Gilpin County Fair features Mardi Gras Bulls & Beads rodeo events

bullriding_bAll your favorite competitions plus new Log Splitting and ATV Rodeo!

By Heather Pearce

It’s time to plan, practice and prepare for the 2016 Gilpin County Fair contests. The 24th annual Fair, held at the Gilpin County Fairgrounds, 230 Norton Dr., Black Hawk on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-21, features both long-time favorites and brand-new competitions including Dog Agility, Log Splitting, Barrel Racing, BMX skills, Mutton Bustin’, ATV Rodeo, Horseshoes and the always popular Gilpin Gourmet.

The Fair’s competitions and contests—which are always welcoming and friendly, yet competitive—begin Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. with the Barrel Racing Jackpot. Participants compete in a traditional barrel racing event where a horse and rider attempt to complete cloverleaf patterns around preset barrels in the fastest time.

Test your speed and skills at chopping wood in the Log Splitting Contest, Aug. 20 beginning at 10 a.m. Wood pieces will be about 16 inches in diameter and 18 inches long and each must be split into four pieces. When contestants have finished, referees will verify logs were quartered properly. If not, that contestant will not advance. The four fastest times will compete in the finals at 4 p.m.

Bring your leashed dog to the Fair, Aug. 20 at 11 a.m. for the Dog Agility competition. You and your four-legged friend will greet the judge, perform a trick of their choice and run through an agility course. First through third place, based on time and judges scores, will be awarded in kids, amateur and “Hard Core Flyers” categories. First places winners will have their name on the Fair’s 2016 Champions plaque.

Be sure to warm up your pipes and hone your skills for the Karaoke and Talent contest, Aug. 20 at 3 p.m.

The Fair also features the Gilpin Gourmet contest. Compete for ribbons and bragging rights in baked goods, preserved foods and new home-brewed beverage divisions. Entries will be judged on several factors of originality of recipe, appearance and taste. Food entries are due, Saturday, Aug. 20 between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Community Center. Everyone is invited to taste the food entries and be a judge on Sunday, Aug. 21 between 10 a.m. and noon.

Kick off Sunday and prove your horseshoe prowess during the Singles Horseshoe Competition, Aug. 21, at 11 a.m. Anyone 16 and older can compete for a first place ribbon and name on a trophy or second place ribbon. Registration begins at 10 a.m. The competition will single elimination and run in a bracket manner where the winner of each round advances to the next. In rounds one and two, contestants play to 21 points. In round three, to determine the Champion, contestants will play to 40 points.

Anyone with an ATV can compete in the ATV Rodeo, Aug. 21 at beginning at noon (registration is at 10:00 a.m.). The Rodeo features utility and sport classes in numerous events including Barrel Race, Pole Bending, Key Hole, Flag Race, Tire Race, Obstacle Course and Wheelie Competition. All or some of the events may be run for prizes, which will be awarded based on the combined scores of all designated events.

The always popular and highly entertaining Mutton Bustin’ returns to the Fair on both day. Similar to bronc riding, kids will try their best to ride a sheep for the longest time, Aug. 20 at noon, 2 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. and Aug. 21 at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

A BMX skills course contest runs both days of the Fair as well. Competitions in three age divisions run, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Aug. 21 from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The course includes a teeter-totter, rails, dirt piles, cones and more. Awards for first through third place will be given immediately following the competitions each day. All equipment will be provided by the Fair.

Additional information and rules for the 2016 Gilpin County Fair contests can be found on the Fair’s new website

This year’s Fair also includes its traditional Saturday-night bonfire along with the Mardi Gras Bulls & Beads event—featuring bull riding, ranch bronc riding, and a sheep scramble—and Sunday-morning pancake breakfast with the new Blizzard & Boo Longhorn Show. Other new games and activities, including a climbing wall and water walkers in the Gilpin Recreation Center pools, are also planned.

The Gilpin County Fair is also seeking volunteers to help with all areas of the fair and additional vendors. Booths with handcrafted items are $25, Merchandise booths are $50 and food booths are $100. Non-proft information booths are free. More information is available at

For the latest information, visit or find Gilpin County Fair on Facebook. For interview requests and high resolution images, please contact: Heather Pearce, Gilpin County Fair Coordinator & CSU Gilpin Extension Office Assistant at, 303-582-9106 or fax: 303.582.5062. The Gilpin County Fairgrounds is located at 230 Norton Dr. off of Colo. Hwy 46 about seven miles north of Black Hawk,14 miles south of Nederland, and 18 miles west of Golden.

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