The name has been changed and new features have been added; however, the sixth annual Churchill Country Fair and Ranch Hand Rodeo returns Friday through Sunday with activities for young and old alike at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.
Billed by organizers as a family-oriented country fair, the three-day event promotes the community’s rich cultural and agricultural heritage, through shows, exhibits and hands-on participation. Last year’s event was attended by more than 15,000 people.
The fun actually begins Thursday from 5-11 p.m. with the Family Fun Night Carnival, a new addition to the fair. The fair will be open all day Friday and conclude on Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
The fair opening ceremony is set for 5:15 p.m. on Friday. Among the activities on opening night will be the Cuties Cowgirl/Cowboy Contest, the Discover Science exhibit, a wine tasting and square dancing show (a complete schedule is available on the Churchill Country Fair website).
General admission to the fair and concerts is free. A $5 spectator admission will be charged (children 10-and-under are free) for the Ranch Hand Rodeo. Tickets on Friday night will cost $10 for adults, children 6-14 will be $5, for the bull riding, which will feature Camp Pendleton Marines.
“We’re free because of our generous sponsors,” event chairperson Sue Frey said. “If it were not for our sponsors, we would not have this fair. And there’s a lot of work that goes into this and we have a lot of great volunteers who do amazing work.”
The Ranch Hand Rodeo, which has grown into a popular event since being introduced in 2010, will be held Friday through Sunday as competitors from Nevada and other states will be at the fairgrounds to show their rodeo skills. Barrel racing has been added to the lineup of events this year. Action begins at 6 p.m. on Friday then 8 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Another new attraction will be the Battle Born Civil War Re-enactors group which will embark on the Regional Park soccer fields on Saturday and Sunday to provide realistic battle scene performances wearing period costumes and weaponry. Two re-enactments are scheduled for Saturday, from 2-3 p.m. and 8-8:30 p.m., and on Sunday from 2-3 p.m. The Lincoln inaugural ball will be held Saturday from 5-6:30 p.m. on the main stage, and on Sunday, a court martial re-enactment will be staged at noon on the main stage, followed by the Gettysburg Address from 1-1:45 p.m. on the soccer field.
The Fallon Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the re-enactment group.
Another new featured attraction will be the Dutch Oven cook-off starting Saturday at 10 a.m., when participants will use locally grown beef and other ingredients to prepare and showcase their talents. The cook-off is being presented by the Churchill County Cowbelles and Chamber of Commerce.
Through the years, the 4-H exhibits have expanded as well as participation from the local animal shelters to help solicit adoption of homeless animals.
Dancing will available to live music by popular bands, including an appearance by the Bay Area Band, The Decades, on Friday and Saturday.