August 1, 2013
Enhanced fairgrounds facilities complete for 75th Anniversary Garfield County Fair and Rodeo
Events planned August 5-11 at the Garfield County Fairgrounds
GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The dust has settled under a bright and shiny new parking lot surrounding the Garfield County Fairgrounds outdoor arena. While decades of horse, bull and bronc riders have pounded the grounds, preparing for the best times in the show arena, the dust rising into the sky from well-lit arenas will only be from grandstand events, not the parking lot. Now the trucks, campers and well-stocked trailers arriving for the 75th Anniversary Garfield County Fair will park on brand new asphalt.
Frontier Paving employees and sub-contractors spent the summer managing dirt work and paving, as well as landscaping, sidewalk construction, irrigation, storm drainage infrastructure, fencing, and lighting improvements. The fairgrounds project cost approximately $900,000, began in late May of 2013, and was completed on time July 26.
“The Garfield County Commissioners made and kept a major financial commitment to one of the county’s most important and treasured community assets” said Andrew Gorgey, Garfield County manager. “The fairgrounds property is being continually improved as a premier rodeo and event destination, and the commissioners are maximizing its economic development potential.”
Upgrades include not only parking spots, but a landscaped berm, (which houses the hookups for camping now), a larger equine warm-up area, and a design that directs pedestrians from the parking lot to a new stone entryway into the grandstands area. It is not only more efficient for vehicle parking, but safer for event participants and attendees.
“This project is a step into the future which sets the pace for the fairgrounds and fair activity,” said John Martin, chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “We are looking at facilities master plans for this property and the Garfield County Regional Airport. This is just the first of several steps towards an upgraded fairgrounds, with better stalls, a covered warm-up area, a rubberized track and proper changing areas for rodeo and riding participants, which I would like to see included in our facilities in future years.”
The project was designed to be completed in conjunction with the start of the 75th Anniversary Garfield County Fair and Rodeo August 5-11 at the fairgrounds, located at 1001 Railroad Avenue in Rifle. Fair week boasts not only 4-H, Future Farmers of America and Open Class competitions and shows, but also a Family Rodeo, a Heritage Night with a barn dance, Professional Bull Riding (PBR), the Charlie Daniels Band and Jack Ingram in concert, Colorado Professional Cowboys Association (CPRA) rodeo, a parade, livestock sale, a demolition derby and Fiesta Day. The grounds will be open daily and every evening with merchant booths, backstage bands, demonstrations and displays. Complete fair information is available on the fair’s website, and many events sell out, so attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets online at www.garfieldcountyfair.com.