Not only is Weld County the number one producer of agricultural products in the state, but we are also a Right to Farm county. Ag is our history and our way of life. For the 100th anniversary celebration, we asked a few Weld County residents to share what the Weld County Fair means to them. Check out their responses below and learn a bit more about why the fair is so important in our community.
For Jennifer Eastwood, Weld County Extension Office Technician, the Weld County Fair means a lot to her as she manages two other staff members during fair week.
“The county fair means coming together as a community to celebrate agriculture, celebrate the achievements of our 4-H and FFA youth, and celebrate the talents of our community! It’s a time for learning, laughing, and making memories,” she said.
Grand champion win. This photo illustrates what the fair means to her perfectly as it is of a brother embracing his sister after she won Grand Champion a few years ago. Their dad can be seen smiling in the background. That is what the fair is all about to Eastwood; celebrating and making memories!
Barnetta Greenwalt smiled as she told the story about her 4-H dairy show cow.
Barnetta Greenwalt and Diamond“Diamond was my first 4-H project, she was a Holstein calf. I was 10 years old. We were supposed to work with the cattle prior to the fair; have them tame, be able to lead them.
My class came and I’m trying to lead Diamond around the ring and she lays down,” Greenwalt said. “I yelled for my dad and my uncle to come help me get her up. They came running and got her back up but of course I was last place.”
Greenwalt, now 75, attended the fair each year with her brothers and sisters in the 1940s and 1950s. They each showed cattle and competed in various exhibitions.
“When I was growing up, the fair was just for 4-H members; it was the Junior Weld County Fair and was smaller than it is now. It taught us discipline and to take pride in what we’d achieved, even if your first project earns last place, at least you tried and there’s a lesson learned!” she said.
Lifetime Weld resident Mary Kanode’s family roots in the Weld County Fair run deep, beginning in 1922 when her mother-in-law Sarah Kanode won a ribbon. The tradition continued with Mary’s two older sisters showing in the fair, followed by Mary in 1951 through 1956. Her three kids and seven grandkids also continued the tradition and Mary hopes her great grandchildren will show at the fair when the time comes.
“(Showing at the fair) has been a broad family thing,” Kanode said. “When you have an animal showing at the fair, the result is a job well-done and an accomplishment.”
Pat Kindvall has been involved with the Weld County Fair since the 1960s. She has served on several committees, judged countless 4-H and open class projects, and has been an integral part of fair royalty.
In its 100th year, the Weld County Fair continues to grow and give youth a chance to showcase their skills in various areas such as animal showmanship, woodworking, being fair royalty and much more.
“I see fair as an opportunity for the youth and adults to show some of their skills and it’s a time for the community to come together and visit – you get to see a lot of people you don’t see the rest of the year,” Kindvall said. “To me, fair is just a super good activity.
The Weld County Fair has always been a part of Bill Erickson’s life. From first participating in a pig-catch it contest when he was 12, to helping countless young people prepare for the fair during 65 years as a 4-H club leader, his enthusiasm for the event has never waned and has grown stronger each year.
“I’ve gone to the fair every year I could since we moved up here in 1942,” Erickson said. “I look forward to everything and I’ve enjoyed them all.”
Although he’s attended many fairs over the years, there’s not one that he ranks as his favorite. He believes every event has been a unique opportunity to see the different talents of Weld County youth through the various exhibits and projects on display every year. He’s excited to attend the 100th Weld County Fair and said seeing the kids succeed in their projects brings him great satisfaction.
“Seeing what the kids can do still amazes me and fills my heart,” Erickson said.