By Sarah Pridgeon
Crook County’s Fair and Rodeo will be held from July 26 to August 3 this year to the theme, “Saddle Up for the Fair.” From pig wrestling to book signings, the fair will feature an event for every taste.
The fair proper kicks off with an ice cream social on July 30 at 3 p.m. in the shade structure and a free pancake social on August 1 from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. Among the special contests and entertainment on offer this year, Craig Johnson, celebrated author of the Longmire novels, will be signing copies of his books on August 1 at 3 p.m.
Alex Clark will be performing a comedy and juggling show on July 30 at 7 p.m. in the Sundance High School auditorium. Renowned on the college circuit. Clark combines edgy comedy with circus skills and has been the recipient of two People’s Choice Awards and an official selection of the Los Angeles Comedy Festival.
A paintball tournament will be held on July 31 in the arena, split into three age groups. Elementary students can participate at 4 p.m., while junior and high school students can join in the fun at 5 p.m. and the adult tournament is scheduled for 8 p.m.
The stock dog trials begin in the arena on July 28 at 6 p.m., followed by the ranch horse competition on July 29 at 4 p.m. and the junior tractor pull and paint-a-pony on July 30 at 4 p.m. The junior tractor pull is scheduled for August 2 between 2 and 4 p.m.
The much-anticipated pig wrestling contest will be held on August 1, with the calcutta at 5 p.m. and the contest itself at 6 p.m. in the pig wrestling pit. Admission for the event is $5. On August 2, a performance from Dakota Country Band will take place at 8 p.m.
The 4-H Youth Dance will be held in the shade structure on August 1 from 9 p.m. until midnight, while the Crook County Fair Parade will take place at noon on August 2 on Main Street. This year’s parade marshals will be James and Sally Ann Neiman, ranchers and long-time supporters of 4-H, FFA and the Crook County Fair.
Crook County’s Rodeo Royalty will be crowned on August 3 at 9 a.m. in the arena, followed by the youth rodeo at 10 a.m. This year’s royalty will be selected at the Crook County Rodeo Royalty Competition on July 20 at 8 a.m. in Hulett.
The fair’s schedule of regular events begins on July 26 with an open class and youth dog show in the barn, check-in beginning at 8 a.m., and fashion and fabrics judging in the high school auditorium at 1 p.m. On July 28, the horse check-in will take place in the arena and horse stalls from 7 a.m. and the horse show begins at 8:30 a.m.
On July 30, youth interview judging will take place all day and static judging from 1-3 p.m., with dog showmanship, conformation and agility at 3 p.m. in the big barn. The youth style revue and talent show will take place in the high school auditorium at 7 p.m.
July 31’s events begin with the sheep show at 10 a.m., followed by the poultry show at noon and the swine and wool shows at 1 p.m.
On August 1, the cat show will be held at 8 a.m. in the old FFA barn, followed by the beef show, Hereford show and round robin showmanship beginning at 9 a.m. in the big barn. The afternoon kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with the guinea pig and pocket pet show, followed by the rabbit show at 1 p.m. immediately before the small animal round robin, the wool show at 1:30 p.m. and Little People & Their Creatures at 3 p.m.
This year’s Youth Livestock Sale will take place in the big barn at 4:30 p.m. on August 2, after a community and buyers’ BBQ in the shade structure at 3 p.m.