In the spirit of the Old West |

In the spirit of the Old West

Kimberly Nicoletti

SILVERTHORNE – More than 4,000 people will pour into Blue River Park to holler for their favorite rodeo personalities, kick up their heels with Broken Wind or try their luck at bubble-gum- blowing, sunflower-seed spitting and pie-eating contests.

The celebration of the Old West begins at 5 p.m. Thursday and runs through July 14 with the Mountain Community Fair. Professional rodeos, live entertainment, exhibits, carnival rides and contests fill the four days of down-home fun.

“The Mountain Community Fair is sort of a legend and something people look forward to,” said Maggie Butler, special events coordinator at the Silverthorne pavilion.

“It’s our annual county fair,” Fair Board President Mike Campbell said. “It’s the way the local kids qualify for the state fair. It’s chock-full of live entertainment, and it’s very family-oriented and kid-friendly.”

Youth from 4-H work on projects such as horse programs, cake decorating, ceramics and rocketry all year, then display their projects at the fair, where the exhibits are critiqued and awarded ribbons.

“The main goal is to teach youth life skills of responsibility, commitment, respect, community service and leadership through their projects,” 4-H coordinator Kathie Kralik said. “The fair gives them recognition and a chance to show what they’ve learned. It’s a positive learning environment for the kids, and it kind of brings us back to our roots.”

Crowd-pleasing events fill the fair, including mutton busting, where children weighing under 35 pounds compete to see who can ride on the back of a sheep the longest, and the mutton scramble, where kids rush to retrieve five ribbons from 10-12 sheep.

The rodeos pack in nine events, including steer wrestling, calf roping, clown skits, bareback bronco riding and barrel racing. They are followed by a llama-dressing contest, in which teams race to dress their llamas in neckties, hat and swimming trunks and hope the clothes stay on the animal past the finish line.

A fair wouldn’t be complete without a pie-eating contest, and the Mountain Community Fair adds high-altitude bubble-gum blowing and sunflower-seed spitting contests to the festivities.

From 8 a.m.-2 p.m. July 13, fairgoers can play in an open gymkhana, which includes such games as balancing an egg on a spoon while riding horseback, ribbon relays, flag races and a champagne open.

Plenty of music livens up the fair, including Randall McKinnon and Mike Fauth from 3-6 p.m. July 12, and a Western gold rush dance and music from 11 a.m.-noon July 13 followed by a harmonic acoustic trio, big band music and acoustic music throughout the day. Broken Wind plays classic rock from 7-10 p.m. July 12 and 13, and from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. July 14.

David Philips formed Broken Wind about five years ago when he discovered his Kremmling neighbor Doug Covington was a bass player, and a friend he had known for a year, Vinny Troccoli, was a drummer. Troccoli came up with the name, a variation on breaking wind.

“If someone asks us about it, we tell them it’s an Indian term,” Philips said.

The band plays classic rock with a little bit of a country-and-blues feel.

“We don’t just play one genre,” he said. “It’s just a mix. We can go from Black Sabbath to country in a blink of an eye.”

Daily admission is $7 for adults and $3.50 for children ages 6-12. Children under age 6 are free. Weekend passes are $11 for adults, $5 for children or $30 for a family up to six. For information, call (970) 513-8081.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at

Mountain Community Fair

When: July 11-14

Where: Blue River Park, Silverthorne

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