It’s time to get ready for the fair

From crafts to livestock to mutton bustin’, there’s something for everyone

    The July 24-29 Phillips County Fair is right around the corner, so it’s time to explore one of the hundreds of ways to get involved at the “Small Town Showdown.”
    Events and categories are all spelled out in the fair booklet, available at local businesses or at Phillips County Extension office located at Phillips County Event Center. Contest rules can also be found online at Call Extension at 970-854-3616 for additional information.
    Some deadlines are quickly approaching, so don’t wait to sign up!
Open class categories give participants hundreds of options
    Phillips County Fair has open class categories for all age levels and a broad range of interests.
    Entries can be taken to Phillips County Event Center Wednesday, July 25, between 1-6 p.m. Online entry of exhibits is preferred (but not required) prior to July 25 at
    Judging is scheduled for Thursday, July 26, at 9 a.m.
    Winners will receive $3 for first place, $2 for second and $1 for third. Premiums and projects may be picked up Sunday, July 29, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
    The garden and field crops category includes everything from tomatoes to strawberries to squash to wheat. Garden fun classes include vegetable caricatures, decorated flower pots and prettiest bug.
    Roses, lilies, cactus and more can be entered in floriculture, and there’s also contests for floral arrangements, like Small Town Showdown, fairy gardens and miniature arrangements.
    The baked and preserved goods department covers everything from yeast breads and the commissioners cookie tray to decorated cakes and canned jellies. New to this year’s fair is a jerky competition.
    Participants interested in things like knitting, counted cross-stitch and Swedish weaving should look at the needlework category.
    Quilters are encouraged to check out the many different quilting categories at the fair. Creative Traditions is also sponsoring a “Christmas in July” quilt contest.
    Exhibits like ceramics, woodworking, jewelry and leathercraft all fall under the crafts department. The “trash to treasures” competition is new this year.
    The fine arts category includes watercolor, pencil drawings, pottery and more, while photography fun classes range from country to sunset to humorous.
    Children who are pre-kindergarten through third grade can enter anything listed in the open crafts and fine arts categories in the kids arts and craft show. Each exhibitor will receive a rosette.
    A newer category to the fair is the adult vo-ag farm mechanics competition. Phillips County residents 18 years and older may enter projects made of wood, metal or a combination of wood/metal as well as reconditioned or recreational projects. They should be entered Thursday, July 26, at 1 p.m.

