GOSHEN COUNTY – 2021 marks the 101st year of the Goshen County Fair. Those who attend will get to watch and take part in two events that were cancelled last year and one new event. The Rubber Check Race and the Ag Breakfast are back on after being cancelled in 2020. New this year, the fair will conclude with a Camille & Haley concert.
This year’s fair is scheduled for July 29 through Aug. 7.
The Ag Breakfast and Rubber Check Race were both canceled last year due to COVID, but both will take place this year. The Platte Valley Companies Rubber Check Race is scheduled for Saturday, July 31 at 6 p.m., in the Pavilion. Tickets are $15 (free for five and under). The Ag Breakfast begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Rendezvous Center on Thursday, Aug. 5.
Crowd favorites, according to Fairgrounds Manager Stephanie Lofink, include the Rubber Check Race and the Wyrulec Ranch Rodeo. The ranch rodeo is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Pavilion. Tickets are $10 (free for five and under).
Lofink said a kids’ favorite is the Pinnacle Bank Family Night, which starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, at the Pavilion.
This year includes a brand-new event, taking place on the last day of the fair, organized by Tim McFarland.
A Camille & Haley concert will be held at the Rendezvous Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7.
McFarland said he discovered Camille & Haley’s music through a post on social media. He reached out to the group to see if they would be interested in performing Torrington; they agreed.
According to McFarland, the show will last an hour and a half to two hours. The group will perform originals and a variety of covers. The group, according to their website, has recorded five albums – three county-pop, a contemporary Christian and a Christmas album.
Camille & Haley write songs for causes they believe in, which according to their website, include patriotism, their Christian faith, pro-life advocacy, ending sex trafficking and modesty. McFarland said he encourages law enforcement to attend, as they will be recognized.
McFarland hopes the concert can be free to the community. He is currently looking for event sponsors.
“I encourage the community to come,” McFarland said. “They’re quite talented.”
4-H Youth Development Extension Educator Megan Brittingham encourages the public to support the county’s 4-H clubs and FFA chapters.
“We would just love to have you come out and see us and visit us. Take a look at the efforts [exhibitors] have put in.” According to Brittingham, the livestock shows are typically well attended.
Preparations for the fair usually begin in September, according to Brittingham, evaluating the previous fair and starting to line up judges.
“So, we start immediately after, for the most part,” she said.
This is the first year only online project entries will be accepted. This decision was made to simplify the process and leave a smaller margin for error, said Brittingham.
Members of two FFA chapters (Southeast and Torrington/Lingle) and 12 4-H clubs will participate in shows and bring static exhibits.
The number of exhibitors in each area fluctuates.
“Particularly this year and last year is when I really noticed a huge upswing in kids wanting to exhibit pigs,” Brittingham said. As of May 28, there were 52 exhibitors signed up for the market swine project. She also said the number of market goat exhibitors have steadily increased over the last few years.
For each project, the county provides optional educational opportunities before the fair. She said it is important for the public to know how much work goes into exhibiting.
“The critters didn’t just appear that morning,” she said.
Brittingham said one of the strengths of Goshen County’s fair is the youth show committee. She described the group as a subcommittee under the fair board, who are familiar with and involved in helping specifically with 4-H and FFA.
Last year, according to Brittingham, said the rabbit project was affected by a deadly disease in the area. Not wanting to risk an outbreak at the fair, exhibitors were not allowed to bring their own animals. They did, however, get to showcase their knowledge and participate in showmanship with rabbits from St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, according to Brittingham.
Right now, the rabbit project is still up in the air. Brittingham said the American Rabbit Breeders Association recommends not having a show if the disease is found within a 150-mile radius. She said recently the disease was found in Cheyenne, so they are waiting to see what will happen with that situation before making a decision about the rabbit show.
Planning the Goshen County Fair is an all-year process, according to Lofink.
“The Fair Schedule is determined by the Goshen County Fair Board and various subcommittees of the board,” she said. This year’s schedule can be found at goshencounty.org.