From beauty queens to rodeo
By Jaclyn Morrow
Gilpin County supported free entry and rides bringing meandering crowds to the Fair Grounds August 17-19, 2018 at 230 Norton Drive by the Recreation Center. Thanks are given to the many Fair sponsors, loads of dedicated volunteers, and Fair Coordinator Heather Pearce. This annual event, where the Gilpin community meets to greet friends and neighbors enjoyed great weather after an early morning chilly start with a few clouds, gusts, and a brief shower.
The Gilpin Fair has rows of traditional thrills, chills and even rodeo spills which continue to sprout smiles on faces of all ages. New for this year are our 2018 Gilpin County Fair Royal Court where two high school upper classmen participated in fair preparations, and were recognized as outstanding contributors to our fair’s quality through interviews, and were honored by awarding contest winners their ribbons of distinction.
Also, new to this fair were remote controlled drones overhead recording the activities at the Fair, sponsored by Rocky Mountain Flyers. Those talented with their camera can enter the County Fair photo contest to be finalized by September 1. Photographers with the most “likes” posted for their photo on the Gilpin County Fair Facebook page, win an award and a 2018 Fair T-Shirt, and will also release photo rights to the Gilpin Co Fair for another year’s promotion.
Residents joined in boisterous competitions on an ATV course, with human hamster balls, BMX peddling power, ringing horseshoes, splitting wood, mutton busting for those kids under 60 pounds, entertaining talents, and gourmet food or homemade beer, often using fresh and local produce in local kitchens.
Perfectly performed talents on stage provided ongoing entertainment to the crowds, and a DJ filled in when acts were not on stage. The Peak to Peak Players, LA Community Dance, Tae Kwon Do, Top Hogs, Hot Spell (with Gilpin’s former music teacher), What About Jim, and Rocky Mountain Puppets.
With three performances in the rodeo arena, the Play with Gravity motorcycle stunt show drew many observers. Those two guys on their “trials” type of balanced motorcycles with super low gearing climbed a treacherous metal tower with many difficult giant steps and ramps, making it look easy.
We found many booths with local interests and candidate options for this year’s elections. Many booths showed the results of careful artistry with wood, beads, neckties, local authors, noxious weeds, local businesses, and non-profits. There was tasty BBQ and hot and cold foods from a few continents and beverages, along with competitive homemade brews and treats for auction tantalizing personal tastes. Of course we were all spoiled by the hot off the griddle Timberline FPD and High County Auxiliary Pancake Breakfast on Sunday morning.
For the kids, they could shoot zombies with paintball, play in the sand pit, ride monster tricycles, bounce themselves silly in the bounce house, careen down a monstrous slide, or strap in and go bungie jumping to the sky. Folks could also take rides in a wooden carriage drawn by a team of two beautiful and massive Percheron horses – all this fun kept everyone coming back to the Gilpin Fair.
Our Mardi Gras Bulls and Beads Rodeo was the fifth and final 2018 rodeo in the Plains to Peak Rodeo circuit. JD Ford again contracted to provide the livestock athletes who performed with the cowboys on our nicely groomed arena, thanks to Larry Sterling. Cowboys were bucked to the edge of safety while taking on the bulls and broncs in Bull Riding, Bronc Riding, Bareback Bronc Riding, and Mini-Bull Riding.
Dogs were wagging tails through the agility course, and a petting zoo and a trained hog provided a tamer type of contest.
Rodeo winners were given their “prize purse” in the arena. Contest winners have been awarded by our Royal Court of two queens.