Over the next few days, thousands will head to the Garfield County Fairgrounds for 2017 Fair and Rodeo, an event in its 79th year that continues to get bigger and better thanks to improvements made to its facilities.
Last year’s headliner country concert sold 3,483 tickets generating $98,350, compared with $79,055 in ticket sales in 2015 and just $33,270 in 2014.
With the county putting an estimated $3 million into the complex over the past three years, competitors and the public are starting to take notice.
“It’s great to see them put money back in for the kids, it’s come a long way,” said Jenny Rhinaman from Rulison, who had children competing in some of the 4-H animal events, shows that her own mother competed in many years ago. “This used to be nothing but ranching, and it’s good to see them keep that here.”
“Everything you guys have done over there is really nice: the landscaping, the entrances, the parking, everything. … It’s money well spent and done right.”
— Rifle Mayor Randy Winkler
As a fan and participant of the fair for many years, Rhinaman has been able to see the upgrades to the fairgrounds firsthand.
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Many of the improvements made to the facility were designed for livestock purposes and will help make this year’s fair run as smooth as ever, including the brand new stalls near the indoor arena and a paved path designed for livestock to walk on.
Intermediate Alpaca Show competitor Leann Brand, who’s competed at the fair for three straight years, said that the new stalls are incredible and make it easy to come back because of how well the animals are kept.
“I’m not sure of anywhere else that has an indoor…
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