Monday, July 25, 2011

It's time for the Denver County Fair!

First Denver County Fair offers Ingenious Entertainment Line-up
The first-ever Denver County Fair is doing things a bit different than other county fairs. Okay ... a lot different. The whole thing is indoors, in 10 adjoining pavilions - each with its own theme. Each Pavilion has it's own theme-appropriate blue ribbon competitions, local exhibitors and vendors and a stage for entertainment, judging and demos. Pavilion themes range from the traditional (Craft Pavilion, Kitchen Pavilion, Animal Pavilion) to the unique-to-this-fair areas, like the Holistic Pavilion, the Fashion Pavilion, the Green Pavilion and the Freak Show.
That's different enough.
But organizers Dana Cain and Tracy Weil wanted to be SURE that the first Denver County Fair reflects the 21st century urban culture and creativity that Denver is known for. To that end, they have devised an entertainment lineup that will surely be the envy of all other fairs within a 500-mile radius.
"We wanted to keep a nice dose of the traditional county fair feel," says Cain, "but we knew that it was crucial to mix it up with some modern quirky urban elements. And, above all ... we want to celebrate DENVER and its arts and culture."
In addition to the fair's rustic 100-year-old Stadium Arena, there are six Pavilion stages sprinkled throughout the complex, hosting events ranging from trick pigs to DEVO to an 1800s Fashion show to demos on psychic pet communication. Oh yes, and a Grand Opening sing-along of "Rocky Mountain High," complete with John Denver impersonator.
To celebrate Denver's rich cultural history, Weil and Cain have lured three local legends out of retirement to come participate. Famous concert promoter Barry Fey joined the team in May as the Musical Director. Blinky the Clown, beloved children's show host for 40 years is scheduled to be the guest of honor at the fair's "Blinky's Fun Club Reunion" on Saturday. And last week, fair organizers tracked down the KIMN Chicken, mascot of the popular radio station that closed its doors in 1988. His job - hosting the blue ribbon chicken judging on Sunday.
It's going to be a County Fair like no other.
Event Highlights ( all events are included with fair admission, except where noted.)
4 - 6 pm: Grand Opening VIP Preview Gala. Join the mayor, the media and a few hundred of Denver's most avid cultural supporters at this special 2-hour preview, complete with free drinks, VIP lounge and giveaways. Tickets to this VIP event are $40.
7 - 7:45pm: John Denver Tribute Concert and Rocky Mountain High Sing-Along
7 - 8:30pm - Bike Rodeo, hosted by Yellow Designs Stunt Team. Here in the city, we do our rodeo on bikes and skateboards instead of horses and cows!
7pm and 9pm - Top Hogs - Trick Pig Act!
8pm - Cheeseburger Eating Contest! Competitive Eating is the fastest-growing sport in America! Show up to enter!
**Amy's Note: I think flat-track roller derby is the fastest growing sport in a America. Oh, hell, they are being hyperbolic. I will let this one go.**
10 am - 4pm - Judging in most of the Blue Ribbon competition categories happens on Friday morning and afternoon. Over 1000 entries were received in dozens of categories by the July 18 deadline. Walk-ins will also be accepted on Wednesday, July 27th, 3 - 7 pm.
1 - 4:30 pm - Groove Hawgs and School of Rock perform live! Lewis and Floorwax's popular Blues Band takes the stage at 2:30, after the Denver School of Rock at 1pm. The kids' music educational program that inspired the movie! Tickets are $5 and $1 goes to benefit the School of Rock!
6 - 6:45 pm - Charles Phoenix Test Kitchen Demo: Fried Cereal
7 - 9pm - Denver Area Square Dancers. Watch the demo and then join in the fun!
8 - 8:30 - Miss County Fair Drag Queen contest, sponsored by Outfront!
8:45 - 9:30 - Itchy-O Marching Band performs throughout several pavilions!
10am - 12 pm - Andrew Novick X-Treme Pancake Breakfast - Over 50 toppings, from gummi-worms to crab meat, 10 kinds of butter and more! (Tickets $6).
12 - 1:15 pm - Blinky's Fun Club Reunion! Join Blinky the Clown, longest-running children's show host of all time in the whole world! Blinky's Fun Club aired from 1958 - 1998! If you were on the show - or if you just love Blinky, show up and enjoy the memories, with open mike, slide show, autographs and more.
2 - 3pm - Denver Zoo presents Wild Wonders - Live animal show!
2 - 4pm - Cheeseburger Crown Cook-Off, hosted by KOSI's Murphy & Denise! Contestants compete to make the best cheeseburger - live on stage. Cheeseburgers were invented in DENVER!
12 and 6 pm - Pie Eating Contest, hosted by Village Inn.
3pm - Human Chicken Contest - Best chicken impressions will be judged by Colorado Poultry Society.
4pm - Hey Lady! B-52s Tribute Band.
5pm - Charles Phoenix Text Kitchen Demo: Mr. Meatloaf.
7pm - Best Moustache & Beard Contest
8pm - DEVO performs live in the Stadium Arena! (Tickets $25/$30)
11am - 4pm - Channel 93.3's Local Music Stage, featuring local bands all day in the Stadium Arena
11am - 3 pm - Fancy Tiger hosts Speed Knitting, Speed Crocheting, Live Sewing Competition & more.
1pm - "Bounty" agriculture-themed poetry contest readings
1pm - Chicken judging, hosted by the KIMN Chicken (lured from retirement!)
2pm - Speed Texting competition
3pm - Laughter Yoga demo
The complete Denver County Fair schedule, which contains over 150 events, is online at
The Denver County Fair launches July 28 – 31, 2011 at the National Western Complex, I-70 at Brighton Blvd., just east of I-25. The Fair will include nearly 300,000 sq ft of adjoining indoor areas, including the Animal Pavilion, Kitchen Pavilion, Holistic Pavilion, Art Pavilion, Craft Pavilion, Fashion Pavilion, Green Pavilion, Backyard Farm and Garden Pavilion, 4-H Youth Pavilion, and more. An outdoor Carnival and an old school Freak Show help round out the fun. Colorado residents are encouraged to participate in the fair and enter to win blue ribbons and prizes in dozens of categories. Information and online competition entry forms are at .
Denver County Fair hours, July 28- 31, are Thursday 6 - 10pm; Friday 10am-10pm; Saturday 10am-10pm and Sunday 10am-4pm. Tickets are for sale now at and will also be available at the door. Adult tickets are $10/day and Youth tickets are $5/day. Children under age 5 get in FREE. Weekend passes and group tickets are also available. (Fair admission prices do not include DEVO concert admission, which must be purchased separately.)

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