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FARMINGTON – The San Juan County Fair kicked off today  at McGee Park with activities geared toward people young in years and at heart.

As part of “Kids Day,” children under the age of 12 received free admission with two cans of donated food items. Meanwhile, those with youthful senses of humor were entertained by the evening activity — outhouse races.

“That’s always everyone's favorite,” fair volunteer Stephanie Hammons said.

As its name suggests, the perennial crowd-drawing event featured outhouses mounted on wheels, complete with seated "drivers" and pit crews for support. The teams race to complete various challenges, including "turd bobbing," where contestants attempt to pick up candy bars floating in a horse trough with nothing but their mouths.

In addition to lighthearted contests, the fair also features livestock shows and competitions and a plethora of vendors from across the region. Fair organizers said there will be nothing particularly new this year, but rather a continuation of the events which have made the exposition a longstanding staple of the community.

“People just enjoy it,” volunteer Michelle Wilson said. “It’s great seeing the kids grow up year after year.”

One of the regulars in attendance today  was Linda Hawthorne, who brought her two grandchildren Roman and Jordan. Hawthorne said she takes her family to the fair every year to have fun and enjoy the iconic food.

Aside from the cotton candy and funnel cake, Hawthorne said the animal exhibits can also inspire new passions.

“It’s can be a learning experience for some kids who aren’t involved with things like 4-H,” she said, referring to the youth club known for its programs promoting agricultural skills.

For Hawthorne's grandchildren, who only have dogs and cats at home, seeing the goats and rabbits was a unique experience.

“It’s awesome,” Jordan Hawthorne said. “The bunnies are really cool.”

But as parents and grandparents sometimes find out, the enthusiasm sparked by the fair can create unintended consequences. Upon seeing rabbits for sale, Jordan pressed his grandmother to buy one. She responded with a hasty "no."

Brett Berntsen covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606. 

Fair Events

(This roundup is not comprehensive)

Tuesday: Two-For-One day. Attendees can purchase two tickets for $10, and two carnival ride bracelets for $30. 

  • 8 a.m. – Lamb Show
  • 8 a.m. – Rabbit Show
  • 9 a.m. – Poultry Judging
  • 10 a.m. – Dog Show
  • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Free flu shots from Walgreens pharmacy (must be at least 7 years old)
  • 6:30 p.m. – Barnyard Olympics

Wednesday: Inspiration Day. Free admission for senior citizens and people with special needs.

  • 8 a.m. – Swine Show.
  • 2 p.m.  – Special Equestrian Horse Show
  • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Free flu shots from Walgreens pharmacy (must be at least 7 years old)
  • 6 p.m. – Karaoke Show
  • 6:30 p.m. – Memorial Coliseum dedication
  • 7:30 p.m. – Gospel Night

Thursday: Lion and Scout Day. Free admission for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, leaders in uniform, and children 12 and under who bring a pair of eyeglasses that will be donated to the Farmington Lions Club. 

  • 8 a.m. – 4-H/FFA Horse Show
  • 10 a.m. – Breeding Beef Show
  • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Free flu shots from Walgreens pharmacy (must be at least 7 years old)
  • 6:30 p.m. – 4-H Rodeo
  • 7 p.m. – Goat Costume Contest
  • 8 p.m. – Musical performance by B.J. Thomas

Friday: Walgreens Free Flu Shot Day. Free flu vaccinations from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. (must be at least 7 years old).

  • 6 p.m. – Rabbit Catch-it Contest.
  • 7 p.m. – Round Robin Showmanship 
  • 8 p.m. – Musical performance by Trick Pony

Saturday: Public Safety and Military Appreciation Day.

  • 9 a.m. – Rooster Crowing Contest
  • 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Tractor Pull
  • 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Free flu shots from Walgreens phamacy (must be at least 7 years old)
  • 11 a.m. – Junior and Senior Baking Contest
  • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Buyer's Luncheon
  • 11 a.m. – Stick Horse Race
  • 1 p.m. – Junior Livestock Sale
  • 6 p.m. – Four Corners Kart Club Race
  • 6:30 p.m. – Salsa Contest
  • 8 p.m. – Musical performance by Highway 101 
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