Change is in the air for the YC Fair

The Yuma County Fair & Rodeos’ new schedule definitely will take some getting used to for fair-goers.

Reportedly, many people have remained unaware the schedule has been significantly altered, though the Yuma County Fair Board approved the new schedule last fall, and it was widely reported at that time.
Anyone with questions, as the fair approaches, can attend the Fair Board meeting scheduled for Monday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the Concessions Building at the fair grounds in Yuma.
The change was made to put much of the main “fair day” events at the end of the week and over the weekend, rather than early in the week.
Traditionally, the main part of the fair had been Saturday through Wednesday in early August. The fair still is in early August, but now the “main” part will run Wednesday through Monday.
The night show concert, which this year features Chancey Williams, will be Friday evening, August 5, where in the past it has been on a Tuesday evening.
The Yuma County Fair Parade now will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 6. (There is one part in the Fair Book that mistakenly states the parade will be on Tuesday, August 10.) That day also will include County Events after the parade. The Junior Livestock Sale, which used to be on Monday night, now will be on Saturday, beginning at 4 p.m.
The two PRCA Rodeos now will be both in the evening, Sunday, August 7, and Monday, August 8, which now will serve as the final wrap-up day for the fair.
The order of judging will remain the same, except now the Horse Show will be on a Wednesday, which will be August 3 this year, Swine Show will be that evening. Sheep, goats and dairy will be on Thursday, as will Open Home Ec & Crops Judging. Friday features the Beef Show, the Bucket Calf Show and most other remaining judging, such as Poultry & Rabbits.
The Beer Garden, run by the Knights of Columbus, returns this year and will be open four times. It will open at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 5, at 1 p.m. Saturday, August 6, 7 p.m. Sunday, August 7, and 7 p.m. Monday, August 8.
The full schedule can be found in last week’s edition, and will be printed again in the July 21 and July 28 editions.
The fair events that traditionally take place outside of the “main” part of the fair now will be on Wednesday, July 27, the 4-H Fashion Revue in Wray, and Monday, August 1, interview judging, and Tuesday, August 2, dog show and fair queen tryouts.
In between July 27 and August 1, is the big Wray Daze event July 29-31. Traditionally, Wray Daze had been a full week before the fair.
Shanon Stults, executive director of the Wray Chamber of Commerce, acknowledged that none of the Yuma County events overlap with Wray Daze. However, interview judging does take place the following Monday morning at the fair grounds in Yuma.
“I do wonder, though, as a long-time 4-H member and now a mom of 4-H kids, if we will see declined participation during Wray Daze weekend since the interview judging for kids is Monday,” she told the Pioneer in an email. “There is so much that seems to need to happen the day before, from baking your cookies, to decorating your cake, I wonder if people will have things completed in advance.”
She shared that some vendors from surrounding communities are not participating in some of the weekend events because of other county fairs in the area.
“(I) wish all the county fairs weren’t competing for people and attendance at the same time,” she wrote.
The change in the fair schedule also takes away the traditional “fair day” on Tuesday. Many county citizens got that day off as a holiday, or at least a half-day, to converge on the fair grounds for a day of fun events after the parade.
Now there will not be that “fair holiday.”

Yuma County Administrator Andrea Calhoon told the Pioneer the county has dropped it as a formal holiday. Instead, the county is giving each employee a day off for their birthday. Calhoon said the county got the idea from the lead of some local banks.
The City of Yuma also used to close down for the afternoon of Tuesday. That no longer will be the case. City Clerk & Recorder Karma Wells said city administration intend to approach the Yuma City Council about moving the half-day off to another day. However, nothing has been discussed yet with the council, though it could be on the agenda at the July 19 meeting.