Family fun is the objective as the Churchill Country Fair and Ranch Rodeo kicks off its three-day run today at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.
Now in its sixth year, the fair returns bigger and better than ever with activities for young and old alike, according to event chairperson Sue Frey. General admission to the fair and concerts is free.
“The whole place will be busy ... buzzing,” Frey said. “It’s going to be great family fun. Our whole mission the past six years has been to keep it free to the public, general admission is free, and we are part of the Live Local Fallon campaign.”
The opening ceremony begins at 5:15 p.m. when Jake Olsen sings the National Athem. Among the opening-night activities will be the third annual Cutest 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).
The Fallon Ranch Rodeo, which has grown into a popular event since being introduced in 2010, runs tonight 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.
A $5 spectator admission will be charged (children 10-and-under are free) for the Ranch Rodeo.
Tickets tonight will cost $10 for adults, children 6-14 will be $5, for the bull riding, which will feature Camp Pendleton Marines.
“The reason for that is the cost of the bulls and the broncs and the Marines for their performance, so we have to cover our costs,” Frey said of the admission cost.
Two new attractions will be the Battle Born Civil War Re-enactors group which will embark on the Regional Park soccer fields on Saturday and Sunday, as well as the Dutch Oven cook-off starting Saturday at 10 a.m.
Another new feature is the Family Fun Night Carnival, a new addition to the fair, which will be open all day today and conclude through Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dancing will available to live music by popular bands, including an appearance by The Decades tonight and Saturday.
“They’re a young, talented group from Chico (Calif.) back because of popular demand from last year,” Frey said of The Decades, adding the group performs top hits from the 1950s on up.
Frey pointed out a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into making the Country Fair a success, including assistance from more than 100 volunteers, as well as sponsors.
“The Churchill Country Fair has grown year after year because of all of our dedicated volunteers and because of the generous sponsors in our community,” she said.
Frey added that donations are welcome, which help organizers keep the event going free of charge for spectators.
“We’ll take anything,” she said. “We use every penny of what we get in donations from individuals, businesses and corporations to help keep the fair free. It’s just a whole community event, the community pulling together to make this a reality.”