County Fair wraps up with flurry of activity

A flurry of activities marked the wind up of this year's Moffat County Fair on Saturday. The event named "85 Years of Joy and Tears" witnessed scores of visitors and participants meandering through the smells of sweet funnel cakes and past little tykes in tow decked out in their best cowboy duds.

Val Pleasant and her one-and-a-half-year old son, Luke Pleasant, watched the Antique Tractor Pull with about 100 others who lined the stands at the arena.

"We came to watch Uncle Jimmy pull his tractor," Val said as Jim Simon moseyed slowly by.

This year marked the first the Yampa Valley Antique Power Club tried out their shiny new red sled.

"As the tractor moves forward, so does the weight on the back," explained Roger White, a collector of antique engines.

The weight of the tractor and the rider are pulled against it as it moves forward in first gear. Many of the old-time tractors that wove through the streets of Craig for the kick-off parade returned Saturday to compete on the dirt track.

"A lot of people grew up on a farm," White said as he pointed out various engines dating back to the early1900s. "This event is great for them."

At the petting zoo, Steve Lantz, of Wyoming, sometimes held the shovel up behind an animal's rear to catch the falling droppings. Lantz was standing in for his sister-in-law's business, The Noah's Ark Family. Docile goats, a calf, a llama, a miniature horse and a pig named "babe" stood still as children of all ages smothered the animals with love.

The gaggle of animals might be so calm around visitors, Steve said, "because (Carolyn Lantz) has been bringing in baby animals with their mothers for five generations."

Inside the Pavilion and in welcome respite from the hot sun, director Rena Olsen bragged about this year's slew of creative entries.

In the canned food category, one winning example, "pork and beans" showed pink plastic pigs peeking out from among a can of beans. A can of dirt marked "instant boy" was another hit. Painted ceramics, knitted quilts, rows of compelling photographs, fleece, flowers, stuffed animals and wonders from the garden shared space along tables brimming over with innovative ideas. This was the second year organizers displayed all purple first-place entries in one viewing area.

"There's a lot of talented people in Moffat County," Olsen said.

According to Abbie Reid, 9, this may be one of the last times she sees the pigs Wilbur and Slim that she's been busy raising. At 245 pounds and 281 pounds for Slim and Wilbur, respectively, Reid said she wasn't too sad to see them go. She said preparing them for the fair was a lot a work but she might get to keep some of the money she earns if they sell.

"My favorite part was shaving them," she said, "and when I first got them, they were so cute."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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