Arapahoe County Fair opens today with mutton-bustin', pie competitions, pig races and more

A 107-year-old tradition, the Arapahoe County Fair begins its five-day run today. Once a county-roving festival, the regional heritage celebration found its home in Aurora -- at the official Arapahoe County Fairgrounds -- a handful of years ago, and has been growing ever since. "The fair has a very hometown feel and celebrates our roots in agriculture as a county," says Stacey Johnson of the fair. Along with the usual 4-H competitions and livestock auctions, there are plenty of newer activities and entertainment opportunities -- including herding-dog competitions and pig racing.

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The Arapahoe County Fair keeps much of its showmanship true to its Western fair roots, giving spectators a chance to see prized animals, taste home-cooked fair food and experience the sights, sounds and smells of a good old-fashioned farm and agriculture-celebration.

"We have a lot of traditional fair events -- we've got the 4-H kids working hard to prepare their goats, sheep and horses for the fair and the competitions, along with a livestock auction," says Johnson. Canning, cooking, baking and home-brewing contests are also part of the festivities, and can be entered by county residents and non-residents alike.

"We've got open competitions for anyone in the county or out of the county can bring in their homemade pies, jams and pickles and compete with folks from different classes --from a culinary class to a living arts class," says Johnson. "We've also got photography, quilting, sewing, cooking and all kinds of things to compete in. That's the old-fashioned good fair kinds of stuff."

New to the Arapahoe County Fair this year is an "interactive tent" that will feature entertainment every hour on the hour for both kids and adults. Magicians, dance troupes and Western rope trick shows will be just part of the fun, along with live music and arm-wrestling competitions. Located near the food court, Johnson says the tent is a great place for families to grab something to eat and enjoy a little shade.

Rodeo events will go down throughout the weekend, as will more than a dozen musical acts ranging from bluegrass to disco -- all of which are included in the price of admission. Coupled with carnival rides, hula-hooping, live comedy and pie-eating contests, the fair surely has something for everyone.

Kids twelve and under are free every day; admission for everyone is free today and tomorrow. On Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28, admission is $5 for those thirteen and over, which includes all rodeos, entertainment and fair activities. Carnival rides are extra; each ride varies in price, or a $25 unlimited ride wristband is available. For more information or for a full list of events, competitions and concerts, visit the Araphoe County Fair's website.

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies

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