Middle Park Fair and Rodeo kicks off Friday

Local 4-H participants are rounding up their livestock and horse riders are preparing to compete, signaling the start of this year’s Middle Park Fair and Rodeo.

The fair and rodeo kicks off Friday with interview judging before the action starts in earnest Saturday morning with the 4-H dog and cat shows leading into over a week of 4-H shows and rodeo competitions.

Middle Park Fair will wrap up Aug. 8-9 with the highly anticipated Junior Livestock Sale on Saturday as well as horse races and rodeos both days.

“We really wanted to be there for the 4-H-ers who put in a whole year of work, even when school was canceled,” said Dakota Docheff-Cordle, president of the Middle Park Fair and Rodeo Board.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are fewer events at this year’s fair and rodeo, including no Queen’s Pageant or food contests. Event organizers are also asking people social distance inside the barns and follow other posted COVID-19 guidance.

The livestock sale and CPRA rodeo following it on Saturday will both be limited to 125 people.

Since the rodeo royalty competition was canceled this year, reigning Queen Maddy Probst and Princess Shiloh French will continue in their roles for 2021.

Continuing the tradition of celebrating founding community members, Elaine Busse, Fred Garrett, Leigh Murphy and Geneva Sherman are all being recognized as Pioneers of the Year.

Also being recognized at this year’s fair and rodeo are William Hamilton and Dave and Karen Hammer as Citizens of the Year.

Five students received a collective $4,000 in scholarships from the 4-H Middle Park Scholarship Fund this year, including Benjamin Mathis, Madison Jump, Cheyenne Jacobs, Kayla Davis and Caitlin Belcher. Daniel ‘Shug’ Reynolds is this year’s recipient for both the Middle Park Conservation District scholarship and the Middle Park Stockgrowers scholarship.

The Derby Demo that usually comes after the fair is hoping to reschedule for October and Docheff-Cordle hinted that an exciting announcement about next year’s fair and rodeo would be made at the livestock sale.

“We had big plans for this year that we weren’t able to do, so look for them next year,” Docheff-Cordle said.

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