo.
-Noon: Marching Bands, on the Pepsi Stage. Haven't you heard? Marching bands are now outré.
-6:30 p.m.: Youth "Dress-A-Bunny" and "Dress-A-Bird" contests, Small Animal Building. Extreme cuteness alert.
-6 p.m.: Foam Fest, Special Events Tent. What's a State Fair without a beer festival? $20 for your commemorative tasting glass.
-6 p.m.: Draft Horse Pull, Horse Show Arena. Big-ass horses. Pulling things.
-7 p.m.: PRCA Dodge Rodeo, with Blake Shelton, Budweiser Rodeo Arena. Kicks and hicks!
Sunday, August 29 -10:30 a.m.: Rooster Crowing Contest, Small Animal Building. Wake-up call.
-11 a.m.: Duck Quacking Contest, Small Animal Building. You can lead a duck to water, but can you make him quack?
-1 p.m.: Pet Rock Best Dressed Contest, Special Events Tent. What passes for a fashion show at the Colorado State Fair?
-1 p.m.: Colorado "Dueling Cooks" Challenge Contest Heat #1, Creative Arts Kitchen. Raise your knives: The heat is on.
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-5 p.m.: Grand Champion Market Hog Selection, Livestock Pavilion. Big pigs.
-7 p.m.: PRCA Dodge Rodeo, Budweiser Rodeo Arena. Celebrating 50 years.
-7 p.m.: Grupo Folklorico del Pueblo, Pepsi Stage. Real culture, for free.
-7 p.m.: FFA Wrangle Heifer Show, Livestock Pavilion. Cattle call!