Gilpin Fair’s many contests feature friendly competitions

Gilpin County Fair flag riderHeather Pearce, Gilpin County.  It’s time to plan, practice and prepare for the 2016 Gilpin County Fair contests. The 24th annual Fair, held at the Gilpin County Fairgrounds, 230 Norton Dr., Black Hawk on Saturday and Sunday, August 20-21, features both long-time favorites and brand-new competitions including Dog Agility, Log Splitting, Barrel Racing, BMX skills, Mutton Bustin’, ATV Rodeo, Horseshoes and the always popular Gilpin Gourmet.

The Fair’s competitions and contests—which are always welcoming and friendly, yet competitive—begin August 20th at 10 a.m. with the Barrel Racing Jackpot. Participants compete in a traditional barrel racing event where a horse and rider attempt to complete cloverleaf patterns around preset barrels in the fastest time.

Test your speed and skills at chopping wood in the Log Splitting Contest, August 20th, beginning at 10 a.m. Wood pieces will be about 16 inches in diameter and 18 inches long and each must be split into four pieces. When contestants have finished, referees will verify if logs were quartered properly. If not, that contestant will not advance. The four fastest times will compete in the finals at 4 p.m.

Bring your leashed dog to the Fair, August 20th, at 11 a.m. for the Dog Agility competition. You and your four-legged friend will greet the judge, perform a trick of their choice and run through an agility course.

First through third place, based on time and scores, will be awarded in kids, amateur and “Hard Core Flyers” categories. First place winners will have their name on the Fair’s 2016 Champions plaque.

Be sure to warm up your pipes and hone your skills for the Karaoke and Talent contest, Saturday at 3 p.m.

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The Fair also features the Gilpin Gourmet contest. Compete for ribbons and bragging rights in baked goods, preserved foods and new home-brewed beverage divisions. Entries will be judged on several factors, including originality of recipe, appearance and taste. Food entries are due, Saturday  between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Community Center. Everyone is invited to taste the food entries and be a judge on Sunday, August 21st between 10 a.m. and noon.

Kick off Sunday and prove your horseshoe prowess during the Singles Horseshoe Competition, August 21st, at 11 a.m. Anyone 16 and older can compete for a first place ribbon and their name on a trophy, or a second place ribbon. Registration begins at 10 a.m. The competition will be single elimination and run in a bracket manner where the winner of each round advances to the next. In rounds one and two, contestants play to 21 points. In round three, to determine the Champion, contestants will play to 40 points.

Anyone with an ATV can compete in the ATV Rodeo on Sunday at noon (registration is at 10:00 a.m.). The Rodeo features utility and sport classes in numerous events including Barrel Race, Pole Bending, Key Hole, Flag Race, Tire Race, Obstacle Course and Wheelie Competition. All or some of the events may be run for prizes, which will be awarded based on the combined scores of all designated events.

The always popular and highly entertaining Mutton Bustin’ returns to the Fair on both days. Similar to bronco riding, kids will try their best to ride a sheep for the longest time Saturday at noon, 2 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

A BMX skills course contest runs both days of the Fair as well. Competitions in three age divisions run, August 20th from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and August 21st from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The course includes a teeter-totter, rails, dirt piles, cones and more. Awards for first through third place will be given immediately following the competitions each day. All equipment will be provided by the Fair.

Additional information and rules for the 2016 Gilpin County Fair contests can be found on the Fair’s new website,

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This year’s Fair also includes its traditional Saturday-night bonfire along with the Mardi Gras Bulls & Beads event—featuring bull riding, ranch bronc riding and a sheep scramble—and Sunday-morning pancake breakfast with the new Blizzard & Boo Longhorn Show. Other new games and activities, including a climbing wall and water walkers in the Gilpin Recreation Center pools, are also planned.

The Gilpin County Fair is also seeking volunteers to help with all areas of the Event and additional vendors. Booths with handcrafted items are $25, Merchandise booths are $50 and food booths are $100. Non-profit information booths are free. More info go to

For the latest information, visit or find Gilpin County Fair on Facebook. For interview requests and high resolution images, please contact: Heather Pearce, Gilpin County Fair Coordinator & CSU Gilpin Extension Office Assistant at, 303-582-9106 or fax: 303-582-5062. The Gilpin County Fairgrounds are located at 230 Norton Dr. off of Colorado 46 about seven miles north of Black Hawk,14 miles south of Nederland and 18 miles west of Golden.