Annual San Juan County Fair starts this week
by David Boyle
The San Juan County Fair is the place to be in 2023. The 2023 festivities start Saturday, July 29 and run through Saturday, August 5, providing a full week of fun at the county fairgrounds in Monticello. County fair events include rodeos, livestock auctions, games, and a concert featuring country music star Chase Bryant.
Saturday, July 29:
The fair kicks off Saturday morning with the Down n Dirty Mud Bog. The mud bog event makes its return thanks to sponsorship from DB Truck & Trailer Repair, as well as Recapture Drilling.
Registration for the event is from 9 to 10 a.m. with the mud bog starting at 10:30 a.m. That evening at 5 p.m. will be the Mini Miss and Mr San Juan pageant for ages 3 to 5.
A Little Miss and Mr San Juan event for kids age 6 to 8 will follow at 7 p.m.
Monday, July 31:
Open class entries for the general fair exhibits will be taken on Monday from 2 to 6 p.m. and Tuesday from 1 to 6 p.m. Foods, flowers, crops and small animals can be brought in on Wednesday from 7 to 9 a.m.
Exhibit judging begins Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. All exhibit and class rules can be found on the fair FaceBook page.
Monday evening is the Monticello High School Wrestlers Navajo Taco fundraiser dinner. Tickets are $10 a plate or $45 for immediate family purchased at the door.
The ‘Fair’ly Fun game show night will feature free minute-to-win-it games with cash prizes and fun for the whole family. A family movie night will follow the games.
The outdoor movie will be shown on a giant screen with seating on the grass, bring blankets, pillows and chairs for the 9 p.m. screening.
Tuesday, August 1:
At 6 p.m. on Tuesday is the Mud Volleyball tournament. The event is free to view and participate in. Teams can sign up by calling or texting 435-459-1826. Limited spots are available for teams. Teams are made up of six or more with prizes awarded to the top teams.
Wednesday, August 2:
Wednesday marks the Jr. Livestock weigh-ins, with hog and steer weigh in from 8 to 10 a.m., lamb and goats from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and an opening meeting for Jr. Livestock participants at 1:30.
Events continue in the arena with goat roping at 5 p.m. Karah Nay can be reached for more information at 435-979-5722
The Farm Bureau Talent Find will be at 7 p.m., with multiple age categories, sign ups are due by July 26 for the August 2 event. Sign up by contacting Tessa at 435-459-9845.
Farm Bureau will also have a free Ice Cream Social immediately following the talent find on the grass behind the stands.
Thursday, August 3:
Thursday marks the public opening of the fair building exhibits. Exhibits will be open all day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The mini livestock showmanship class will take place at 9 a.m. with the mini livestock market show at 10 a.m., and the Junior Livestock showmanship class at 11 a.m.
The children’s fair will also kick off on Thursday from 2 to: 4 p.m. with activities for kids 12 years old and younger on the grass at the fairgrounds. Free activities and crafts will be there daily but note that some crafts have a small fee included.
The Fairgrounds will be cleared at 5:30 p.m. ahead of the Thursday night concert.
The 2023 concert features country music star Chase Bryant, with Dzaki Sukarno returning as the opening act.
Gates open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be bought in advance at RelaDyne at 1261 South Main in Blanding and the San Juan Record at 49 South Main in Monticello.
Tickets bought in advance are $18 with tickets costing $22 at the gate.
Friday, August 4
The Market livestock shows begin at 9 a.m. on Friday with student judging at 1 p.m. and Junior Livestock awards given out at 5 p.m.
Friday also marks the beginning of the 10th annual Abajo Enduro. The two-day three-stage mountain bike enduro takes place in the Blue Mountains. More information is available at RoamUtah.com.
The 4-H fun at the fair activities on the grass go from noon to 2 p.m. with the children’s fair from 2 to 4 p.m. The free family fun games are also Friday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Participants earn tickets for a chance to participate in the honey money roll for cash.
Friday evening also marks the beginning of the all-night softball tournament at the Monticello ball fields starting at 6 p.m. and going late into the night. Call or text 435-459-1108 to sign up.
Friday at 7 p.m. is also the local rodeo horse games, free to spectators. Games include Rescue Race, Branding Rice, Hide Race and more. Teams of four can register at the flagpole outside the arena at 6:15 p.m. Event entry is also free with cash prizes to winning teams.
Saturday, August 5th:
The final day of the county fair starts early with the Junior livestock buyer breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. Buyer registration also takes place at the livestock barn from 7 to 9 a.m.
The junior livestock and mini livestock auctions start at 9 a.m.
The fair building also opens for the last time Saturday at 9 a.m, exhibit entries are released from the Fair building from 3 to 5 p.m.
Saturday also includes the children’s fair and 4-H fun at the fair kids activities from noon to 2 p.m.
The county fair concludes with the Blue Mountain Youth Rodeo. Admission is free with event entry for contestants ranging from $10 to 20 per event. Cash prizes will be given to winners of events with added money for each event. Entries are open through July 28, no late entries will be accepted.
Events include mutton bustin’ (age 4 to 6 years), Calf riding (age 7 to 10), pole bending (age 5 to 18), steer riding (age 11 to 14), breakaway roping (age 9 to 18), barrel racing (age 5 to 18) and team roping (age 12 to 18).
Make sure to head on down to the County Fair and take advantage of the week of activities being offered to the public.