The Colorado State Fair starts Friday and things look a little different


PUEBLO, Colo. — If it’s a large event taking place in 2020, it’s going to look different than its original plans, and the Colorado State Fair is no exception.

In a way, it’s getting back to its roots with the 4H, and Market shows anchoring the fair. Families from around the state have come to take part.

“It’s nice to be able to get together with other people throughout the state. There’s a lot of comrade between people, and you don’t get to see them other than once a year, coming to a state fair like this,” said Jason Shoup, the father of kids in the 4H and FFA.

Shoup’s son and daughter each showed hogs on the inaugural day of the fair. They came from Rifle on the Western Slope, where Garfield County had decided to hold its county fair virtually.

Shoup’s worried about that kind of format for the fair, given that his kids have worked with their animals every day since March in anticipation for the fair.

“Without being able to get your hands on the animal, it’s kind of deceiving what they can look like through pictures and videos,” Shoup added.

The judging is in person, and anyone can watch the fair on the Colorado State Fair website or Facebook page.

On the other end of the supply chain, Toler Brothers is typically a barbeque staple, serving pulled pork and turkey legs.

They’re at the fair this year, but with a much smaller tent.

“I was hoping it was going to be good. It’s the first day, and it’s been pretty good,” said Bill Toler, who owns the business with his wife. “We appreciate people coming out and supporting us.”

His tent is part of the vendor drive-thru, which goes down Main Street of the fair. People can order their meals at Gate 9 off of Abriendo Avenue and drive down to pick it up.

It’s more than Toler was expecting.

“We had anticipated nothing for the state fair just because when everything was shut down. So, we’re happy we got something out of it,” he said.

The drive-thru will operate Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. if sales go well.

Check out the fair schedule here.

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