There is one event at the Moffat County Fair that always is a hit. It happens on Friday afternoon, right after bingo and before the evening events begin. Everyone congregates at the covered picnic area for a cool, refreshing root beer float. The best thing about it is they are free and they always are served with a smile and a sincere welcome by a group of fair friends who are having a thoroughly good time.
Elaine Sullivan, who currently is our Moffat County treasurer, leads this happy group. Elaine and her family have been friends of the Moffat County Fair for a long time. Both her and her husband’s families have strong ties to this community and to the fair.
Her grandfather, Ted McCandless, and her dad, Neil McCandless, established McCandless and McCandless Veterinary Clinic in 1956 following Neil’s graduation from Colorado State University. It was the longest family-owned practice in Moffat County.
Neil served as the fair veterinarian from 1956 until his retirement in 2002 and loved providing the service as well as purchasing Grand Champion animals yearly.
Patrick Roger Sullivan, the great-grandfather of Elaine’s husband, Melton, established a ranch on the South Fork of the Williams Fork in 1884. However, as he was an Irish immigrant, he was not allowed to acquire title to it until 1906 because of citizenship issues. Elaine and her husband, Melton, still own and run the ranch, currently the Eleven Bar Ranch. They raise Hereford, Saler, Simmental-cross cattle.
Elaine was born and raised in Craig. She graduated in 1975 from Moffat County High School and began working in the Moffat County Clerk’s Office in 1981. She married Melton Sullivan in 1990. She has three children: Heather (Ward) Priestley, Neil (Jess) Binder and Braeden Sullivan. She also has two precious grandchildren: Cidney Priestley and Cash Binder.
Elaine and her sister, Jennifer, were in 4-H Horsemanship beginning in 1964 when George Lewis was the leader. They had a lot of fun! Nancy also joined when she became old enough.
Elaine’s mom, Jill, was an assistant to Barbara Pugh as a knitting and sewing leader in the mid-1960s. Flora Sullivan, Elaine’s mother-in-law, helps with the fair every year in the Pavilion with the open classes and always, without fail and without being asked, brings her antique ballot box in for the beautiful bear contest.
Elaine has helped with the fair queen/attendant judging for many years, has been a beer and wine judge and salsa judge. She has had all the fun jobs! Additionally, she has served free root beer floats to the community for more than 10 years. She also has been a consistent buyer at our Junior Livestock Sale for at least 10 years.
Elaine served on the United Way board and the Dental Coalition for more than eight years. She has a long list of fair service and community service.
Elaine just enjoys being involved with the fair — all of it! One of her favorite memories is Kissing the Pig — that’s what she gets for being an elected official. She also fondly remembers Saed Tayyara and Darryl Steele, commissioners at the time, riding the camel and being very good sports for participating. Isn’t that what the fair is about — sharing with friends and making good memories?
Elaine, it is fair friends like you and your family that make our fair such a fun and rewarding place. Without such faithful supporters, the fair could not go on. That is why we take extreme pleasure in dedicating this, the 95th annual Moffat County Fair, to you. We want to thank you and your family for the many years of service and commitment to our fair. The Moffat County Fair Board dedicates the 2013 Moffat County Fair to you! Thank You! Thank You!