Special themes contests are fun for all ages
    Entries in the special themes contests can be entered along with open class categories online or in person.
    A photography contest with the theme Small Town Showdown is being sponsored by Al and Margi Wall. Cash prizes are $50 for first, $30 for second and $20 for third.
    The winning entry in Agenda Club’s Decorate a Vegetable Contest will win $10.
    Better Beef Makers 4-H Club is sponsoring the Build Your Best Lego Contest.
    Kids age 1 through eighth grade can create a book cover for Holyoke P.E.O. Chapter BM’s contest.
    Phillips County Extension is awarding $10 for first, $7 for second and $5 for third in a dish towel embroidery contest with a flower theme.
    The Homemade Salsa/Guacamole Contest, sponsored by Jolly Dozen FCE Club, is the only one with a different entry day. Participants should take their entries to Phillips County Event Center Saturday, July 28, between 1-1:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for best mild salsa, hot/spicy salsa, most unusual salsa, guacamole and people’s choice.
Parade entries due July 20
    The Small Town Showdown parade is set for Saturday, July 28, beginning at 10 a.m. on Holyoke’s Interocean Avenue.
    Businesses, civic groups, youth organizations and individuals interested in being in the parade should turn in an entry form by Friday, July 20; however, entries will be accepted up to the day of the parade. The form, printed in this week’s Enterprise or available in the fair booklet, should be mailed to Julie Elliott, 701 W. Johnson St., Holyoke, CO 80734.
    Check-in the day of the parade is at the entrance of Holyoke Elementary School beginning at 7:30 a.m. Entries that want to be judged must be in line by 8:30 a.m. All other entries must be in line by 9:30 a.m.
    Judged entries could win up to $100.
    Kids age 6-12 are also invited to wear a costume and travel down the parade route with a decorated bicycle, battery-powered vehicle, wagon or horse. They will each be awarded 50 cents.
Adult beef showmanship is new to open livestock contests
    The open livestock competition is available to adults and youth from Phillips County and adjoining counties. Departments include beef, dairy cows, goats, sheep, market swine, poultry and rabbits.
    All entries must be pre-registered by Monday, July 16, with the exception of bucket calves and tiny tot shows. Online entries are preferred at
    Cash premiums for livestock are $6 for first, $5 for second, $4 for third, $3 for fourth, $2 for fifth and $1 for sixth.
    New this year is an alumni/adult beef showmanship competition following the beef show Friday morning, July 27. Participants can sign up at the show that morning and find a 4-H or FFA member who will let them borrow their steer. Participants will pay a small entry fee, and the winner gets the pot.
    Tiny tot shows are for exhibitors age 7 and younger in bucket calves, goats, sheep, swine, poultry, rabbits and horses. Kids participating in goats, sheep, swine and horses may use an animal provided by a 4-H or FFA member. Tiny tot poultry and rabbit exhibitors may borrow a 4-H or FFA animal or bring their own; however, no cages will be supplied. Tiny tot exhibitors will receive ribbons.
    The tiny tot horse show starts off the schedule Wednesday, July 25, at 8:30 a.m. Later that day, rabbits and poultry should be entered from 4-8 p.m., with market animal weigh-in and entry from 5-8 p.m.
    On Thursday, July 26, the tiny tot rabbit and poultry entry and show starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by the rabbit and poultry show at 9 a.m. The goat and dairy cow show is at 4 p.m. followed by tiny tot goat show, swine show and tiny tot swine show.
    On Friday, July 27, tiny tot bucket calves are entered at 8:30 a.m., followed by the beef show at 9 a.m. The sheep show begins at 1 p.m., followed by tiny tot sheep show.
    Livestock exhibits will be released from 9 a.m.-noon Sunday, July 29. Premium payout is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kids can enter catch-it goat, rabbit bingo contests
    Kids age 8-18 (as of Jan. 1, 2019) interested in showing a goat in 4-H or FFA next year should try their hand at the catch-it goat contest Thursday, July 26, at approximately 5 p.m. at the show ring in the pavilion.
    If goats aren’t their thing, kids can enter the rabbit bingo contest Friday, July 27, at approximately 5 p.m. at the show ring in the pavilion.
    Application deadline for both contests is Monday, July 16, at 4:30 p.m. at Phillips County Extension office. Contact Kindra Plumb at 970-854-3616 for more information.
Sign up for mutton bustin’ and more at night shows
    First up on the fair entertainment schedule is the ranch rodeo Wednesday, July 25, at 6 p.m. Teams can sign up for the ranch rodeo, or individuals can try their hand at ranch bronc riding. To sign up, call Chance Skomp at 303-883-3019. The night will also include mutton bustin’ for kids 60 pounds or less. They do not need to pre-register.
    On the Thursday, July 26, lineup is barrel racing at the arena at 6 p.m.
    Heartland Pulling’s tractor and truck pull is set for Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m.
    The Bulls Gone Wild show Saturday, July 28, includes bull riding and bull fighting beginning at 7 p.m. For entry info, call 970-581-2708. There will also be mutton bustin’ that night. Call Kayla Kafka at 970-580-8019 to snag one of the limited spots.
Dutch oven contest heats up
    For the second year, Phillips County Fair will host a Dutch oven cook-off Thursday, July 26. Check-in begins at 2 p.m. in front of the grandstands. Cooking starts at 2:30 p.m. with judging at 6 p.m.
    Entrants will serve an entree, side dish (optional) and dessert — all prepared on site — to three people who will be judging on appearance, creativity, taste, degree of doneness and use of the Dutch oven.
    To register, call Ben Kafka at 970-520-3149.
Sign up for 5K color run, corn hole tournament
    Thrashers softball team is again bringing a night of fun to the fair Wednesday, July 25.
    A 5K color run begins at 5:30 p.m., with check-in at 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds. To guarantee a T-shirt, racers should sign up by Friday, July 13. Otherwise, registrations will be taken up to race day.
    Forms can be picked up and dropped off at Phillips County Extension office or picked up at Hometown Liquor or Holyoke Fitness Club.
    A corn hole tournament begins at 9 p.m., with check-in at 8:30 p.m. for teams of two, age 21 and older.
    The night also includes a Rocky Mountain oyster/chicken strip meal and beer garden. For more info, call Sherman Kage, 970-580-9360, or Kendra Schlachter, 308-249-5294.


Holyoke Enterprise

970-854-2811 (Phone)
970-854-2232 (Fax)

130 N Interocean Ave
PO Box 297
Holyoke CO 80734