5 Favorite Ways to Revel in the Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo


By Sue Bjorkman

You’ll find cowboys, concerts, carnival rides and so much more at the annual Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo (July 21-30) in Poncha Springs. With so much going on, we’ll break it down into 5 highlights to give you just a glimpse of all the fun, free events happening here. As concert headliner Mark Chesnutt sings, “I don’t want to miss a thing.” That goes for all of us.

1. Ride ‘Em Cowboy

Experience the daring and the excitement of the real wild West when the Colorado Professional Rodeo Association presents the CPRA Rodeo July 29-30. This pro rodeo circuit is a true tribute to our American heritage and early ranching roots. Don’t miss the team roping, barrel racing, bareback, steer wrestling, breakaway, bull riding and other surprises in the main rodeo ring.

2. Kick Up Your Heels

Here’s your chance to wear those cowboy boots and hats as you boot-scoot-and-boogie at two different concerts. The first is Mark Chesnutt, Saturday July 22 at 7 pm. In the midst of his 2017 Tradition Lives tour, this country music favorite will share his honky-tonking hits from his long and successful career. Tickets are $30. Then on July 27 at 7 pm, Denver-based singer Leslie Tom gets people dancing with her sassy blend of a traditional Patsy Cline type sound and original up-tempo modern country-jazzy-blues.

3. 4H Fun

A menagerie of animals (sheep, swine and livestock. Oh my!) and activities take place in the 4H arenas. Beginning Monday, July 24 and continuing throughout the Fair, see what local 4H youth have been working so hard on all year. Be sure to catch the 4H Horse Show, the dog obedience show, horticulture and floriculture demonstrations and of course, the livestock auctions.

4. Dare To Taste

It’s a rite of passage in Colorado. You have to taste Rocky Mountain oysters (fun fact—they’re not actually oysters) at some point, so the annual Rocky Mountain Bull Fry 5 pm July 27 is your best chance. This deep-fried specialty is considered a delicacy here and tastes best when washed down with a local beer. We recommend Elevation Brewery’s 8 Second Kolsch Style Ale, created in honor of the Chaffee County ranching and rodeo crowd.

5. Animals vs. Kids

The Muttin’ Bustin’ event is a real crowd favorite. Courageous kids take on the challenge of a bareback ride on an unpredictable uncontrollable sheep for as long as possible. Cheer these mini-rodeo riders at events held 5:30 pm Friday, July 28 and 11:30 am Saturday, July 29. Catch a Pig, held Saturday July 29 at 10:30 am (ages 4-10) is also worth squealing about.

For more information visit www.chaffeecountyfair.com

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