Thu, Sept. 19

Verde Valley Fair set to begin 5-day run of fun, tradition

Coleen Gilboy, director of the Verde Valley Fair, shows off the local arts and crafts that will be displayed at this year’s 2019 fair. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Coleen Gilboy, director of the Verde Valley Fair, shows off the local arts and crafts that will be displayed at this year’s 2019 fair. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

COTTONWOOD -- “Local” is what the Verde Valley Fair is all about, explained Coleen Gilboy, fair director.

This year will be no different as there will 347 children and teens, most from FFA and 4H programs, involved in the livestock shows and exhibits at the fair, which runs Wednesday through Sunday at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood.

Gilboy said that’s 80 more youngsters involved in the livestock programs this year over last year.

The director said she purposely designed the entrance of the fair so those attending will pass by local exhibitors and vendors first. Years ago, fairgoers would enter through the carnival rides.

“It’s a really big deal to me because this is our community, and I want you to go see the art work people have done,I want you to go see the animals that these kids have raised,” said Gilboy.

The popular livestock auction is planned for 3 p.m. on Saturday, while there are animal showings and judging every day during the fair.

Gilboy was also excited by the large turnout of local arts and crafts this year, she said while touring one of the fairground’s barns. Some art was made by master artists and other art was made by local students in classrooms.

Inside the fairgrounds building on Friday, Gilboy pointed to paintings, wood sculptures, weaving, carvings, jewelry, quilts, welding, metal work, beading and food already on display.

She said several of the artists will be doing demonstrations of their art live.

For the first time, the fair will have a “Stray Gathering” on Friday night at 7 p.m. during which a four-man team on horses gathers strays in the arena. There will also be steer riding for 12 year olds and younger on Friday night.

Saturday, Roughstock Challegne returns with the /M Rodeo Company at 7 p.m. with “Broncs & Bulls.”

Wednesday is $3 for everybody, said Gilboy. Then Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sunday, $8 for adults, kids 6 to 12 years old $6 and senior citizens are $5. “Except for Thursday, senior citizens are free,” she said.

Thursday is Buddy day so from 5:50-7:30 p.m., if you purchase a ride wristband, you and your buddy can ride the rest of the evening. Sunday Funday has a $15 entrance and ride pass package. There will be individual tickets and wristbands sold on all days.

Included with the paid gate admission every day is the Freckle Petting Zoo, Steve’s Fun Balloons, Play with Giants in the Art building, chain saw carving, Walk on the Wild with a tiger and other animals, Washboard Willie, Tammy and Henri the monkey; and the stray gathering and Rough stock in the arena on Friday and Saturday.

“We want to showcase local. So we want you to bring in that painting you did…” Gilboy said. “Because this is our fair.”

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