(credit: Colorado State Fair)
The Colorado State Fair is the biggest and best fair of its kind in the state. Since 1869, when about 2,000 people stopped in Pueblo for a horse exhibition, the Colorado State Fair has continued to call Pueblo home and bring in thousands of eager fair-goers every year. It’s the biggest event in the state every summer, and one that you definitely need to check out. The drive from Denver to Pueblo isn’t as long as you may think – usually less than two hours. So grab the family, hop in the car and check out the Colorado State Fair.
Colorado State Fair
1001 Beulah Ave.
Pueblo, CO 81004
Date: Aug. 22 – Sept. 1, 2014
Prices: General Admission is $7 on weekdays/$10 on weekends, Carnival rides priced separately
Colorado State Fair Parade
Every good state fair starts with a parade, right? The Colorado State Fair Parade will be held on Saturday, August 23 and will kick off the rest of the Fair. The parade route will start in the Mesa Junction area and head across Abriendo Avenue, down Union Avenue to First Street. It will then travel up Main Street to Eighth Street. Parade fans will love this one, it’s one of the oldest parades in Colorado, with lots of bands, floats, entertainment and more. If you are lucky enough to be in the Pueblo area for the beginning of the Fair, make sure to get a spot on the parade route to check it out in action.
Related: Top 2014 Summer Festivals In Denver
Rodeo at the Fair
Rodeo in Colorado is a way of life. Western style is huge and the cowboy presence is always an important part of the Colorado world. Of course, the Colorado State Fair has a large rodeo presence, with lots of professional rodeo events to check out. The PRCA Ram Rodeo is full of all the bronco-bustin’ and bull-riding fun that you come to expect from any great rodeo. Some amazing singers like Clay Walker and Chris Young follow several of the rodeo events. If you love rodeo, get down to the Colorado State Fair for all of the fun rodeo action.
Visit the Carnival
No visit to any state fair would be complete without a carnival midway and the Colorado State Fair is no exception. There will be lots of great rides to keep you busy and having fun all summer long at the Carnival Midway. From the classics like the Ferris wheel to the carousel to video games, carnival games and other high-flying, energetic rides, everyone is sure to have a great time. Tickets for the rides are priced at one dollar per ticket, and each ride has a different number of tickets required. Or you can skip all of the ticketing and purchase an unlimited ride band for $30 per day or $90 for the entire duration of the Fair. If you plan on visiting more than a couple of times, that is the best way to get lots of great time in at the Carnival Midway.
The arts are not left out of the fun at the Colorado State Fair. Many local artists showcase a variety of works at the Gallery of Fine Arts at the Colorado State Fair. The examples of art include everything from photography to painting to jewelry, sculpture and more. There is a lot of variety here, and something for every artistic taste. The artists on display are also competing for an opportunity for a full exhibition at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, along with cash prizes. It’s a tremendous opportunity for any local artist, so you are sure to see some of their best work on display.
Possibly the best thing about the Colorado State Fair is the sheer variety of events and activities to enjoy. From rodeo events to arts to carnival rides, comedians and bands, there is something for everyone. There are other amazing shows to check out that you may not see anywhere else. How about checking out a Monster Truck show or a Demolition Derby? Yes, both are being held during the Fair on August 29 and 30. Those hankering for some action will also want to check out the American Freestyle Bullfights on August 24. Really, there is so much to do that you’ll want to book a hotel in Pueblo and stay for at least a couple of days.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.