By DR. LARRY MOSES
No one asked me but… It is Fair time in the Moapa Valley. For those who have not attended the local Fair let me suggest you make time to come. For those who have come before, come on back.
After the disastrous weather last year, I was worried about the future of this Fair that is so important to the economy of our valley. Commissioner Tom Collins, through his position on the board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, was able to get additional funding for the fair to offset the losses from last year. Tom has been instrumental over the years in many of the improvements to the fair grounds. He was able to secure funding for the building that houses the animals that belong to our kids who participate in the Junior Livestock Show as well as the new stables for the horses in the arena area. He has recently secured future funding for a much needed lighting upgrade for the grounds.
There are three events going on at the same time at the fairgrounds. The Junior Livestock Show is a major event at the fair. Youngster from the county and surrounding area will be showing goats, sheep, cattle, and pigs that they have been grooming all year. There are also rabbits, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and various pets on display in the small animal barn.
This is the first year in a long time that there were no show pigs raised in my neighborhood. The neighbor kids have all grown up and the grandkids are not old enough yet to be raising and showing animals. I often asked Glen Hardy, one of the major organizers of this event, if they couldn’t do poodles instead of pigs. However, I kind of miss the pigs.
I remember the year the Smith’s pig got loose in the neighborhood. Something a little short of a riot ensued. As I stood in my front yard and watched the event unfold, I was betting on the pig.
The Junior Livestock Show is a great time for all generations to see the animals the youngsters have fed and cared for this year. The animals then go on sale. Men like Robert Coombs from the R.C. Farms come and spend a whole lot more for the animals than they are really worth. But the money goes to the kids who raised the animals and so no one seems to care.
A second event at the fair is the Rodeo. Doug Schwartz is a driving force behind one of the top rodeo events in the country. The top riders and top livestock are involved. I will be at the Rodeo on Thursday with one of my real cowboy friends who grew up on a ranch in Rifle, Colorado. My other real cowboy friend from Utah will not make it this year. He is letting work interfere with the event. I need to counsel that man about retirement. I will be in the stands on Saturday as Las Vegas friends and family will come out for the fair and rodeo.
Then, there is the Fair itself. This is one of the best County Fairs ever. My wife and I are Fair people. We enjoy Fairs. We grew up attending the best state Fair in the country, the Iowa State Fair. The Fair was in Des Moines, Iowa, and as a youngster, I do not remember missing a Fair. I worked the Fair for the Pepsi Cola bottling company for two years and enjoyed every minute of it.
Last year, for the first time in close to twenty years, I missed the Clark County Fair. I was at my granddaughter’s golden birthday in California. They tell me I missed the worst weather ever. I am back this year and I expect the weather to be of the sunny pleasant variety.
The Fair will give you a chance to see some of the talents of your neighbors as a variety of hobbies and skills will be on display in the Fine Arts Building. There will be exhibits and displays throughout the grounds. There is continuous free entertainment on the various stages throughout the grounds. The commercial tent will house all kinds of merchants with items you see only during Fair time. There will be a carnival full of rides and games of chance to delight and thrill kids of all ages. One must not forget the Fair food. You should really try Rik’s, our local barbeque guru. However, if you are into Asian food, that will be available too. The deep fried Twinkies and Snicker Bars, and funnel cakes are, I am sure, nearly calorie free. I usually try to eat my way through the entire Fair. If you see me, I will be at a food booth, just coming from a food booth, or heading for a food booth.
Come bring the family and plan to spend the day. The cost is minimal and the entertainment is abundant. Take the kids away from the X-boxes and introduce them to some real live entertainment. I hope to see you there. It is important that we as a community support the efforts of the Fair Board. They put 70,000 people in our community over those four days. The event supports our community and we need to support the event.