Pueblo has been the home base of the Colorado State Fair since 1869.
According to its official website, the fair has only been canceled once, during World War I, and each year it grows.
This year, the fairgrounds welcomed Sarah Cummings as the new Colorado State Fair general manager. Cummings, a California native, took over the reins in January.
Cummings commented on Pueblo’s character after experiencing it first-hand. “There is a great charm here at the fairgrounds,” she said. “There are a lot of buildings here in the facility that are on the historic state registrar which add to the ambiance.”
The fairground gates are scheduled to open Friday, Aug. 26, until the event closes Sept. 5. Entertainment will include live music, sea lions, monkeys, rodeo, art, races, contests and more.
Colorado State University-Pueblo will host Back to School Fridays at the fair on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2. Admission is free to students K-12 who live in Pueblo County and surrounding areas, according to Cora Zaletel, executive director of external affairs at the university.
Students will also qualify to receive a ThunderHull ticket to the RED OUT football game against West Texas A & M on Sept. 10, as well as a free drink from Loaf N Jug and a half-priced ticket to the carnival.
CSU-Pueblo’s Alumni Night event will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 30, beginning with a reception on the Grandstand Stage at 6 p.m. Tracy Samora, director of alumni relations, has been involved in connecting alumni with the Colorado State Fair rodeo since 2010. Samora said that being able to watch the rodeo from the Grandstand Stage is a real treat because spectators are right above the bull chutes.
Tickets to the family-friendly event cost $12 each and includes fair entry, seating at the Grandstand for the rodeo, food and drinks. Due to limited seating, tickets are capped at 125.
Attendees are also encouraged to wear red to show their pack pride.
Samora said that by opening the event up to family members, it gives CSU-Pueblo an opportunity to inspire and encourage future students to attend the school.
CSU-Pueblo’s involvement will be evident in several areas at the fair. The university’s cheer and dance teams will perform at the rodeo on alumni night. School mascots Tundra and Wolfie will also make an appearance. A stagecoach transporting President Lesley Di Mare and other delegates will make its rounds in the arena.
Rev 89, the on-campus radio station, will transmit live from the fair on both Back to School Fridays and Alumni Night. The ThunderWolves Marching Band will perform in the parade on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Cummings said she is retaining the tradition while adding something new to the fair. Saturday, Sept. 3, St. Mary-Corwin Health Day will kick off with a 5K run and Family Fun Walk at 9 a.m. The course takes participants through and around the fairgrounds and the entry fee of $35 buys participants a T-shirt, fairground admission and a swag bag.
The Colorado State Fair Blue Ribbon Voice Contest is another new event that will start at noon on Sept. 3 in the American Furniture Warehouse Amphitheatre. The event will feature young performers.
More information about fair offerings can be found at coloradostatefair.com.
Edited by: Theresa Wolf