Barn to be Wild: Here are some of the exciting events at this year's San Juan County Fair

Here's a guide to livestock shows, the carnival and more

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Visitors attend the San Juan County Fair, Thurday, Aug. 17, 2018 at McGee Park in Farmington.

FARMINGTON —The San Juan County Fair is returning to McGee Park starting Aug. 9. This year’s theme is Barn to be Wild.

The fair offers family fun for people of all ages, from live music and carnival rides to livestock shows and a salsa contest.

The fair will kick off with a parade at 6 p.m. Aug. 9 in downtown Farmington. Line up begins at 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Butler Avenue. The parade serves as a preview for the county fair.

San Juan County Sheriff's Posse Capt. Dave Williams participates, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018 in the San Juan County Fair Parade on Main Street in Farmington.

Livestock shows and auctions

Youth from all across San Juan County have been raising livestock for months in preparation for the San Juan County Fair. These animals will be on exhibit throughout the week and many of them will be sold during the 2019 Junior Livestock Auction at 1 p.m. Aug. 17 in the Jerry Connelly Memorial Show Ring.

Puoa, a spotted pig, gets a bath by owner Payton Miller with the Boot, Guns and Bling 4-H Club, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 at the San Juan County Fair at McGee Park in Farmington. Puoa will compete in the Swine Show, today, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2018 located at the Jerry Connelly Show Ring starting at 8:00 a.m.

There are more than 100 animals to be auctioned off during the livestock auction, however people do not have to purchase an animal to support an exhibitor. An add-on program allows community members to show their support for the fair or the exhibitors without leaving with an animal.

A buyers’ luncheon proceeds the livestock sale and allows potential buyers to meet the youth who raised the animals. This luncheon will be from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Aug. 17.

A steer is prepared for judging, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at the annual beef show at the San Juan County Fair at McGee Park in Farmington.

Prior to the auction, the animals will be shown during contests throughout the week. These shows include:

  • Goat show: 8 a.m. Aug. 12
  • Boer goat show: 4 p.m. Aug. 12
  • Market birds, waterfowl and pigeons: 9 a.m. Aug. 12
  • Bantam and standard poultry: 9 a.m. Aug. 13
  • Youth rabbit show: 8 a.m. Aug. 12
  • Open rabbit show: 8 a.m. Aug. 13
  • Lamb show: 8 a.m. Aug. 13
  • Swine show: 8 a.m. Aug. 14
  • Beef show: 10 a.m. Aug. 15
  • Round robin showmanship: 7 p.m. Aug. 16
A goat show spectator keeps her eyes on a run-away goat, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017 during the goat show at the San Juan County Fair at McGee Park in Farmington.

Activities and challenges

The fair also includes a variety of challenges and activities for people of all ages. One of these events is the Barnyard Olympics, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13.

The Barnyard Olympics is broken into age groups. The younger children, ages 4 to 7, will compete in activities like egg gathering, horse stall cleaning and stick horse barrel race. The horse stall cleaning contest involves scooping balloons into a wheelbarrow.

Children between 8 and 13 years of age can compete in events like a duck egg obstacle course, dizzy roping and hay bale racing. The duck egg obstacle course involves strapping on cardboard duck feet and carrying a spoon with an egg on it in their mouth while racing toward a finish line.

Pioneer Adultz 4-H and members of Bloomfield FFA race against each other, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016 during the San Juan County Fair Outhouse Race at McGee Park in Farmington.

People who are at least 14 years old can compete in challenges like fence post driving.

Other Barnyard Olympics competitions include drag tractor race, wheelbarrow race and cedar post tossing.

The Barnyard Olympics is just one of the activities and challenges offered in this year’s county fair. Other events include:

  • Outhouse races: 7 p.m. Aug. 12
  • Goat costume contest: 7 p.m. Aug. 15
  • Stick horse races: 11 a.m. Aug. 17

Wild Horse Challenge

A new event this year is the Wild Horse Challenge. San Juan County youth have been given 90 days to train a Jicarilla wild horse. They will show their horses during the Wild Horse Challenge at 5 p.m. Aug. 16 in the outdoor riding arena. Some of the youth have chosen to auction off their horses following the challenge.

In addition to the Wild Horse Challenge, there will be an open horse show at 8 a.m. Aug. 16.

Live country music

This year’s county fair features two live concerts. Country band Confederate Railroad will play at 8 p.m. Aug. 16.

A country music singer, Neal McCoy, will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 17. McCoy has released 34 singles since the 1980s. His songs include “No Doubt About It” and “Winkform.”

Salsa contest

Community members will be showing off their salsa recipes at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 17 on the small patio outside the multi-use building.


Throughout the fair, families can enjoy carnival rides. Frazier Carnivals will once again be offering rides, concessions and games. Pay-one-price wristbands will be available most days throughout the fair. Carnival hours will be: 

  • Aug. 9: 6 to 10 p.m. Purchase a pay-one-price wristband for $25.
  • Aug. 10: 5 to 10 p.m. Purchase a pay-one-price wristband for $25.
  • Aug. 11: 5 to 9 p.m. Purchase a pay-one-price wristband for $25.
  • Aug. 12: 5 to 10 p.m. Purchase a pay-one-price wristband for $25.
  • Aug. 13: 5 to 10 p.m. Two people can ride for $40 between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. 
  • Aug. 14: 5 to 10 p.m. Pay-one-price wristbands will only be available for people who have bought the mega pass. The mega pass can be purchased at the fair office at McGee Park prior to Aug. 9.
  • Aug. 15: 5 to 10 p.m., Pay-one-price wristbands will only be available for people who have bought the mega pass.
  • Aug. 16: 5 p.m. to midnight
  • Aug. 17: 2 p.m. to midnight. Pay-one-price wristbands are $25 between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
A carousel is pictured, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 at McGee Park in Farmington.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at

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