County fairs to feature mix of old, new

File photo Little Miss Rodeo New Mexico 2009 Deanne Guthrie, 10, held on for the full eight seconds of a mechanical bull ride at last year’s Curry County Fair.

Sharna Johnson and Jared Tucker

This year’s county Curry and Roosevelt county fairs are expected to be a mix of tradition and new attractions.

In Curry County, headline performers, more vendors, new shows and added contests are expected to help drive up attendance for the Aug. 16-21 fair.

Curry’s Events Center and Fairgrounds General Manager Kevin Jolley said there are several new attractions this year, including musicians Josh Abbott, the Logan Taylor Band, Tommy Irvin, Grupa Vida and Grammy Award winning tejano artist Little Jo.

Jolley said a popular chainsaw artist is returning and favorites such as arena cross will be back this year along with some new performers.

Shenaniguns, a wild west comedy, show will debut in Curry County this year with nightly performances in the midway area.

Fair organizers also convinced carnival operators to open Monday instead of the traditional Tuesday, Jolley said, offering another day of rides.

And Jolley said along with traditional categories, pie baking, a cookie jar decorating and salsa contest have been added to the line-up of contests this year.

There are also about 10 new vendors who will be in the commercial barn and pavilion, giving attendees more to look at and better shopping, he said.

Jolley said one of the attractive things about the fair this year is that admission fees include concerts, as opposed to last year when fairgoers were charged separately to attend concerts.

Last year, more than 26,000 attended the fair, Jolley said.

“We hope we’ll add more people this year,” he said. “We hope to get over 30,000, that’s my goal.”

This year’s Roosevelt County Fair is certain to leave residents loopy with two new rides that will be on hand.

Steve Mattfeldt of Sun Valley Rides, LLC said while the economy has limited new ride purchases, his company was able to purchase “Super Loops,” a 72-foot tall rollercoaster-style ride that takes riders in loops, both forward and backward.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Mattfeldt said, adding that children weren’t left out in the new ride purchase. He said a ride called “Jumping Jumbos” will also be at the fair, which is an elephant ride which goes up and down.

Many local musicians will also be taking the stage throughout fair week, according to the Roosevelt County Extension office.

The Seth Savage Band is a Texas country band led by Portales High School graduate Seth Savage. Savage is a Texas Tech alumnus who burst onto the Texas country scene in 2002. According to the band’s website, their music is a mix of Chris Ledoux, Bob Dylan, and some “Fuel laced with Charlie Daniels.”

Other local bands include Borrowed Time, Will Banister and the Mulberry Band, and the Blackwater Band, according to Roosevelt County Extension Secretary Sherri Best.

Best said the motocross show will be returning for the third consecutive year and is a big attraction for fair-goers. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28 and races begin at 7:30 p.m. She said the Pork Chop Breakfast, sponsored by the New Mexico Christian Children’s home, is also a big hit. Proceeds from the breakfast, from 6:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Aug. 24, supports the Shooting Stars 4-H Club, she said.

“That’s a really big draw, people really like it,” Best said.