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Arena gets full prep before cowboys arrive

Jul 31, 2012 - By Robert H. Peck, Staff Writer

The Fremont County Fair PRCA Ram rodeo began Monday night, but not before the rodeo grounds were prepped extensively for the days to come.

Before the rodeo can take place, days of careful preparation make sure the rodeo arena at the fairgrounds are in tip top shape for competitors and audiences alike. In addition to adorning the structure with sponsors' messages and setting up the surrounding grounds with eateries and ticket takers, fair organizers also make sure to plow the rodeo grounds extensively to insure a level, high-quality pitch for riders.

Maintenance of the grounds also extends into the holding areas and chutes around the rodeo arena itself, where waiting competitors and their prospective mounts are housed before entering the limelight.

The network of fencing and careful observation in these chutes and corrals is a guard against foul play and danger, and these areas too are prepped before rodeo time.

The fair's rodeo events continue tonight with the Rancher's Rodeo and benefit auction for the Fremont County Tough Enough to Help Cancer Fund.

Culinary judging

Though exhibit halls were not officially open as of Monday, a few exhibits were already being set up and judged in the Fremont Building, formerly the Armory Building.

Open culinary judging took place around 3:30 p.m. Monday at the building, with entries ranging from canned vegetables and fruits to cakes and muffins, all carefully labeled and tasted by two teams of judges. FFA culinary judging took place Friday, leaving the open field free to contend for the taster's buds.

Just outside the open culinary judging room was the setup for adult formal table setting, a competition that calls for competitors to devise a theme for their hypothetical restaurant, create a menu and base their table setting around the themes they chose. Entries this year cover a spectrum from ice cream and summer heat to ghosts and ghouls, with two of the table settings devoted to a Halloween theme despite the early date. Betty Faden's "Fright Bites" was one of the standouts.

The quilt competition, perhaps the Fremont Building's most famous display, was judged Saturday. Open quilts have been hung in the building for almost two weeks, and will be available for public viewing along with culinary and formal table setting entries, among others, Tuesday afternoon.

New electric entries

Amid the fresh vegetables, fruits and honeys in the Fremont County Fair AgriCenter, formerly the Ag Building, is a startling collection of what appears to be exposed circuitry: switches and wiring taken right out of a home remodel that have been mounted on sturdy wooden planks and displayed alongside other fair entries.

These unexpected pieces of electrical engineering are part of the Agricultural Mechanics competition, a fair challenge that calls on members of the local FFA chapter to exhibit their knowledge of metal craft and electrical design. Along with the wiring, entries include a homemade barbecue, hand-crafted metal tabletops and a lamp formed into the shape of a rifle. Tyler Clemetsen is the creator.

Loose pigs

The Fremont County Fair continued its tradition of youth animal exhibition Monday with a livestock showing competition and several contests involving animals of a more domestic nature.

The open jackpot market swine show took place Monday, with pig showmen from around the county weighing in their hogs. Before the show, several escaped pigs were observed running amok, hotly pursued by their handlers, and one swine was spotted being ridden by a younger fair attendee.

The peewee, open and 4-H dog shows also took place Monday, while the open and 4-H agility shows were at the fairgrounds, the peewee show was located off-site at Sunset Park. The event brought contenders from far and wide, and lasted for more than three hours as competitors braved round after out round of canine showmanship.

In addition to the hogs and dogs, open and youth poultry and rabbits were all in place as of Monday, with preliminary audiences wandering through the exhibit halls ahead of Tuesday's official opening time.

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