Fair time is upon us in Nevada! County fairs are highly anticipated annual events in several of Nevada’s rural counties, providing a break in the routine for farmers and ranchers as harvest season approaches. Several Nevada counties plan to hold fairs in coming weeks. These events emphasize agriculture, animal husbandry and the country way of life, while adding special events such as stock shows, rodeos and races (on just about anything with wheels or four legs).
Elko County’s fair is going on all this week, including horse racing all weekend which culminates in the annual and much-anticipated Blackjack Challenge, a horse race just for local syndicates that always packs the stands that’s held on Monday as the last race of the event.
County fairs are usually held at fairgrounds built for the purpose but used for many other community events, and ours here in Elko are no exception. We have barns, corrals and stables for livestock, indoor spaces for exhibits, arenas for livestock shows, rodeo-style ranch events, and well as open space for carnivals, vendors and parking. Expect to pay general admission fees, and save enough money for “fair burgers” and the Cowboy Bar inside the gate, and “Indian tacos” and other treats on the midway.
If you’re from an urban area, you may find that experiences here will be new. Rural county fairs have a different flavor from the huge state fairs that are much more commercialized. In small towns they are places to meet friends, show off skills, display projects and enjoy carnival rides, cotton candy and corn dogs. Touring the outbuildings, visitors can admire exhibits and explore displays of farm and garden produce and find examples of home crafts and farm kitchen delectables such as cakes, pies, jams and jellies. At the Elko County Fair, exhibits of photography, needlecraft and quilting are always great.
The variety and quality of livestock shown at rural county fairs set them apart. Tour the barns, pens and stables to view cattle, horses, sheep, chickens and other barnyard favorites. You’ll never see greater variety in smaller animals and poultry than at a good county fair. Proud owners keep them well-groomed and tended for showing and judging.
Come have fun at our County Fair this year. Enjoy all the things that you can do and see! Pet some animals that you don’t get to pet on a daily basis! Following a Cowboy Color Chase starting at 8 o’clock this coming Friday morning, this year’s Fair Parade starts downtown at 11, and the Fair will be open all weekend. See you there!