Navajo County Fair will open next week

Photo by Linda Kor Employees and volunteers are hard at work at the Navajo County Fairgrounds in Holbrook in preparation for the upcoming Navajo County Fair. Event Coordinator Jme Baloo (left) and fair board member Ginnie Arthur (right) sort through backpacks, buckles and ribbons that will be presented to the winners of the various events that will be taking place.

By Linda Kor

Next week, Sept. 13-17, Navajo County residents and visitors will celebrate 86 years of fair and rodeo in Holbrook. Fair organizers are making the most of this year’s theme, A Barn Good Time, with the events, food and entertainment that makes this one of the state’s premier county fairs.

Events this year include the Ram Rodeo, Demolition Derby, Navajo County Junior Miss Pageant, Little Buckaroo Rodeo, Rank Lil Buckers, Xtreme Bronc Riding, Open Class exhibits and demonstrations, Junior Livestock Show and Auction, 4-H Horse Show and Small Stock Show.

Along with exhibitors and great food will be entertainment, including Poppin’ Penelope, Farmer Phil, Freckle Farm Petting Zoo and Pony Rides, Elias “Lefty” Caress, Steven Rosen and much more.

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, the gates open at noon, and open class showmanship and livestock judging begins. At 6 p.m. the opening ceremonies will be held on the Main Stage and the Frazier Shows carnival rides will open.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, the gates open at 10 a.m., and visitors can enjoy entertainment on the Main Stage and Junior Livestock events. The always entertaining Demolition Derby will take place at 7 o’clock that night, followed by Moonshine Mafia performing from 8:30 to 10 p.m. on the Main Stage.

On Friday, Sept. 15, the fair opens at 10 a.m. with entertainment on the Main Stage. The Junior Livestock auction begins at 1 p.m. The carnival opens at 5 p.m.

Rodeo lovers will not want to miss the action with top Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bucking stock from Honeycutt Rodeo Company, rodeo clowns/barrelmen Ronald Burton and Mark Swingler, and a live video scoreboard with instant replays.            Rodeo events will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16. Events include bareback, saddle bronc, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, breakaway, barrel racing and bull riding.

Friday’s events will wrap up with a rodeo dance featuring Harry Luge Jr. 9:30 p.m. to midnight.

On Saturday, the Little Buckaroo Rodeo will begin at noon and the carnival opens at 2 p.m. Following Saturday night’s rodeo, the dancing starts again at 9 p.m. and continues until midnight with both Harry Luge Jr. and Moonshine Mafia taking the stage.

On Sunday, Sept. 17, the Rank Lil Buckers will begin at noon featuring kids ages 7 to 14 competing on miniature bucking bulls and miniature broncs that are bred to buck.  Following that event the Xtreme Bronc Riding is slated. Adults will stop, saddle and ride their horses across a designated finish line, in addition to other competitive events. For Sunday’s events, admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6 to 12, and free for kids 5 and under.

Fair books are available at the fair office in Holbrook and at businesses throughout the county, providing information for residents who want to enter their homegrown or homemade items and collections. The fair book is also available online at navajocountyfair.com. Only late registration will now be accepted until Monday, Sept. 11, with a late fee of $3 per page and $1 per entry to be applied.

Entry to the fair is $5 per person and $65 for a family pass, which is good for six people the entire week of the fair. All veterans are admitted free on Friday with identification, and seniors 65 and older will be admitted for $3 on Thursday.

Pre-sale event tickets are available now for $10 each, and include fair admission and admission to the demolition derby, the rodeo on Friday or the rodeo on Saturday. Buying tickets early saves $3 per ticket. All kids 5 and under are admitted free to events.

Pre-sale carnival ride passes are $20 each and are good for 10 rides any night of the fair.