A trip to the County Fair

The smell of hay, and dust and fried food in the air, fresh lemonade, and elephant ears, country music, carnival rides and corn on the cob”¦ ah, the county fair.

I grew up attending our local county fair in Western Washington, watching logger rodeo and pining after guys in cowboy hats. As an adult, I never miss the opportunity to attend a county fair because it is a reminder of my childhood, there are lots of animals to pet and it’s free.

Ryan and the goat
The Mayor's husband makes a good friend. (Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer)

Today, the closest fair to my house is the Larimer County Fair. I’ve been attending for eight years. I like touring the entire fairground, dragging my husband through every 4-H exhibit. I was involved in 4-H as a child, and I have also interviewed many Larimer County 4-H kids for a local newspaper, so I know they work hard and the least we can do is to go and admire the results of this work, whether that’s a full grown pig, or a hand sewn dress.

My favorite part of the county fair has always been the animals. I must visit the ducks, the chickens, the rabbits, the pigs, the llamas, the alpacas, the horses, the cows, and my favorite, the goats. I don’t know what it is about goats, but they seem to have more personality than other livestock. I’ve heard that pigs have a lot of personality too, but I’ve never taken the time to get to know one (I fear that may interfere with my bacon eating habit).

splash dog wows the crowd
A splash dog wows the crowd at the Larimer County fair. (Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer)

The Larimer County Fair starts this Friday, August 5th. The fairgrounds, located at The Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, are expansive. Plan to spend the good part of the day at this fair. There’s always plenty of entertainment for adults and the kids at the county fair, and the Larimer County Fair is no exception.

Being a “dog-person” I truly enjoy Splash Dogs. This yearly event at the Larimer County Fair involves a dog running and jumping into a long pool – the dog with the longest jump wins. There’s even a smaller pool available for your dog to give it a try.

Returning to the Larimer County Fair this year is the Ham Bone Express, a pig race featuring cute little oinkers. While I was not particularly impressed with “the swiftest swine off the line,” I think this show is more slanted towards children rather than the 30-something set.

Last summer I didn’t catch the Timberworks Lumberjack show, but it’s also returning this year. As previously mentioned, I grew up in the land of logger rodeo, so I know that the types of activities performed by these lumberjacks are remarkable and might inspire you to swing an ax or climb a telephone pole.

Carnival at the Larimer County Fair
The carnival at the Larimer County Fair. (Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer)

Although I’m not a person who enjoys carnival rides – quite frankly I’m a big scardy cat – I still love to walk through the carnival, especially at night. It feels retro, like I just stepped back in time and I might actually see the DeLorean appear out of thin air.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Larimer County Fair also features a rodeo. I have never been to this particular rodeo, but I have been to several in Wyoming and can honestly say that rodeos make me nervous and excited at the same time. I often find myself peaking between my fingers, when I’m not gawking at the cowboys. Yes, I am married, and no, he’s not a cowboy, but he knows I have a thing for hats.

Remember, county fairs are a fun and free way to entertain the family, so get out and visit one near you! If you need help finding a fair, check out this nifty alphabetical list created by Colorado State University: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/staffres/fairsched.pdf



    1. Did you happen to see all the baby goats??? I’ve never seen any baby goats at the fair and this year they were all over the place. I was beside myself with excitement. 🙂

      Glad you had fun!


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