Spinning out for Moffat County Fair: Locals prepare wool for exhibit
August 4, 2017
Friends gathered on the patio Thursday evening at Yampa Valley Fiberworks. Group members — part of the newly named Yampa Valley Treadling Tribe — kept their feet and hands busy at their spinning wheels, making plans to fill the pavilion at this year's Moffat County Fair with hand-spun fiber.
"Fair is a top priority in my life," said fiber mill owner Lorrae Moon. She volunteers every fair. This year she will help with canned goods and coordinating a display for the fair's newest category — hand spun.
The category was developed to draw attention to Moffat County fiber.
"It had almost become a lost art with only a few entries each year and sometimes none," Moon said.
The fair book, schedule and volunteers help new and old fair goers to participate.
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Moon handed books, schedules and entry tags to the tribe.
Stormy Risner, whose first fair was last year, suggests that competitors "fill the entry form out ahead of time" this year.
Diane Mobley has waited over 50 years to enter her first fair. She will enter a stocking cap knitted from fiber she helped process at the mill, spun, then plied into yarn.
"It's really cool to have something that you've made be judged. Who knows next year I might enter a sweater," Mobley said.
The excitement of competing for ribbons started at age 8 for spinner Anna Floeter, who won a Grand Champion rosette at her first Routt County Fair.
"That lit a fire and I haven't quit since," she said. She explained that it's not always an easy process to share her work, but encourages anyone with a craft or hobby that meets the requirements in the Moffat County Fair Book to enter.
"Don't talk yourself out of it. If you like it and you're proud of it, who knows, you might win," she said.
Competition is only one aspect of the fair. For the past 99 years people of Moffat County and Craig have come together to be entertained and get acquainted at the fair. For city girl Andria Rice, finding her place in the tribe and participating in events such as the fair have helped her feel at home in Craig.
"Finding these ladies and being a part of this community had made this place home, and it took me a minute to love this place, but now I do," Rice said.
In the past, Jessica Counts has entered paintings, sculptures and needle felt at fair. She doesn't let one person's opinion (the judge's) deter her from sharing her work and supporting other artists.
"Look at it as an opportunity to show your work and give yourself a reason to go see other's work. It's very friendly," Counts said.
After a break of about 8 years, Deanne Messing is planning to enter this year's fair because it's fun.
"It's an experience that everyone should try once," Messing said.
5 steps to enter youth, open and senior classes at the fair
1 — Grab a Moffat County Fair Book from the Moffat County Extension Office, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Senior Social Center or on online at: moffatcountyfair.com
2 — The book provides a description of general and specific rules and a guide for determining where your item fits.
3 — Complete a fair entry tag for each item so that the item is entered in the correct place and age group. Use the fair book to determine the section name, division number and name, class number and description. Be sure to include phone number, name and address to ensure the return of items.
4 — Take items to the fairgrounds 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 8, or 8 to 11 a.m. on Aug. 9 to enter them into the youth, open and senior competitions. Entries close promptly at 11 a.m. Pavilion and Grandstand exhibit halls will close for judging that starts at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 9. Exhibit halls will reopen at 8 a.m. on Aug. 10.
5 — Pick up items by taking entry tags to the exhibit halls from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 13 and for ribbons and cash payout for prizewinners.
If you have questions or need more information on how to enter the fair, volunteers are available to help. Contact them at: 970-824-9180 or visit the new website at moffatcountyfair.com.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.