Weld County Fair events begin today at Island Grove Regional Park | MyWindsorNow.com

Weld County Fair events begin today at Island Grove Regional Park

Katarina Velazquez
kvelazquez@greeleytribune.com

Janet Konkel said the Weld County Fair features everything from cakes to cows. This year's fair will even have some dinosaurs.

The pre-fair starts today with the Rocky Mountain Miniature Club Horse Show, but the fair will officially start on Wednesday at Island Grove Regional Park, 501 N. 14th Ave., with the kick-off of the 4-H Horse Show. All events and activities are free during the pre-fair and fair events.*

"The fair is a celebration of Weld County's agricultural heritage," Konkel, the fair coordinator, said.

Konkel said the fair features Weld County youth as well as other residents. Last year's fair featured about 950 kids in 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs who competed in events from roping to showmanship to gardening.

Fair-goers can expect the same family-friendly entertainment activities, such as the massive sandpile or inflatable fun zone for the kiddos. Then there will be the classic livestock shows, wagon rides around the park and annual Fair Lunch barbecue that feeds 2,500 people. But one new addition this year will be, a Jurassic Park-themed presentation through which a large dinosaur will roam Island Grove about three times a day on the weekend of the fair.

Konkel said she likes adding new entertainment options for fair-goers, but she said the traditional structure of the fair is something she doesn't like to play with too much. It's a nostalgic event for generations of families in Weld, and she wants to keep it that way.

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Apparently, that's working.

The fair keeps getting bigger and better each year, Konkel said. When Konkel first started her stint as fair coordinator in 2011, there was about 20,000 attendees. Last year, the event drew in a little more than 43,000 people. She hopes that number is even bigger this year, and she thinks it will be.

"The fair is just a good, fun, wholesome place to be," Konkel said.

And Konkel said coordinators already have the fair's 100th anniversary in the works for next year, though she can't dish the details quite yet. She said coordinators plan on doing something bigger and more special than previous fairs.

But until then, she's excited to get going on Weld Fair No. 99.

"We just want the public out here to see the outstanding things these kids do," she said.

* This story has been changed to reflect a correction that all events at the fair, even pre-fair events, are open to the public.

The 99th annual Weld County Fair

This year’s 99th annual Weld County Fair will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 26-31 at Island Grove Regional Park, 501 N. 14th Ave., in Greeley. For more information about the schedule and events, go to http://www.weldcountyfair.com.